BDS supporter Cori Bush wins Missouri congressional primary

Woman with megaphone leads marching protesters

Cori Bush, holding megaphone, shocked the Democratic establishment with her primary victory in Missouri on Tuesday.

Lawrence Bryant Reuters

In one of the most remarkable and inspiring primary elections in recent history, Cori Bush upset longtime incumbent Representative William Lacy Clay Jr.

Lacy Clay and his father have represented Missouri’s 1st congressional district for more than half a century.

Bush is a Ferguson activist, nurse, pastor and progressive leader.

Her campaign website emphasizes her pledge to “fight tooth and nail to eradicate targeted, hateful discrimination and enact federal policies that protect and uplift ALL people.”

She also notes there, “I fight because I know what it’s like to live paycheck to paycheck, to be burdened with student and medical debt, and to live day to day in St. Louis where poverty is violence, crime is rampant, and our unhoused community grows daily.”

Confronted by Lacy Clay in a deeply disturbing attack over her support for the boycott, divestment and sanctions movement, Bush stood strongly for BDS and did not simply back it as a free speech right as the Democratic platform does.

“Cori Bush has always been sympathetic to the BDS movement, and she stands in solidarity with the Palestinian people, just as they have stood in solidarity with Black Americans fighting for their own lives.”

Her campaign also pushed back against the Lacy Clay mailer for “digitally altering Cori’s skin tone” and for “falsely and grossly” accusing her of anti-Semitism for appearing in a photo alongside Palestinian American activist Linda Sarsour at an interfaith event to protest the US government’s caging of migrant children.

Her campaign’s response accused Lacy Clay of using the photo “to stoke fears of anti-Semitism and promote Islamophobia, both of which are unacceptable.”

The excitement over her victory from the Palestine rights community is palpable.
The Black-Palestine solidarity emerging out of the Ferguson Black Lives Matter movement is likely to grow as Bush is expected to win in November and join fellow BDS supporters Rashida Tlaib and Ilhan Omar in Washington.

Tlaib on Tuesday handily defeated her primary challenger, almost certainly ensuring she will return to Congress following November’s general election.

Omar faces a primary next week. Pro-Israel groups are channeling huge sums of money to her challenger.

Establishment Democrats should brace for long overdue change. The primary victories of Jamaal Bowman and Bush are sending a very strong progressive message.




At last, a Bush in US politics we can all rally behind. Cori and Jamal: great news for everyone who believes in democracy and equal rights. This isn't supposed to happen. The business-State-media nexus is supposed to ensure people like Cori and Jamal never get elected. Democracy is not supposed to deliver what the people want but what the rich and powerful want. In the UK, a vile campaign of vilification was mounted to ensure Corbyn was defeated. Even the bureaucrats in his own Party were against him. Make no mistake, the same will happen to Cori. Yet breaches of this kind renew our faith in democracy and the common folk. We can build a world of equal rights and co-operation, we can dismantle the huge disparities in wealth, we can defeat racism, we can rid the world of nuclear weapons, we can reverse climate change...Big claims. It won't come easily. It will be one step at a time and they will use every dirty trick they can to stop us. Maybe Victor Hugo was right when he said nothing is more powerful than idea that has come into its time. One day Cori or someone like her will be President, and the US will cease to be the international bully it has been for decades, at least. Take heart and out your shoulder to the wheel.

Michael F. Brown

Michael F. Brown is an independent journalist. His work and views have appeared in The International Herald Tribune,, The San Diego Union-Tribune, The News & Observer, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, The Washington Post and elsewhere.