This week, the Working Families Party (WFP) issued an endorsement of Presidential contender Elizabeth Warren. For months, the WFP engaged its supporters, members, and chapters in a process meant to equip everyone with the tools to make an informed decision.

It was brave of the WFP to make an early endorsement, and it signals that the WFP is ready to be a real contender for power. Risks are important in politics — the courage to take an early stand and put it all on the line is an indication that much is at stake in this political moment, for all of us.

The WFP made a decision, with its members and supporters and staff, and there is now conflict over the substance of that decision. But let’s also be clear — the WFP is under new leadership. For the first time in its history, Maurice Mitchell, a Black man with decades of experience building movements and strengthening our democracy, alongside Nelini Stamp, a working class, woman of color and a gifted organizer with a long list of accomplishments, are now at the helm of the Party, where they should be. And apparently, some folks aren’t happy about it.

These incredible leaders who led an organization to take a risk by lifting up the leadership of Black, Latinx, Asian and Pacific Islander and white communities in coalescing around a candidate with enough time to engage their communities deeply ahead of the 2020 election, are being threatened on a daily basis, by self-identified Sanders supporters, with hateful, violent and racist threats. “Uncle Tom.” “Slave.” “Cunt.” These kinds of threats have no place in our movements, and are reminiscent of the threats Black people would receive when daring to vote even though the white supremacists would try and discourage Black people from doing so.

The virulent, racist attacks on these leaders are unacceptable and dangerous. What do we do when racism and sexism is present in progressive movements? What is the prospect of strengthening democracy when old habits just won't die?

Many of us, the undersigned, are no stranger to these kinds of attacks—too many of us receive threats like these ones every day because we dare to organize our people towards freedom. But if we hope to take back this democracy, if we dare to struggle for electoral justice, if we really want a world where Black lives do in fact matter, all of us must take a stand against these real and persistent threats.

Online attacks, threats and smears against Black leaders are unacceptable — especially when there is so much at stake for our movements. While we punch horizontally, those who have real power over our lives take advantage of our disintegration and our disorganization. Bernie Sanders, Elizabeth Warren and perhaps a number of other candidates would be much better than what we’ve got now. And that is the real fight ahead of us.

We refuse to concede to white terror from the Left as well as the Right. We can argue about the differences between Sanders and Warren, but not if we can’t be distinguished from our real opposition.

As Black leaders in this movement, we are calling on each other to keep reaching for each other, even when it gets hard, even when we disagree, even when we’re disappointed. We demand that the Sanders campaign unequivocally denounce the racism in its ranks, and issue a public statement separating themselves from these abhorrent attacks. And we call on our movement to recommit to the real fight ahead of us. Democracy isn’t built in a day, and the WFP will need us, Sanders supporters and Warren supporters, to come together to defeat one of the most serious threats to peace and justice in our lifetimes. We cannot wait to make justice real amongst the resisters — our lives literally depend on each other.

Signed,

Alicia Garza                                Principal, Black Futures Lab; co-founder, Black Lives

Matter Global Network

Jessica Byrd                                Co-founder, Electoral Justice Project, Movement for Black

Lives

Patrisse Cullors                        Co-founder, Black Lives Matter Global Network; Chair,

Reform LA Jails

Kayla Reed                                Co-founder, Electoral Justice Project, Movement for Black

Lives; Director, Action St. Louis

Eric K. Ward                                Western States Strategies (for identification purposes only)

Tracey Corder                                Director of Political Action and Racial Justice, CPD Action

Jennifer Epps Addison                Network President and Co-Executive Director, CPD Action

L Joy Williams

Pastor Michael McBride                The Way

Colin Hicks                                Senior Political Manager, CPD Action

Angela Lang                                Executive Director, Black Leaders Organizing Communities

(BLOC)

Dakota Hall                                Executive Director, Leaders Igniting Transformation (LIT)

Brandon Snyder                        Executive Director, Detroit Action

Sochie Nnaemeka                        Director of Emerging Organizing, CPD Action

Leslie Mac                                Digital Organizer, Black Womxn For

Esperanza Tervalon Garrett                Chief Executive Officer, Dancing Hearts Consulting, LLC

Tiffany Roberts, Esq.

AJ Springer                                Owner, Springer Communications

Carmen Berkely                        Chief Strategy Officer, Dancing Hearts Consulting, LLC

Anoa Changa                                Digital Strategist

Maurice BP Weeks                        Co-Executive Director, Action Center on Race and the

Economy

Jamecia Gray                                CEO, Peak Power Strategies LLC

Brieanna Fischer                        Political Strategist

Malkia Devich-Cyril                        Co-founder and Director, MediaJustice

Marcus Ferrell                                Chief of Staff, New Georgia Project Action Fund; former

African American Outreach Director, Bernie 2016

Makani Themba                        Higher Ground Change Strategies; author, activist

Heather McGhee                        Demos Action

Nse Ufot                                Executive Director, New Georgia Project Action Fund

