Sanders And O’Malley Appear Politically Tone Deaf To Black Lives Matter Protest In Phoenix

omalley-sanders
Democratic presidential candidates Martin O’Malley and Bernie Sanders were interrupted by “Black Lives Matter” protesters during a town hall style segment at Netroots Nation in Phoenix on Saturday. The former Maryland Governor and current Vermont Senator, as well as moderator Jose Antonio Vargas, seemed caught off guard at times, as they attempted to simultaneously respond to the protesters while also discussing other topics.

Black Alliance for Just Immigration national coordinator Tia Oso, and Black Lives Matter co-founder Patrisse Cullors each briefly occupied the stage to draw attention to critical issues related to structural racism in America. Cullors acknowledged that while she took no pleasure in shutting down the discussion between Vargas and O’Malley, she felt compelled to, because she contended:

We are in a state of emergency. If you do not feel that emergency, then you are not human. I want to hear concrete action plans.

When pressed for concrete answers, O’Malley and Sanders both seemed to stumble a bit. Governor O’Malley did receive considerable applause when he said all police departments should be required to have civilian review boards, but he struggled otherwise.

O’Malley’s most tone deaf moment came when he said:

Black lives matter. White lives matter. All lives matter.

He then repeated the statement a second time.

The problem with the “all lives matter” or “White lives matter” mantras are that they dismiss the significance of black lives by failing to acknowledge the reason for the “black lives matter” movement. In our culture, it is black lives that are systematically and disproportionately cut short by racist police officers, not white lives.

The slogan “black lives matter” is not saying “only black lives matter”. However, it is acknowledging that in an structurally racist culture, white lives already matter by default. By contrast, black lives have historically and are still often viewed as expendable by those who exercise power and authority, including most notably law enforcement officers. By adding the caveats that “white lives matter” and “all lives matter”, O’Malley was inadvertently speaking the language of the White supremacist, by invalidating black protesters claims to being disproportionately targeted for police killings.

As Martin O’Malley exited the stage, Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders had the opportunity to address the concerns of the “Black lives matter” protesters. Unfortunately, rather than seizing upon the moment to give voice to their concerns, Sanders began by saying:

Whoa, whoa, whoa. Let me talk about what I want to talk about for a moment.

To be sure, some of what Sanders talked about was relevant, but his approach was every bit as tone deaf as O’Malley’s. Sanders drew loud applause when he proclaimed that we should “invest in jobs and education, not jails and incarceration”, but other than that, he mostly floundered in front of the demonstrators.

At one point, a flustered Sanders added that “of course black lives matter” but then he went on to add “but if you don’t want me to be here…” and he looked prepared to exit early. Vargas was able to keep Sanders from departing and he asked the Senator a few more questions. Sanders articulated much of his policy agenda, but a lot of what he said was unrelated to the core issues of concern to the “Black lives matter” protesters.

Sanders and O’Malley are two of the most progressive candidates in the 2016 presidential race, and yet they both seemed unable to escape their comfort zones of white privilege to address the “Black lives matter” protesters in a substantive or even symbolically meaningful way. Their inability to do so, isn’t so much an indictment of the two men, as it is a recognition that White America has much work to do to address the state of emergency Patrisse Cullors alluded to.

White progressives, in particular, need to recognize that not only does White America have work to do, but so does “progressive” White America. If that wasn’t obvious before, it should be now.

133 Replies to “Sanders And O’Malley Appear Politically Tone Deaf To Black Lives Matter Protest In Phoenix”

  1. Wow. So much for caring about “The People’s Plight.” Sanders was going to leave rather than address this particular issue. Do Black Lives Matter to him? This is telling.

  2. He was prepared to leave because the protesters were being disrespectful by shouting down his attempts to explain his plans to solve the problems of America. Doing this to the people who are ON THE SIDE OF THE OPPRESSED like Bernie is NOT the way to go about getting this and other issues resolved. The protesters need to bring their energy to the white repugnantcons that are the problem!! This was not Bernie being “tone deaf”, it is the protesters being stupid and disrespectful!

  3. I highly doubt either Candidate is indifferent to Race Issues and Racial Inequality in our Country, what I am left wondering is why the Author of this piece feels the should have taken time from their “Town Hall” meeting to address the allegations of Organized Protesters. Do you not think it was a bit of a bully tactic for an organized protest to push their own agenda on an organized political Forum ? If these Black Life Matters folks want an legitimacy the should work through proper channels to organize a forum of their own, and invite candidates to speak with them and address their issues and concerns- Not attempt to Hijack an Even that was organized and planned to cover other issues.

  4. Clearly this article is biased toward Hillary, especially since at the end we are invited to sign up for Hillary’s campaign.

    Sanders did try to respond, but the protesters would not give him much of a chance to speak. When he was able to speak he did draw applause from the crowd at least 3 times. The organizers needed to better channel this justified anger into pointed questions. This is not “telling.”. Bernie’s lifetime record fighting racism is much longer and stronger than Hillary’s. What was telling is that when Hillary was confronted with environmental protesters in NH, she would not commit to ending our reliance on fossil fuels.

  5. My comment is awaiting “moderation”?? There is no foul language and my comment does not attack or demean anyone, so why don’t you be honest, page moderator, you just censure opinions you don’ like, loser!! (moderate that, mo fo!)

  6. If you have to ask that question then you don’t know much about the man and what he stands for. In his defense, he was there to give a speech not be grilled. Had they made their intentions known before hand and asked to have him respond to questions from them instead of ambushing him at his own speech you may have seen a different out come.

  7. Disrespecting a man who has fought for civil rights for 50 years shows no class. Disrespecting a room full of people who support them shows no class. They didn’t do anything to make their fight better. They created division. Maybe they would’ve heard some answers to some of their concerns if they would’ve just listened. Netroots should’ve controlled the situation, and they didn’t. Shame on them too. It made their convention look like the Jerry Springer show. I’m glad we didn’t waste our money this year attending.

  8. Sad! To act like the cause is an inconvenience to the message, is not going to fly in today’s pc speed world. Each of the dems running this time have distinct faults that are showing in their message and policy… especially message.

    For Sanders, the gun thing was already making me a little leary even though the rest of his message has been spot on. The failure to even have a cogent response is severely disapointing. Presidents have to deal with inconvenient tragedies and news too…and this one is how many months old now?

    O’Malley fails to realize his failures in Baltimore led to their issues with the cops being corrupt.

    Both men need to realize that they need to address all issues nationwide now in their runs for president in order to win. Being tone-deaf is going to simply hand the nomination to Hillary on a gold platter. I am not necessarily opposed to Hillary but, shes done nothing to win me over either. As long as a republican doesn’t win, that is what truly ma…

  9. Bernie needs to address reparations and Guaranteed Basic Income.

    RACISM: Full Show: Facing the Truth: The Case for Reparations http://billmoyers.com/episode/facing-the-truth-the-case-for-reparations/

    Links to Guaranteed Basic Income.
    7-3-15: What’s Good About Guaranteed Basic Income http://www.truth-out.org/opinion/item/31721-what-s-good-about-guaranteed-basic-income
    5-27-15: The Basic Affordability of Basic Income http://www.huffingtonpost.com/scott-santens/the-economist-just-came-o_b_7447312.html
    Another Fight for 15: A $15,000 Dividend for Every US Family http://truth-out.org/buzzflash/commentary/another-fight-for-15-a-15-000-dividend-for-every-american-family
    What we could learn from Alaska when it comes to sharing wealth. http://www.alternet.org/economy/what-we-could-learn-alaska-when-it-comes-sharing-wealth?akid=12905.277680.Fty2d7&rd=1&src=newsletter1033476&t=12

  10. Bernie DID answer the question, to a certain extent. He recognized the issue when he gave the statistics on what black people face in terms of unemployment, violence, and incarceration. He also said that police must be community based, but did not elaborate on that as he has elsewhere. He has also said elsewhere that police absolutely MUST be held accountable for their actions. He also believes that closing the income equality gap is an important part of addressing all minority issues, although I don’t feel that came across clearly at this meeting. This was not Bernie at his best, but to say that he isn’t aware of the needs of minorities or wouldn’t work toward resolution is ludicrous. As he said, he’s been fighting for civil rights and dignity for fifty years. He is the only candidate, Democrat or Republican that is on THEIR side, and if they give him a chance to answer questions instead of trying to shout him down they just might realize that.

  11. http://www.sanders.senate.gov/newsroom/video-audio/sanders-civil-rights-record

    I think Bernie’s civil rights record does show that he definitely thinks that black lives matter. To suggest that he does not is disrespectful. It would be great if events were organized and prepared to focus on these issues. Minorities don’t seem to know the guy. He does need to address issues on race issues and police brutality more than he already has if he is going to attract minorities. To suggest that he does not think black lives matter is absolutely asinine and is hurting the chances of someone who focuses on issues that affect minority Americans.

  12. As Senator Sanders pointed out he’s been a leader for civil rights issues for over 50 years. I saw him speak in Maine two weeks ago and he spent a great deal of time addressing substantive ways to deal with the ways our country’s absurd income inequality problems disproportionately affect blacks and other minorities. If he had been given a platform to speak (instead of being bullied off the stage) the audience would have heard his message. I fully appreciate the need for highlighting the systemic racism that exists in this country, but out of all the people to shout protests at Bernie Sanders is probably the least deserving.

  13. I am constantly amazed by some of the articles I read. Tone deaf??????? Seriously!!!! Obviously, such a heading does not apply to Bernie Sanders. There is a tone deafness in politics, but that applies to those who spend so much time talking to themselves that they are paying no attention to what Bernie is saying. Far be it from me to repeat what Bernie is saying. He says it better than I do. But let me just cancel this article with one single word. REVOLUTION!!! Look it up. Take it in. Let it seep into your skin. Let it permeate you mind. Let it open your heart. And after you have done that, get back to me with your refreshed understanding. Until then, confine your comments and editorials to realms with which you are familiar. Realms which do not include Bernie Sanders.

  14. Take a look at Bernie’s record. He was staging sit-ins AGAINST segregation in the 60s. He marched on Washington with MLK. He has talked about how black youth unemployment is at 51% and how we need to change that, and many other things. If you watch the video of the speeches, Bernie wasn’t given a chance to talk. Look him up. Look up his views on Civil Rights. #BlackLIvesMatter

  15. That WAS his chance and he had nothing. This is how Bernie keeps getting elected, by yelling the same things over and over again and acting angry. It’s worked for him for many years, but he’s in the big leagues now. If he can’t answer questions about things he’s supposed to care about, what’s that say about him?

  16. Try this article…it more clearly articulates what happened.

    http://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2015/jul/18/martin-omalley-bernie-sanders-interrupted-hecklers-phoenix?CMP=fb_us

    Bernie Sanders is the best chance for all of us. Yes, #BlackLivesMatter, and Ms. Bland was very likely murdered by police in Texas. This is a huge issue, but you have to realize that Bernie Sanders has been fighting this for his entire career, has a plan, and didn’t get to talk about it….Do some research and you will see he is for racial equality. He is for all of us. We are the 99%.

  17. Something is up with this odd timing why would you protest Sanders when he is the one championing your cause he marched with Rev King it’s like yelling at a teacher for a student’s cuts in education

  18. I agree with some of what you say, but I also am aware that in America “going through proper channels” has a different meaning to many black people than it does to people who are not routinely denied access to “proper channels”.

    That doesn’t necessarily mean this particular protest couldn’t have been conducted in a different fashion, but it does mean that people who are systematically oppressed often feel that they don’t have any “proper” channels left that they can go through.

  19. I strongly disagree with your conclusions, John. This article shows no bias, but relays the events describe accurately and concisely. That you don’t like it, does not make it less true.

  20. Any time you say to POC they “need to” do something other than what they have done, you show the inherent elitism and racial superiority of the progressive movement.

    Bernie “needs to” listen and respond and he needs to explain loudly and with real empathy to POC why he voted to protect the Minutemen, why he defends the NRA, why he has been MIA in EVERY shooting of unarmed and innocent Black people, and where he freaking was when he was NOT in Charleston for the memorials. He INTERRUPTED the Capitol lawn memorial for the Charleston victims holding HIS rally on pensions.

    Tone deaf is a massive understatement. His actions have been unforgivable and arrogant. He has to change NOW or he’s toast.

  21. I should point out that I have no control over the ads that appear on the page. This may surprise people reading this article, but my intention is to support Sanders in the Democratic primary and to support whichever Democrat is nominated over any Republican in the general election.

  22. Oh honey – come the revolution, you’ll be the first to go. White progs are just kulaks. NEVER think you lead. You’re just self deceptive. Any REAL revolution won’t involve any of you at all except as examples of what went wrong. Read up on the aftermath of social revolutions. It ain’t pretty.

  23. If Bernie Sanders or any other candidate does not address about racism in our country, you are skipping a very important part of today’s Politics. Another point, Bernie seems to be taking Immigration lightly and that does not fit with most of the democrats. That and some other issues for this coming elections have to be taken seriously or it will become the “Achilles Tendon” for Sanders and any other candidate for president.

  24. any negative statements about bernie sanders well ur wrong, and bernie sanders is not, the problem is the gop not bernie sanders

  25. You have got to be joking. Learn some history, this guy marched with MArtin Luther King Jr and was arrested protesting for civil rights. All he has stood for during his 50 year career is socioeconomic equality, civil rights, and equal rights for all. The BLM protestors have a powerful case, but they are aiming their ire at someone who has been trying to help their cause.

  26. Bernie wants to equalize economic power for all people, including people of color. Only when there is economic equality will racism lose its power. Bernie is the only candidate who is willing to bring about economic equality.

  27. Give Bernie & Mr. O’malley a break, this was the element of surprise, sorta. Now if this had been Smooth…uhh.. President Obama…but they weren’t unfortunately. But the lady should’ve taken a different approach. Besides it was should I say:Rude & disruptive?

  28. I guess when you think about it, the protesters are in the wrong here. I understand that their issue is a big one thanks to the killings that have happened over the last few years.

    But, to basically barge in and interrupt a town hall event just makes your group look bad. Think about it: Both of those guys, along with the other candidates for the Democratic nomination, will probably mention something about the issue brought up. It might not be right now, but I believe that it’s going to be soon.

  29. This is not explicitly a Hillary site or a Bernie site, it is a liberal political web site with a mix of writers, some of whom are Clinton supporters, some of whom are Sanders supporters, and some who are undecided but will support the Democratic Party nominee.

    For my part, I have written critical things about both Clinton and Sanders, and Obama for that matter, and glowing things about each of them as well. I actually consider myself to be in Sanders’ camp as far as who I plan to vote for in 2016, but my support for him, like my support for Obama in both 2008 and 2012, doesn’t mean I will agree with everything he says and does.

    Likewise, I don’t expect PoliticusUSA readers to agree with everything I write. Liberals/progressives/Democrats can and do disagree with one another sometimes, and that isn’t necessarily a bad thing.

  30. I would say no comment but look at the front page and then count how many articles are on Clinton and then compare that to Sanders

  31. “But, to basically barge in and interrupt a town hall event just makes your group look bad.”

    Really? As bad as being shot down in the streets; choked to death; hanged in jail cells? As bad as all that?

    Ask why are there so few POC at Bernie rallies? Instead of TELLING black folks what they should or should not do. YOU don’t have the right. And black folks don’t need your validation.

  32. I don’t think the protesters alienated him. He may have alienated the protesters.

    By that I mean that politicians who are concerned about justice usually aren’t motivated by the desire for those they are fighting for to express gratitude as much as they are truly motivated to make a difference with or without recognition from those they are working for.

    I don’t doubt Sanders’ sincerity, so I expect he probably isn’t feeling alienated from fighting for justice, just because he was interrupted by protesters. Sanders’ intentions are fine, its his delivery that could use a little fine tuning.

  33. Sanders has a problem. The majority of the people at his rallies are white. Why is that? If he wants to be President, he has to win over Black and Hispanic voters.

    These demographics may not be comfy with either Bernie or O’Malley. More than likely, they will vote for Hilary, who them know and trust more.
    O’Malley and Sanders need to appeal to non white voters, who have issues whites do not have.

  34. Yeah, he is so politically tone deaf to black people that he was arrested protesting segregation in schools at the University of Chicago, OR took a bus filled with civil rights activists to participate in the march on washington alongside Martin Luther King Jr. Bernie has fought for equal rights his entire life, and this has been documented. He will continue to fight for equality. Take for example his remarks about the “Stain of racism” and creating a world where african americans aren’t harrassed, shot and killed and profiled by police officers in the street. Quit trying to divide Americans by getting out on technicalities about an equal rights movement mantra.

  35. And NO, Bernie has not taken any issue lightly. If asked, Bernie will tell you straight forward exactly what he believes. He is bound by millions of dollars to protect ANYBODY’S special interests. There are tons of places to go on the internet to hear him speak LOUDLY AND CLEARLY about racism and equality.

  36. Really Does NOT Matter one way or the other…For When the dust settles Ms.Hillary Clinton…..Will STILL Capture the Lopsided Vote of The Black/Hispanic/Latino Voters ANYWAY..!!!!!…GO HILLARY…!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  37. The candidates for the Democratic Party must make reforming the Criminal Justice System a top priority on a local, state, and National level if they are going to win votes from young Black voters.

    An emotional issue must become a sound public policy concern.BLM must advance from the protest to the legislation, into law.

    They must get involved in local elections, keep an eye on judges, county prosecutors,elected officials,and getting an understanding of the law.

    This will take time and effort. Slavery and Jim Crow did not end overnight.

  38. Supporting Sanders is a waste of time. Clinton will be the nominee. Sanders is no Obama. Sanders is Dean. He is Eugene McCarthy. He makes certain types feel good for a bit… then he loses. He’ll be gone by February. O’malley will be gone after Iowa. If you care about stopping Bush get with Hillary now.

  39. I guess he marched with Martin Luther king just to kill time then…?
    He has been clear about his stances and intended policies. He doesn’t need to tweet out a sympathy message as a box to check for protesters’ approval. What is better is to prove with your time and actions what you believe in, and Bernie has 40 years of trying to support poc against the same system you speak of.

  40. Yes, Sanders marched with Dr. King.

    But, if you have to go back 50 years to tout Bernie’s Civil Rights efforts…..

    That’s exactly why he should be asked for an update on his record and we need to know what he would do as President to improve race relations or his plans to address issues of inequality.

    I did point out weeks ago Bernie’s events and crowds – unlike Hillary’s – lacked diversity.

  41. That’s what town hall meetings are for. That’s why town hall meetings are held, to allow your constituents to make their voices be heard. They were bullied, not Bernie.

  42. I have done a lot of research for the past few months, and nowhere have I found anything about Bernie being arrested, except when he is telling the story. I have however found that he had protesters arrested in 1999 and 2007. I didn’t start out looking to dig up dirt on him, but so far I don’t like what I have found.

  43. “You have to realize…” is patronizing. YOU have to pay attention to the fact he did something 52 years ago and NOT SINCE. Racial equity requires US to understand that right now we all have privilege and Black people are dying in droves. No jobs bill, no pay hike, no stand against Wall Street will change that. BlackLivesMatters did what YOU all want to do – interrupted and required accountability for a person IN POWER. And he blew it. Big time.

  44. I will say that I saw this coming when I covered the Ferguson protests for this site. The feedback I got from demonstrators was that they needed to wake up the Democratic Party when it came to racial issues, especially regarding local law enforcement and the justice system. This was something that had been in the works for quite a while and we should expect to see more ‘actions’ in the near future.

    Having said that, this was nothing more than some showboating BS. This wasn’t a seminal moment in civil disobedience in an effort to switch the discourse towards true racial equality. No. This crap is just about keeping the ‘movement’ in the national conversation. Sadly, the movement has no direction, other than the occasional ‘protest’.

    What began as a real call for action has sadly denigrated to displays for attention like this. There is no real plan beyond just causing commotion anymore. It is just about creating newsworthy actions and perhaps getting activists some cred with…

  45. I am not sure why a lot of writers have determined this is a “Bernie” problem. What about Hillary? The frontrunner? Is the group planning on disrupting her next meeting? Will the group yell at her, “Say My Name?” Will BLM ask why, when Bernie was supporting the Civil Rights effort in the 60’s, Hillary was campaigning for Barry Goldwater? Will the group ask Hillary how she can take money from the Big banks when they red-lined black communities, foreclosed on mortgages and turned down loans for middle class African Americans. Will Black Lives Matter shout down the President during his next speech? Why, for god’s sake would the group disrupt a meeting of people who support them…or did support them. The display yesterday did more to hurt their efforts than to help. It is just stupid to spit in the face of your supporters.

  46. What about Hillary? She doesn’t have to answer the same questions. Did BLM stage this shout-out as a way of supporting her? Why choose an even where the frontrunner is not present?

  47. I tried to respond to Mr. Brekhus, but my response has vanished and I’m not going to try again. I’ll say only that no one or group of people who try to take over someone else’s meeting has any right to expect respect in return. Goodbye.

  48. The protesters are entirely ignorant of Sanders’ record in Senate, the House, and as a private activist in his youth. While young Hillary was campaigning for Republican Barry Goldwater (an avowed opponent of the Civil Rights Act) in the early 1960’s, Bernie was organizing and leading the first active protests for civil rights at the University of Chicago – initially over the segregated student house at the school. He marched to Washington to MLKs “Dream” speech;…over the years he has been in the thick of the fight for social justice.

    I would hope the “Black Lives Matter” protesters would care about this, or at least try to find out, before they do another blind hit on behalf of the deceitful Clinton campaign.

    I would hope the “Black Lives Matter

  49. While the young miss Rodham was campaigning for Republican Barry Goldwater (who explicitly opposed the Civil Rights Act) in the early 1960’s, Bernie Sanders was organizing and leading the very first, and successful, civil rights protests at the University of Chicago ( – the “FIRST” aught to mean something…) He got student housing desegregated. He marched with MLK to the “Dream” Speech….and since then has literally been in the forefront of the civil rights struggle.

    Do the “Black Lives Matter” protesters give a shit about such things like a proven track record? This is truly sad and entirely counterproductive.

  50. I’ve been listening to Bernie on the radio for an hour a week for over a decade. He has always promoted the idea of a guaranteed minimum income for all households. Anybody know Mrs. Clinton’s position on this one? …of course not.

  51. “Sanders’ gun stance is untenable”

    Sure, if you ask the freaking NRA! They
    rate him a “D” or an “F” year after year. He voted against assault weapons, against large magazines, and for extended background checks and waiting periods. He has two votes against holding gun manufacturers liable for gun murders, because there was better more logical legislation pending about marketing practices….Ignorance is really dangerous in a democracy – people should try learning some facts instead of buying the bullshit pouring our of Mrs. Clinton’s campaign

  52. “Defending the NRA” means nothing. Sanders is given a “D” or an “F” every year. He intends to remove corporate money from our politics, which will make the NRA – and Mrs.Clinton – disappear from the stage completely.

  53. “Defends the NRA” means nothing. Sanders is given a “D” or an “F” every year by that predatory organization. He intends to remove corporate money from our politics, which will make the NRA – and Mrs. Clinton – disappear from the stage for good.

  54. Hecklers gonna heckle. Let’s see how far they get with Republican candidates, if they can even get near them. Take your crusade to those who are actually do your cause harm.

  55. Absolutely not. This isn’t Keith’s blog, where it’s all about Keith’s opinion. This is a political article, written by Keith, that presents what happened.

  56. djchefron asks:

    “That sounds great but exactly how will he remove corporate money from politics?”

    Beating Mrs. Clinton will be a great start. Bernie absolutely refuses to accept corporate donations to his campaigns – always has. His money comes from unions and citizens organizations – so you can see he represents people, and not industries. Your question exhibits a sad fatalism about politics – as if you do not believe that voting and organizing can actually bring about change – that’s a shame.

  57. All lives matter. Only will Black lives Matter is when Blacks STOP killing BLACKS.

    I thought I would not be saying this but we liberals are only telling one side of the story. We are not better than the rightwinger/tea partiers. (When they are only telling one side of the story only to promote their agenda).

  58. Sanders was an organizer for the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee and participated in the historic March on Washington in 1963 as a 22-year-old student at the University of Chicago. “It was a question for me of just basic justice — the fact that it was not acceptable in America at that point that you had large numbers of African-Americans who couldn’t vote, who couldn’t eat in a restaurant, whose kids were going to segregated schools, who couldn’t get hotel accommodations living in segregated housing,” he told the Burlington Free Press. “That was clearly a major American injustice and something that had to be dealt with.”

    http://www.npr.org/sections/it

  59. The ‘politically tone deaf’ were the protestors …if that is what they really are. They may be agent provocateurs. What are their creds ?
    Anyway …wrong forum, and ambush tactics don’t sit well with me. Their stridency and rabble-rousing actually hurts their supposed message, and could be what they’re really about.

    Same thing happened with OWS in my neighborhood. It started out fine and energized. Then, the AP’s showed up: skinheads and other criminal elements, and they hijacked the local movement. The stupid ‘liberals’ got suckered and I walked away, along with many of the early participants. The message got diverted from protesting the big banks and corporations to being a bunch of loud and dirty ‘homeless’ advocates.

  60. …OK, I’m gonna open by stating I know “Black Lives Matter” a lot…
    …however ambushing a candidate and barely letting him talk is rude, to say the least…
    …but what really bugs the {32 rapid-fire expletives deleted} outta me is those who just gotta denigrate Bernie, or say something like “So he was for Civil Rights in the ’60s…WTF HAS HE DONE FOR US LATELY?!?!?! “That’s just Bullshit …
    …look, I’ve been on this planet since 1964, and have been {more or less} watching the papers since 1973…election season is a time when otherwise thoughtful peeps go insane; but if we Dems cannot stick to our usual{more-or-less} respectful discourse WE CAN PRETTY MUCH KISS THIS G.D. NATION BYE-BYE…

  61. …because the infighting and political skulduggery is what is disgusting moderate fluckin’ voters to the point where they figure that thier votes don’t count…might as well stay home!!!
    …if we’re gonna get rid o’ Teahadists, NeoConArtists and Teatards. we HAVE gotta remind “We the People” that it’s up to them.{actually us…lol}
    …let’s shoot down trolls and moles and just pull for our fave candidate…but come the General Election season we need to get behind who-so-fluckin’-EVER is our candidate…

  62. My my what a funny little troll you are. I almost regret retiring from the battlefield. This is the wrong venue for flaming in the first place.
    I think I probably know you, you sound so familiar over a dozen years.
    Sadly it takes more time and energy that I want to spend playing games with the likes of you in my dotage.
    But I will watch for you. I always need a good laugh. Don’t give up. You will get better with a little practice. Until then…[WINK]

  63. http://www.sanders.senate.gov/newsroom/press-releases/sanders-backs-voting-rights-bill_—–

    WASHINGTON, June 24 – Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) issued the following statement on Wednesday endorsing legislation introduced in the Senate to restore the Voting Rights Act:

    “The Supreme Court’s 2013 decision gutting the Voting Rights Act was a shameful step backward. The critical civil rights law which protected voters in places with a history of discrimination is as necessary today as it was in the era of Jim Crow laws. We should do everything possible to guarantee the right to vote, not make it harder for people to cast ballots. That’s why I strongly support the Voting Rights Advancement Act of 2015.”

  64. @djchefron

    How? Well, by yelling and shouting, of course! I mean, Congress will buckle for him the moment he pounds his fist and demand that they pass legislation (because, of course, Congress drafts and passes laws, not the president) that would take corporate money out of politics and Washington DC, dontcha know?
    *rolling eyes*

    Makes you wonder if his supporters are simply idealists with no sense of political reality. It would explain their dislike of President Obama for not doing what they wanted him to do – as if he had a magic wand. Ugh.

  65. Not to mention his NO-vote on immigration reform (cuz it would harm (White) American workers’ wages – a Republican meme, btw) and his vote to protect the Minutemen on the southern border that, three years later, resulted in the murder of a nine year old American citizen who happened to have a Spanish last name. Google Brisenia Flores.

    This will not make him look favorable in the eyes of Hispanics, and his pro-gun votes and silence on police violence on Black people won’t make him a favored among Blacks. Strangely, it makes him very popular among the Whites. Hm.

  66. just want to say I frequent this website a lot and I am a proud lib and dem but the disrespect the crowd showed those two was uncalled for AND I do understand the anger BUT this time is was misdirected and only gives the rightwing more ammo. that is my humble opinion.

  67. you sir are hardly a liberal. what does black on black murder and crime have to do with police officers and their racially insensitive policing methods and killing unarmed, innocent black folks??? what about all the white on white crime??? you are a rightwing zombie and a fox news parrot. nothing more- nothing less.

  68. Then Representative Sanders voted against comprehensive immigration reform in 2007 – when Democrats had control of the House, when it could’ve passed.

    He turned that around and voted FOR comprehensive immigration reform in 2013 – when Republicans infested the House, knowing it would never pass.

    Says all you need to know about him as a pro-immigration reform advocate, doesn’t it?

  69. Bernie Sanders has been on the right side of the civil rights issue for decades. As recently as a week ago, he talked about the over-militarization of our police forces, the unfair and often racist economic situations in our black communities, and the over-incarceration of our young black men. That is most definitely NOT tone deafness. So he was caught off guard and stumbled a bit. Truth is, Bernie Sanders is a civil rights warrior, and a warrior for equal rights in general.

    Looks like PoliticsUSA got caught up in an attempted smear campaign. Very unprofessional.

  70. You know what dumbass, PoliticsUSA has been very supportive of Sen Sanders. This is the shit I have been railing about. Unless you bend down and smell Sanders dirty drawers then you are criticizing him.

  71. Look, the black population has to start taking some responsibility for their own actions. Yes, you can certainly be a liberal and not have to kowtow to every special interest group, you know.

  72. You’re right, but too many on the left have gotten so that only one point of view is ‘allowed’, just like with the tea baggers and their rigid ideology.

  73. Why Both Sides Are Wrong
    If his research can be believed, psychologist John Gottman can tell you with about 90% accuracy whether you’re going to stay with your partner or split up. It’s really not that complicated, actually, and his findings match what we’d intuitively expect. Couples that treat each other with contempt don’t have good long-term relationships. Happy couples listen to each other, particularly about those things that one of them feels is important. If you focus on the negatives in your wife, she’s not going to want to stick around, but people who look for the positives make good lifelong mates.

