Connect with us

Rhode Island

Did a BLM RI founder endorse Trump? There’s more to the story

Published

on

Did a BLM RI founder endorse Trump? There’s more to the story



BLM RI’s president says Mark Fisher was fired from the group and never had a role in its founding.

play

A man once affiliated with the local Black Lives Matter RI group has gained national media attention for his endorsement of Donald Trump in the upcoming presidential race, but local advocates are calling into question his credentials.

This week, headlines circulated from national media proclaiming that Mark Fisher, a “leader” of BLM RI, had thrown his support behind Trump.

But while the national news media described Fisher as a “leader” of Black Lives Matter and “co-founder” of Black Lives Matter RI, the group’s current head, Gary Dantzler, disputes those claims, saying Fisher only worked as an advocate.

Local BLM RI group says Fisher was not a ‘co-founder’

Dantzler, who is the head of BLM RI and registered the group as a nonprofit with the IRS in 2021, said Fisher was not a co-founder but, starting that year, worked for a matter of months as an advocate.

Advertisement

“Mark Fisher stated he was one of the co-founders of BLM,” Dantzler said. “Absolutely not. He was a respected advocate for BLM. That’s it. And he was paid and somewhere he got fired and demoted.”

Currently, there is no Rhode Island-based Black Lives Matter group in the IRS’ nonprofit database with Fisher listed. However, Fisher was listed as a director in BLM RI’s articles of incorporation with the state in 2020. A 2022 annual report shows his name was removed that year.

In late October, Fisher tweeted an undated photo of himself within a group of people wearing BLM RI T-shirts. Dantzler is shown on the far left of the image. Dantzler did not immediately comment on the picture.

What made the headlines? A nearly month-old interview and a Fox News appearance.

On Nov. 6, Fisher appeared on the “Kim Iversen Show” and expressed his support for Trump. The show, posted on YouTube and video platform Rumble, is run by Kim Iversen, who was fired in 2022 from The Hill’s “Rising” web show. Iversen is a COVID-19 vaccine skeptic, has called Jan. 6 insurrectionists oppressed “political prisoners,” and has said Ukraine shouldn’t fight back against Russia’s ongoing onslaught.

Advertisement

“I like Trump personally,” Fisher said on the show. “And I think right now who we have sitting in the Oval Office is just a deep disappointment. I deeply have disdain for him, and I really dislike the vice president as well.”

Fisher also defended those who were involved in the Jan. 6 Capitol attack.

On Nov. 28, Fisher was welcomed onto “FOX & Friends” where he reiterated his views. Both Iversen’s show and Fox referred to Fisher as a “BLM leader.” Fox also titled him as a “co-founder” of BLM RI.

Fisher did not immediately respond to an inquiry from The Providence Journal.

Prominent local PAC issues clarification about Fisher, BLM RI

Friction has historically lingered between BLM RI and BLM RI PAC, the Black Lives Matter Rhode Island Political Action Committee, which is a separate entity with different membership. The PAC has a visible social media presence and routinely sends out press releases, though Dantzler said it is “unfair” that people associate BLM with the PAC after “the work I put in through the years” on his own organization.

Advertisement

On Wednesday, the PAC released a statement to officially disassociate itself from Fisher, stating he “is not and has never been affiliated with our organization.”

“The views expressed by Mr. Fisher in the referenced Fox News segment do not reflect the values or beliefs of BLM RI PAC,” the group said. “We would like to emphasize that Mark Fisher claims association with Black Lives Matter Rhode Island, a non profit organization. Any statements or actions attributed to him should not be conflated with our organization.”

Dantzler denounces Fisher’s Trump endorsement

Dantzler said he is “really disgusted” by Fisher’s endorsement of Trump, and accused Fisher of “trying to hijack the BLM movement of RI.”

Though BLM RI does not engage much with local media, Dantzler said it still holds office space on Main Street in Pawtucket and has been working with the Department of Labor and Training on workforce development initiatives. Dantzler said the organization was also conducting COVID-19 testing as recently as three months ago.





Source link

Advertisement
Continue Reading
Advertisement
Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Rhode Island

See The 2024 Newport Burger Bender Winners

Published

on

See The 2024 Newport Burger Bender Winners


NEWPORT, RI — The 2024 Newport Burger Bender broke last year’s record, selling more than 1,000 additional burgers, according to contest organizers.

During the Discover Newport-sponsored competition, which took place Feb. 16 to Feb. 25, more than 7,300 burgers were sold at competing restaurants across Newport and Bristol Counties. More than 2,000 patrons voted to decide the winners of this year’s Newport Burger Bender.