Chinyere Tutashinda                        Co-director, The Blackout Collective

Celeste Faison                        Co-director, The Blackout Collective; Chief Strategy

Officer, MeToo

Rukia Lumumba                        Electoral Justice Project, Movement for Black Lives

Dorian Warren                                President, Community Change

Karissa Lewis                                Executive Director, Center for Third World Organizing;

Movement for Black Lives

Ari Trujillo Wesler                        CEO and Co-founder, OpenField

Charlene Carruthers                        Founder and Executive Director, Chicago Center for

Leadership and Transformation

Monifa Bandele                        Senior Vice President, MomsRising

M Adams                                Co Executive Director, Freedom Inc

Tarana Burke                                Founder and Executive Director, MeToo

Marlon Peterson                        Owner and Founder, Precedential Group

Lee Anderson                                Director of Public Affairs and Strategic Communications,

CPD Action

Mary Hooks                                Southerners on New Ground (SONG)

Angela Peoples                        Founder, Black Womxn For

Nikema Williams                        Chair, Georgia Democratic Party

Dara Cooper                                Co-founder and Executive Director, National Black Food

and Justice Alliance

Michele Kilpatrick                        Senior Research Analyst, CPD Action

Thenjiwe McHarris                        Movement for Black Lives

Charles Kahn                                Organizing Director, Strong Economy For All Coalition

Bennie Patterson Jr.                         Digital Director, CPD Action

Darrol Gibson                                Political Director, Leaders Igniting Transformation (LIT)

Karundi Williams                        Executive Director, Repower

Jessica Pace                                Strategic Communications Consultant

Ash-Lee Woodard Henderson        Highlander Research & Education Center; Movement for

Black Lives

Chris Love                                Progressive Strategist

Joanne Smith                                Founder & President, Girls for Gender Equity

Richard Wallace                        Executive Director, Equity and Transformation (EAT)

LaTosha Brown                        Co-founder, Black Voters Matter Fund

Cliff Albright                                Co-founder, Black Voters Matter Fund

Candice Fortin                                Political Organizer

dream hampton                        Filmmaker, writer

Tamieka Atkins                        

Jasmyne Cannick                        Journalist, Political Strategist

Jamal Watkins                                Vice President of Civic Engagement, NAACP

Markasa Tucker                        Director, African American Roundtable

Angela Rye                                

Monique “Mo” George                        Co-founder, Workers for Racial Equity

Mark Anthony Clayton-Johnson        Founder, Frontlines Wellness Network

Reverend Jennifer Bailey                Executive Director, Faith Matters Network

Maria Harmon                                Co-Executive Director, Step Up Louisiana

Christina Livingston                        Executive Director, ACCE Action

Amanda Alexander                        Founder and Executive Director, Detroit Justice Center

Glenn Harris                                Race Forward

Patric Taylor                                Consultant; Board Member, Brand New Congress

Adrianne Shropshire                        Executive Director, BlackPAC

Loryn Carter                                concerned voter

Neal Carter                                Principal, Nu View Consulting

Gina Clayton Johnson                Founder and Executive Director, Essie Justice Group

Kandice Webber                        Co-founder, Houston Rising

Ashton P. Woods                        Director, Black Lives Matter Houston; candidate Houston

City Council

Barbara Ransby                        Historian, Author, Activist

Arielle Iniko Newton                        Community Organizer; Founder, Black Giving Fund

Mark Winston Griffith                        Executive Director, Brooklyn Movement Center

Anthonine Pierre                        Deputy Director, Brooklyn Movement Center

Afua Atta-Mensah                        Executive Director, Community Voices Heard Power

Jamilah Lemieux                        Writer, Communications Strategist

A.Salewa Ogunmefun                        Political Director, One Pennsylvania

April Reign                                Founder, #OscarsSoWhite

Judith Browne Dianis                        Civil Rights Attorney

James Rucker

Deanna Hoskins                        President/CEO, Just Leadership USA

Aisha Moodie Mills                        Democratic Strategist

Adaku Utah                                Harriet’s Apothecary

Everette R.H. Thompson                Director, Interfaith Organizing Initiative/Side With Love

adrienne maree brown                Emergent Strategy Ideation Institute

Montague Simmons                        Movement for Black Lives

Denise Perry                                Executive Director, Black Organizing for Leadership and

Dignity

Lena K. Gardner                        Executive Director, Black Lives of UU

Benjamin Dixon                        Founder, Progressive Army; Co-founder, The North Star

Sendolo Diaminah                        Carolina Federation

Laura Martin                                Executive Director, Progressive Leadership Alliance of

Nevada Action

Bree Carlson                                Deputy Director, People’s Action

Joy Blackwood                        Director of DC Strategy, People’s Action

Bettina Marshall                        HR Manager, People’s Action

Shireen Mitchell                                         Stop Online Violence Against Women

Campaign Zero

Anthony Thigpenn

Dr. Ron Daniels                                         Social and Political Activist

Ashley Allison                                The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights