"I am unable to take the position on this." Gutsy move, author.
"White folks don’t ever want to talk about race."

He must be new to Slog. 100s of white people here have typed a million words about race for god knows how long. But I think I get a scents of his peace pipe. Let's stop Typing non-stop about race, and Talk about it. hate to add this, but i don't mean talking about it on the podcast Blibbermouth.
I have said this before, I will now say it again. There is a clear double standard in effect here. The Fake BLM narcissists verbally threatened and physically assaulted the eldery speaker that had introduced Sanders. Thats great that you were there to protect the Fake BLM narcissists. If the situation was reversed and they had been speaking at their own event and a group of elderly white men rose up and verbally and physically assaulted the Fake BLM ladies, what would your reaction have been then. I'll tell you what, those theoretical old guys wouldn't have gotten within 5 feet of the microphone. Mic drop.
Gyasi Ross, I appreciate your calm and matter of fact perspective. I am glad you were there, for many reasons. Thank you for taking the time to write this truth for us.
"White folks don’t ever want to talk about race."

I get that maybe in general across the nation white folks don't wanna talk about race but in Seattle, at a social security rally, race was absolutely talked about. And the following day at the BLM march, white folks talked about race. It's never going to be good enough. So long as they can point to a single white people and say "they're not talking about race" this statement will spread and white people will be blamed for what stupid and ignorant people do with their time, rather than judging people based on how they act. I'm not going to say it, but you just gotta think about the kind of response to this from "the other side". Black people just wanna make crime. Neither are true, let's move past this bullshit.
Thanks @6, for proving all the other commentors above you are absolutely wrong...
"What are you doing? You're only up here for the photo op." - Mara Willaford, advocate for black womxn, to KL Shannon, the black woman keeping white men from putting hands on her. For real.

Very well said Gyasi.

sigh...slog has basically been taken over by racist idiots.

@7 You just did exactly the same thing the author is complaining about. You dismissed the views of everyone else because of one person's comment. Pot, meet kettle.

The reluctance of some people to support the BlackLivesMatter ORGANIZATION because of these two people's actions doesn't mean that they now support the killing of black people by police.
I'm with Beth @4 Thank you Gyasi Ross for laying it out so well.
And thank you Philo for your tireless work reminding us that racism in al its varietals, both overt and subtle, continues to bloom in our fair city, and that we are far from the bastion of progressive values we wish to be.
"According to the Bureau of Justice Statistics, US Department of Justice, Office of Justice Programs at least 70% of the violent victimizations experienced by American Indians are committed by persons not of the same race— a substantially higher rate of interracial violence than experienced by white or black victims.

• In a 2006 study, 96% of American Indian respondents who had been a victim of rape or sexual assault had experienced other physical abuse as well.

• During a physical assault, American Indian and Alaska Native women were more likely to be injured than women of all other groups and more of these injuries needed medical care."

@13: Do you have an alternative in mind? And do you think that it will be something black activists will be inclined to get on board with?
See I don't think we or our opinions as white people are as relevant to black activists and their agenda as we seem to think.
Endless internet harrumphing and flouncing and finger wagging on our part may all be for nothing.
They may not care anymore if we support them or not, let alone if we find their tone or tactics objectionable.
Thanks for the editorial.
Do yourselves a favor BLM and hire a PR firm, man, woman, child, someone, anyone. The loose cannon is imploding.
@20 agreed.
I am fine with activists trying to gain attention this way. It's healthy and Bernie is fair game to be challenged on issues like this. It makes him a better candidate. Those women certainly have every right to be angry as well. Making people uncomfortable by bringing up -- loudly -- issues that they do not want to talk about is a good thing. Someone has to force these conversations.

But when I watch the video of it, it looks like they went too far. They were physically jostling Bernie and the elderly event organizer who went to the mic after him. The distress on the latter's face is particularly jarring. It's one thing to use someone else's stage to give yourself a voice and visibility. It's another thing to steal that stage and prevent anyone else from using it. Honestly I think those women expected to be escorted away by security and didn't have a plan for what to do when that didn't happen.