    However you want to define white progressives, black progressives, Latino progressives, Democrats or liberals, what happened at Netroots Nation during the appearances there of presidential candidates Martin O’Malley and Bernie Sanders (and particularly what has happened since) is a classic example of shitty relationship management.
    Read More
    http://www.boomantribune.com/story/2015/7/20/2278/85492

  74. Sometimes I cannot tell the difference between the political parties when it comes to their inevitable hissy-fits concerning who is the more ‘perfect’ example of their party, or who is to blame more for the latest debacle.

    But, entertaining nonetheless.

  75. Sen. Sanders was protesting racial inequality before most supporters here were even born. He has been supporting minority rights for decades & those that question this KNOW NOTHING about Bernie & need to educate themselves about him. As far as being prepared to address the concerns of the BLM activists, he couldn’t answer because they WOULDN’T SHUT UP & give him a chance. They didn’t want answers, they were being rude & just wanted to hear themselves & have their 15 minutes of fame. Bernie Sanders is the champion of ALL AMERICANS regardless of race, gender, sexual orientation, etc… To question his stand on this is stupid, BLM needs to take this action, this message to the
    Reich Wing gatherings…not preach to the choir.

  76. Anyone saying “Bernie blew it”, had a chance to address BLM’s issues & didn’t….well did you actually see & hear the protest?? HE COULDN’T ANSWER because THEY wouldn’t shut up. The BLM just kept over shouting Sen. Sanders with chants like “Say my name, say my name”.
    Here’s a clue….if you want an answer to a question you ask….you have to SHUT UP & LISTEN.!

  77. These kinds of issues occur because of lack of diversity within the inner circles of the candidates, especially when dealing with social media and community outreach. It doesn’t necessarily show ill will, but rather a lack of awareness of the communities affected past hashtags and associated memes.

    Although Bernie Sanders marched with King and participated in the Civil Rights movement, he may not have people on his staff or within his circle of trusted advisors to let him know the movement has changed and these issues are now at the forefront. Instead of pressing forward with the current infrastructure in place, his campaign should move to add the diversity so the entire progressive and liberal diaspora can be accessed.

  78. So, unless a politician kisses the azzes of blacks, he’s to be disparaged? Black lives don’t matter any more than white lives and vice versa. Why pander to these people at all? Just take a just stand and stick with it.

  79. This is why Sanders will never be President with supporters like you
    “In the End, we will remember not the words of our enemies, but the silence of our friends.” – Dr. Martin Luther King

  80. Does Sanders have to pander to a minority group to gain credence? Isn’t his message of economic justice to apply to everyone? As someone who is fairly liberal, I’m tired of the race card being flung down constantly. If black lives matter so much to blacks, then why are they slaughtering each other at such a horrendous rate? I’m sorry O’Malley backed down, he should have told those people to go pound salt.

  81. Ken, I believe it is possible that voting and organizing can bring about change, but as we see with President Obama’s 8 year pursuit of Wall Street funding, it is going to take more than simply voting and organizing to bring about change on that level. For the left to win nationally, it is going to require some new innovations (probably technical since they have hamstrung the poor’s mobility otherwise) and borrow some pages from Saul Alinsky’s textbook to readjust the leverage that huge sums of money provide. There are surely ways but as of yet they do not appear to have shown their face.

  82. Charlotte, you are absolutely correct in your assessments and observations about Bernie and Hillary. Thank you for your well-thought-out contribution. It added significantly to the debate here. Unfortunately, in politics 99% of reality is perception, rarely fact.

  83. …Black Lives Matter…
    Yeah, this needs to be acknowledged but more importantly needs to be ADDRESSED seriously…no lip service, but immediate action…
    …when a politician thinks he is gonna just make a speech; answer a few questions and go…they ain’t really prepped for engaging with activists…that takes a bit more research; so I’m really not impressed by the activist ambush…especially because they wouldn’t even let him talk!!!

  84. You’re the one equating “white” and “American.”

    Sanders’ concerns about guest worker programs have to do with the fact that too often such programs become a convenient way to exploit cheap labor, when companies claim that there are no people here that can already do the work. He’s also spoken out about the worst sort of exploitation of immigrants, where workers are intimidated by employers because of their lack of papers into accepting degrading, inhuman conditions.

  85. “Democrats never agree on anything, that’s why they’re Democrats. If they agreed with each other, they would be Republicans.”

    ~ Will Rogers

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