Black Lives Matter wants the two women who shut down a Bernie Sanders event in Seattle on Saturday to publicly apologize to the Senator and Presidential Candidate.
They led organizers and the media to believe they are part of Black Lives Matter. It’s not hard to understand why. BLM is succeeding in its efforts to raise awareness and get action on the multitude of issues that are a direct consequence of structural racism. The Black Lives Matter movement is very loosely structured without a central organization. That provides freedom to activists and supporters, but it means that BLM is also vulnerable to groups who may wish to co-opt their national reputation, as occurred on Saturday. Adding to the confusion is the fact that there are many groups who use black lives matter as a rallying call.
This is explained in a tweet by Sean Jordon.
— Sean Jordan (@seanjjordan) August 9, 2015
In other words, there is an organization called Black Lives Matter. However, it’s also a rallying call for all sorts of groups who are seeking a variety of political objectives using a variety of approaches. For example the real BLM wants to work within the political system. Yes, they have demands and they want action. The group that Johnson and Willaford associate with has a very different approach and agenda.
The group is called Outside Agitators 206. Simply put, OA 206 wants to take the state apart and put it back together again as they want it.
These groups are not working together nor are they the same group even if individuals within them might support both groups.
OA is not on the list of endorsing organizations on the Black Lives Matter website.
In June, Outside Agitators 206 made its impression of the Black Lives Matter movement – and for that matter the Democratic Party when it reposted an article called Democrats Hope to Bury Black Lives Matter Under Election Blitz from a site called The Black Agenda Report.
According to the site, Glen Ford is its executive editor. From the very beginning of the article, Ford makes his views about the Black Lives Matter organization and the Democratic Party crystal clear.
The Democrats hope the Black Lives Matter movement, like the Occupy Wall Street movement, will disappear amid the hype of the coming election season. “The Democrats have mounted a systematic cooption-repression response that will intensify as the election season – and Black cities – heat up.” The Democrats understand that, for the movement to succeed, their party’s power over Black America must be broken.
In short, OA anticipates the demise of BLM, It has declared war on the Democratic Party and, in Ford’s words, “the NAACP, the Urban League, most Black local churches and labor organizations, fraternities and sororities, not to mention Jesse Jackson’s Rainbow-Push Coalition and “King Rat” Al Sharpton’s National Action Network – are annexes of the Democratic Party.”
I leave it to you to draw whatever conclusions you wish about Ford and OA 206’s silence when it come to the Republican Party, it’s policies and organizations.
On Sunday, the activists for Black Lives Matter made clear they do not support Johnson and Willaford’s actions in a petition on the site, change.org.
This petition, created by #BlackLivesMatter activists, demands that Marissa Johnson and Mara Willaford publicly apologize to Bernie Sanders.
Johnson and Willaford are the women who interrupted Bernie Sanders’ speech during a social security rally in Seattle and accused the audience of “white supremacist liberalism.”
#BlackLivesMatter activists believe that this type of behavior is inappropriate and counterproductive, and we will not support it.
It’s clear that contrary to Ford’s pronouncements about Black Lives Matter, it is succeeding. So much so that OA 206 activists tried to co-opt its name and national reputation to further its own agenda.
Johnson and Willaford owe Bernie Sanders a public apology, but they also owe one to Black Lives matter, its activists and supporters.
Image: Screen Grab from You-Tube Video