I live in a community neighboring Sanford, where Trayvon Martin was killed. Police violence is one of the most important issues to me and has been for a long time. Yet I couldn't help but feel bad for the organizers of that event. They were forced into a no-win situation and they didn't really deserve it.
It was out-of-hand. It violated decorum. In the ‘big picture’ it will add up to a better outcome for the Good of the Many
i highly doubt the situation has made bernie uncomfortable. it makes no sense to admonish bernie for not doing enough when other candidates are doing less. it's like a person giving food to a homeless and the homeless person turning it away because they're picky eaters and giving you shit for trying to help.

like 23 said, framing white people as racists then asking them to talk about race will get you no where, because white people will only defend themselves and explain they're not racist for so long. then they'll throw their hands up in the air and 'prove you right' by not caring about whatever you're trying to say about the inequality you face at the hands of actual racists.

if i could snap my fingers and change the racist structure of govt entities i would, but not even obama can do that and he arguably has the highest civil position any person could possibly have in the country. don't make enemies of your allies.

See, here's the thing: white people have so much privilege, our racial attitudes are so ingrained, we can't even see our own bias, even when we articulate it. Just because one doesn't overtly express hatred for black people, doesn't mean they don't benefit from systemic racism. But in order to avoid admitting this, we often create a dichotomous syllogism, whereby: "People who express racist attitudes are bad. I don't express racists attitudes, therefore, I am good," which only serves to insulate us from contemplation of how we benefit from systemic racism; to the point that, frequently, we become defensive when we're called upon - almost always by people of color - to confront this fact about ourselves.

The truth is, there isn't a single white person in this country who can say, definitively, that they don't, in some fashion, derive benefit from a culture that collectively holds people of color (despite the significant contributions and accomplishments of individual members of that group), in less esteem than themselves. They fail to recognize what is quite obvious to any person of color: that white, by default, is ALWAYS better than black. Or brown. Or red, or yellow, or any other color different from our own. Anyone who claims otherwise simply hasn't taken the time or effort to really look closely at their own privilege, and the accumulated privilege of white people, and come to terms with it.

Therefore, I stand by my statement.
the 2 interrupters are insignificant, they are not fighting to put themselves in positions that will change the system. yelling and screaming will not change the system. if bernie is elected he WILL bring much needed change and not to appease the people but because it is the right thing to do.

he's not thinking of interrupting one speech, he's thinking of interrupting the whole damn oligarchy that is at the reins driving this corrupt govt roughshod over everybody.
I third it with @4 & @14: Well said, Gyasi Ross.
the one thing i hardly ever hear people talk about is that racism is learned behavior. who's teaching it? maybe go after those sons of bitches every once in a while.

corporations are considered people that seldom pay taxes and profit off of everybody. what does that resemble?

congress regularly votes themselves pay raises on their $100,000+ salary but let the minimum wage stagnate.

"white privilege" white people are the benefactors of a system that they only control with the power of one vote every so often, or the outrage presented to their representatives. sure you can go after the benefactors of a system they largely have no control over but you're not going to change shit that way.
slave labor didn't stop, it got shipped overseas.
> But he still benefits from white privilege

That's an interesting statement. A few months ago a group of us were in the parish hall at our church when one of our priests brought up white privilege. As a long-time white male who has long opposed racial injustice and supports black issues such as #BlackLivesMatter, I thought I knew what white privilege meant. It meant not growing up in poverty, having a decent job, going to a decent high school and getting a real education and so on.

Then he explained what white privilege really means:
I can shop at the local 7-Eleven without someone assuming that I'm going to steal something or rob the place.
I can drive without worrying that I'll be pulled over on some pretext or other and arrested for no good reason.
I don't have to worry about being stopped and frisked just because I'm walking while black.
I don't have to be afraid that is some out-of-control cop beats the shit out of me he'll get away with it.
I'm free to live my life without having to be aware of my situation or surroundings when I'm out and about.
I don't have to teach my kids how to behave when they interact with cops and worry that they'll act like kids and get themselves killed.
And so much more that I take for granted.

It was a real eye-opener, I'll tell you. It made me appreciate how little I understood about the black experience in this "post-racial" era.