The 10-day battle of the burgers saw more than 50 restaurants put their hat in the ring. The contest featured three categories: beef, non-beef and plant-based.

This year’s champions are:

Advertisement

“We are thrilled to not only win, but also very happy and grateful to see so many guests who were interested in this awesome local contest over the past 10 days,” 22 Bowen Executive Chef Justin Garcia said. “There was some incredible competition from some talented chefs and restaurants, and we did not take this competition lightly. We look forward to defending our crown next year.”

Have a news tip? Email jimmy.bentley@patch.com.



Source link

Continue Reading

Rhode Island

Rhode Island Launches 6th Annual RI Life Index Survey: A Deep Dive into Health and Well-being

Published

on

Rhode Island Launches 6th Annual RI Life Index Survey: A Deep Dive into Health and Well-being


Starting in early March, Rhode Islanders are set to partake in the RI Life Index annual telephone survey, now in its sixth iteration. This significant survey aims to capture the public’s perception of various social and economic factors that influence health and well-being, with key topics including affordable housing, food security, and the cost of living. It is a collaborative effort between Blue Cross & Blue Shield of Rhode Island and Brown University’s School of Public Health, conducted by the Siena College Research Institute in both English and Spanish.

Comprehensive Coverage of Social Determinants

The RI Life Index survey covers a wide range of topics critical to understanding the quality of life in Rhode Island. From job opportunities and child care to education, the survey seeks to provide a holistic view of the challenges residents face. The results play a crucial role in updating the index annually, showcasing trends and guiding philanthropic efforts towards addressing identified needs.

Strategic Partnerships and Community Engagement

The survey is steered by the RI Life Index Coalition, a consortium of 14 community and statewide organizations dedicated to social needs and health. This group’s diverse membership, including AARP and the Rhode Island Community Food Bank, underscores the survey’s comprehensive approach to capturing a wide array of voices, particularly from marginalized communities. Michele Lederberg, an executive at Blue Cross, emphasized the importance of community participation for the index to truly reflect Rhode Island’s diversity.

Advertisement

Impact and Philanthropy

Since its inception, the RI Life Index has not only shed light on health inequities but has also informed over $8 million in philanthropic investments towards initiatives focused on affordable housing and health by Blue Cross & Blue Shield of Rhode Island. The anticipation for the 2024 survey results, expected in the fall, is high, with the potential to further influence policies and initiatives aimed at improving Rhode Islanders’ quality of life.

The launch of the survey marks another step forward in understanding and addressing the social determinants of health in Rhode Island. With its wide-ranging topics and community-focused approach, the RI Life Index continues to be a valuable tool for researchers, policymakers, and organizations striving to eliminate disparities and enhance well-being across the state.





Source link

Advertisement
Continue Reading

Rhode Island

17-year-old dies after “avoidable” crash in Rhode Island, police say

Published

on

17-year-old dies after “avoidable” crash in Rhode Island, police say


Local News

Early investigation showed the teen was not wearing a seatbelt and that driving behavior and speed were contributing factors in the crash, police said.

A 17-year-old boy died Thursday after a car accident in Cumberland, R.I. that police called “heartbreaking, yet avoidable.”

The crash occurred at about 10:45 p.m. Thursday when the teen’s car was traveling on Mendon Road in Cumberland when his car struck another vehicle turning from Vivian Avenue onto Mendon Road, police said in a statement. 

Advertisement

The teen’s vehicle left the roadway after the collision, struck a telephone pole and fire hydrant, and returned back to the roadway “after tumbling a great distance,” police said. The teen was partially ejected from the car in the accident, the statement said.

The 17-year-old was transported to Rhode Island Hospital where he died of his injuries. The driver of the second vehicle refused medical assistance on scene, according to the statement.

Investigation showed the teen was not wearing a seatbelt at the time of the crash and that the driver’s side seatbelt receiver “had a device installed to prevent the buckle from being inserted.” Speed and driving behavior were likely contributing factors in the crash, police said. 

“On behalf of the Cumberland Police Department, I offer my condolences to the young man’s family, friends, and loved ones,” Cumberland Police Chief Matthew J. Benson said in a statement. “This tragic loss of a young life is heartbreaking, yet avoidable. I would like to remind all motorists to always wear their seatbelt and drive within a safe, and appropriate, speed and manner.”





Source link

Advertisement
Continue Reading

Trending