I think the women at NetRoots Nation went too far, but I can understand the frustration and anger that drove them to do as they did. And in retrospect I think it has made a difference.
Pretty sure he means white Americans don't want to talk about race. Everyone else has no problem with it,
Gyasi Ross, you're an Idiotic Asshole.
Some good points. I think Bernie handled it very well. There is no harm in letting protesters speak for a few minutes and addressing their concerns, especially when those concerns are valid. Bernie Sanders even hired one of the protesters to work on related political issues.
@31: Half of the entire population of Denmark and Norway are born out of wedlock so maybe there's a little more to it.
Sweet little bald-head jesus, did someone put a call out over on stormfront or breitbart or lynchburg daily to head over to Slog? The amount of drooling racist bullshit here is higher than I've ever seen it. (Granted, most of the long time commenters who would be calling bullshit are gone.)
I'm glad to know now if you disagree with the two members of BLM on tactics on Saturday that now we're racist.

I wonder if that's feeding into the reason no one is willing to talk about race? Or is even asking the question or pointing that out now racist?
When you start putting group of people in categories based on their skin, their culture, their religion or any other stereo type you may want to check yourself in the mirror. "white people don't talk about race ever" You have got to be kidding. When statement of this nature are made, we become the very thing we're fighting against. SAD but TRUE.
I really liked this piece of writing. I thought it was a good use of the english language - intellegent - well thought out. I especially thought this part of this was pointed and right on target:
"I respect him. I will work for him. I like him. But he still benefits from white privilege and thus deserves to feel uncomfortable from time to time. When he undoubtedly was on the front lines marching for civil rights, he was still less vulnerable to attack from police officers than the black and brown marchers. He still needs to talk and think about race if he wants us to vote for him—hell, my folks, Native people have to think about it all the time. Black folks have to think about it all the time.

Why shouldn’t he? He’s asking for our vote, after all.

Why shouldn’t the folks in the crowd have to talk about race—they consider themselves “progressives” or “liberals,” right? If they truly wish to be an effective ally, then they should WANT to feel the discomfort that we feel when we’re constantly confronted with questions of race. They should EARNESTLY DESIRE to feel the awkwardness of explaining to our children why our kids have different outcomes than white kids when they interact with law enforcement."
Keep your head up and keep writing.....seems like your writing is making people uncomfortable - OH WELL - thats nothing compared to what the native people have gone through and managed to live through. I want to see your writing hit my FB wall again - soon. Mitockuye Oyasin
Here's the thing. This is actually awful for him as a candidate.

Keep in mind that in order to vote for someone for president they have to exude strength. They have to stand up for themselves to demonstrate that they will stand up for the country.

The moment BLM took over the mike they put Bernie in a position that would look awful no matter what he did. If he stood up to the activists he would demonstrate he was some sort of racist monsther. If he didn't he would demonstrate that he was extremely weak and unwilling to stand up for himself.

Think of it this way. The next president will have to stand up to Putin. You remember him? The ex-KGB head of Russia? After this do you honestly think that Mr. Sanders will be able to convince the voters that he is strong enough to do that? What about when the Republicans play the video of him backing down against BLM activists on two separate occasions over and over again? How will he convince people after that?

The minute his security failed and forced him into this "bad and worse" choice his candidacy died. Congratulations, BLM. Hope you like your choice of Trump or Clinton.
So, I support my cake and I support eating it too. Lets ask the "person on the street" how well that works, you know, in real life. Ma'am, what do you think about that? "Ooooh, it no work, try as one might you just lose your head over it". Thank you ma'am, and just for the record, your name? "Why, Marie Antoinette".
One other item to ote, I beleive its time for native American to also be equal to white people in all regards, no more reservations, no more government subsidies, no more private gambling, no no more fireworks sales, no more anything that makes them so much more "segregated" than the rest of society. Native Americans should be integrated, and be allowed the same rights and privelidges as the rest of tax paying society. Their culture should be no different in treatment that any other culture that enjoys the freedoms of hard-working, tax-paying individuals. What do we say, are we all on board with that concept?
Probably gonna wanna drop the "white supermacist" label, since it equates those who'd like to kill you with those who would not. I have yet to read an article defending BLM's behavior in this setting that was not a masterpiece of tortured idiocy.
Truth Bomb: WE ARE ANGRY AND BLACK LIVES MATTER reflect our anger with our Government and elected leaders: The elected officials gave away 95% or $30 trillion of created wealth to the 1% rich, corporations, and bankers since 2008 while ignoring the increasing poverty, homelessness, and needs of all Americans. 222 million people are now living in or near poverty, with 75% of Americans living paycheck to paycheck. Since 2008 poverty rates for children have risen from 18% to 22% nearly double among African-Americans and American Indians and problems are most severe in South and Southwest. Thousands are dying, children are suffering from brain damage and PTSD, vets and seniors are committing suicide instead of struggling to survive in this awful reality. All because of how the elected official voted, reducing funding for services and resources, and the corrupt Media saying our economy has recovered. Still Think The North Won The Civil War? These 12 Maps Will Prove You Wrong. (IMAGES)…
TRUTH BOMB - A fact spoken in clear, easy to understand terms and without bias. Please copy and paste freely.
ACTION ITEM: “Truth Bombs” need to be dumped everywhere!…
Those dumb-assed jackholes who interrupted Bernie at Netroots and in Seattle remind me of that dumb-assed jackhole who dresses up in a costume and calls himself Phoenix, and protects the banksters' buildings on Mayday!

A bunch of total frigging idiots who have yet to disrupt any of George Soros-supported Hillary Clinton's forays into speecherdom - - that's the same Soros heavily invested in private prison corporations, douchetards!
I overcame the initial press coverage and my initial knee-jerk reaction to support, in principal, the value of promoting BLM at a Bernie Sanders rally. What started at Netroots now moves on to Jeb! and Hillary. My initial negative reaction was twofold. I resented them for messing with Bernie. And I thought the two women seemed pretty nasty.

I have changed my mind on the first count, but I remain resolute on the second. Willaford has disappeared from the public view, refusing to speak for her actions. Fine.

Meanwhile, Marissa Johnson is milking her 15 minutes for all it's worth. As a white male, I have to be super duper careful what I say about her, lest I be painted as a sexist, racist jerkface. But I will say that she is a barrel of fun for the armchair psychoanalyst in me, and I'm pretty confident that she doesn't get a lot of love and respect, as a person, from within BLM and the black community. She's got guts, and she's not afraid to put the active in activism, but she does also appear to be narcissistic to a fault, to have come from a weird background and still be in the process of figuring shit out, and to not be the smartest, nicest, or most articulate person you'll ever meet.

I'm glad she did what she did. I hope her 15 minutes is over soon. She seems pretty full of shit.

Most importantly, I worry that movements like BLM and Occupy lack leadership and direction. Having seen the results so far, I'm not a fan of the trend.
@22 claims: It's healthy and Bernie is fair game to be challenged on issues like this.

That comment makes absolutely no sense whatsoever --- you are completely unfamiliar with anything Sen. Sanders has ever said, and I'm not even a supporter - - I have little confidence he'll ever reach the primaries as a winner, and will vote Dr. Jill Stein again - - but I am familiar with his background and realize you have just slung a whole lot of bullshit, sonny.

The common attack on Sanders has been he represents Vermont, with a very miniscule minority population.

That is the attack of the douchetard.
@26, COMTE makes some interesting and valuable points, wish COMTE would take it up with others whom I've heard make the same exact points, the typical American job offshorers.

Heard that spiel from them time after time after time [which doesn't necessarily detract from its logic, but makes one dubious of the speaker quite frequently], and the first time I heard was from a piece-of-crap named Larry King, in 1978, and soon after he spent his on-air time trashing American military veterans and Catholics.

Good points, but people from the lowest economic groups will frequently laugh at you, given the strong underlying high-middle-class tones.

"Those two young women -- where's their Aunties?"
@70: I'm very familiar with Bernie's record. I'm very familiar with his platform. You'll find fewer people more excited or devoted to his candidacy than I.

But the criticism that he over-emphasized the economic issues in the face of blatant racism was not entirely wrong. Ultimately, most problems *do* come down to class conflict. It is not the whole picture. When Henry Louis Gates was arrested for trying to break in to his own home, was it an economic problem for the Harvard professor? When Trayvon Martin was gunned down by a vigilante, was it an economic problem (Sanford is relatively affluent)? When police officer David Casebolt pulled a gun on an unarmed teenager at a pool party in a wealthy Texas suburb, would lower unemployment have helped her?

I'm sympathetic to Bernie's position. The entire notion of race is nonsensical to me, and racism even moreso. But while we can argue whether race is an imaginary social construct, there's no doubt that racism is a real thing. And it's *killing* people. The stronger Bernie is on this issue, the better. I'd say that's been acknowledged by his campaign: his campaign director admitted that these issues are a "blind spot", and they've been adapting accordingly.

That's what makes Bernie so extraordinary. He listens to people. REAL people.
Didn't read the comments, but given that Bernie's Jewish, I'd say people like him have experienced more than a "little discomfort" in his lifetime. Gyasi Ross, thanks for bringing up the Elder angle. Nice work Man.
Ghostdog @61 calls it exactly:
The Hijacking destroyed Sander's chance to be POTUS.

Next step -- who gained by this stupid stunt?
Obviously a shrewder and more ruthless candidate.
Thank you for your heartfelt insight. You are correct that it is necessary some times to do what you think is right and not worry about what is going to make others uncomfortable. The scene could have gone much worse for sure and I am grateful you stood with them realizing what may happen. I am white but blood-brother to the Cree nation. The people in Sanders camp initially were outraged by this second interruption of their candidate however many of us quickly reminded them of who Bernie is and what he has stood for. He did not have them removed. He allowed them the stage. He is an activist at heart and knew they needed to be heard and respected that. He took action immediately and had his racial justice platform up on the site within hours. This did not happen by fluke nor was it something thrown together. All of these issues he has spoken on before in small town hall meetings in question and answer periods. They had just not been formally organized into a real platform. The harsh feelings quickly faded when he Hired Symone Sanders and she took the stage for the first time that night. Rascism is a problem all over the world for all nationalities. Unfortunately Institutional Rascism has been allowed to fester for decades and has never been properly addressed anywhere in the US or Canada for that matter. Hopefully now thanks to the harsh reality that has been exposed and dumped into the laps of this huge group of mostly sympathetic white people we may finally see justice, understanding, and acceptance. Peace Brother
LOVE the article & thank you for not scolding as I have seen too much of in articles since Seattle. I am one of those who have said I will no longer support #blacklivesmatter MOVEMENT. I will always support black lives but their tactics towards Bernie Sanders does have me questioning who they are & what they are trying to accomplish now. #bowdownbernie is crossing a line & I will not follow. I too want change. I have NO how being targeted because of your skin color feels, I do however shed tears & talk about it often. Please know that not all white ppl do not want to talk, I think it's long, long overdue. You must be a beautiful man, seem very kind.
@60 Have you actually seen Bernie fighting on the Senate Floor? Did you notice his level of conviction, and how clearly he represents his positions? Just because he won't get heavy handed with women who are representing a life and death struggle (even if they are rude), doesn't mean he won't annihilate any of the candidates who challenge him.
After that, it will look absurd for anyone to call him weak.
Ross's outlook excuses any sort of disrespect and abuse, even toward allies, if it's supposed to be in service of the battle against human rights violations. The root of inhumanity toward fellow humans is a profound disrespect, however, and to effectively combat atrocity requires that we as a core principle are modeling humane behavior as best we can. M.L. King, Gandhi and other such leaders have understood and conveyed this very well. If we or others are attacked by an oppressor, then an aggressive response toward the attacker(s) may be appropriate, but we should never be initiating aggression for other reasons.
Writer man can't actually believe that saying "Black Lives Matter just lost a supporter!” is exactly the same as "[I] stopped supporting basic human rights and equal treatment".
No way.
It's brutal out there. People are selling their grannies for clicks and name recognition.
It certainly seems as though these are "fake BLM ladies".

1) screaming at and pushing away the "old white men" (how is this in itself not racist, sexist and ageist?)

2) demanding that Bernie "bow down" - who do they think they are, the new plantation owners?

3). People falling all over themselves trying to excuse boorish, violent and ineffective behavior by claiming that "white people never talk about race", then saying they need to now, when of course everyone KNOWS of course that white folk don't have a CLUE about racism. As some have posted, it becomes a punishing exercise to even attempt to engage in a conversation about race when you are continually told that you don't "get it", and that you should "just listen" and "bow down" to folks taking their anger out on a convenient target.

No thank you.

But yes, I do still support BLM because I've heard many, many more sane and humane voices out there. These tantrum throwing little girls don't represent them.
@38: And you're just another terminally stupid troll with no point whatsoever.
@83 kamwick: Thank you. I agree.
@78 Oh, I'm quite positive that Mr. Sanders fights like hell on the Senate floor and would make a fine candidate.

Think of it this way. Let's say it wasn't these two young ladies. Let's say that it was something very minor he did. Like a strange noise or something during a speech. Of course, something minor like that wouldn't doom a candidate, would it?

The former governor of Vermont, Howard Dean, begs to differ.

I'm not saying that Mr. Sanders is weak. What I'm saying is that it doesn't matter how many strong stances he makes it won't make up for the unedited video of him backing down against protesters. And if the video from Seattle gets old the Republicans can pull out the Netroots video.

Of course, if he stood up to the women he would be blasted just as badly if not worse.

The second those women made it on the stage Mr. Sanders' campaign was doomed.
Maybe if the Democrats weren't just a party of ancient white people, they would get some respect.

Sorry, you just don't crap on the only candidate with a proven 50 year track record of civil rights. Why would you crap on your ally? Short sighted, and totally an amateur move.
It is disingenuous to suggest that dropping support for BLM means dropping support for the whole civil rights movement. C'mon, you are better than that, Gyasi.
You leaped on stage to protect the women from assault by angry white people, yet stood there while the women jostled our elders, got in their personal space, screamed in their ears and poked fingers in their calm, attentive faces. Those women looked like any number of people in the YouTube videos with the words 'hoodrat assault' in the title. Gyasi, you expected violence from the wrong quarter.
I don't believe those women had any plan beyond grabbing the microphone. I think they fully expected to be hustled off the stage, and when that didn't happen, they were reduced to screaming 'Stop talking! Don't tell me what to do!'. A 4.5 minute 'moment of silence'? Really? They were not expecting that to be tolerated. I wonder what would have happened if someone had tried to remove them, an action which they were obviously agitating for and attempting to provoke. Thank heavens the liberal, white progressives of Seattle didn't fall for their bait.
People don't like being slandered, you know. It's just natural human nature to react angrily to it. It's not racist to be outraged when people slander you.

At Netroots Nation, the previous panel had been about police violence, and the question Jose Antonio Vargas had just asked Martin O'Malley was about the policies of the O'Malley administration in Baltimore that created a sharp rise in the arrest of black people.

In other words, the people at Netroots Nation who were being accused of ignoring these issues had been talking about exactly these issues when the BLM activists not only interrupted them, but saved O'Malley from having to account for polices hugely expanding the percentage of Baltimore's black population with arrest records.

Accusing people of racism and ignoring the issues because they didn't like being interrupted while they were talking about these issues is pretty cheesy at best, don't you think?

And insisting that everyone recite the name of their organization - only one organization among many that have been active on these issues - what was that about?

Social Security is also an important issue. It's a vital program that is under severe threat from Washington, DC, from both ends of The Mall. From BLM's own writings, it appears it was their intention to prevent Bernie Sanders from speaking, and also to insist that we are not allowed to talk about anything else, no matter how important, until "their" issue has been solved.

Well, that's just wrong. And calling people white supremacists because they knew it was wrong is just obnoxious.

(And RavenRaving is right about the 4.5-minute "moment" of silence. No one ever asks for that, because everyone knows that no matter how bereaved you may be, normal humans start to become restive after 45 seconds, and a minute just about stretches the limits of endurance. Even at my own father's funeral service, with tears streaming down my face, I barely made it through that minute of silence. You don't tell a crowd of people to observe a 4.5-minute "moment" of silence for anything unless you are trying to start a fight.)
Bernie Sanders is a Socialist. Socialism, historically, never works. Ever. ...EVER!
This is just another editorial by a Progressive white-man hater stuck in the past, enjoying the freedoms given by blood of others yet preaching to take it away.
Go out and earn an honest living instead of parasiting off of those that do.

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