Guest Editorial: Why Saturday's Bernie Sanders Rally Left Me Feeling Heartbroken

Comments

1
Here, here. Stop reacting and stand together. The movement has to grow to truly become what the people need.
2
Clinton is laughing and so are her Banker friends that get rich from keeping African-American citizens as low paid labor in prisons.

Remember who made crack cocaine subject to bigger penalties and unarmed drug crimes a five to ten year sentence?
4
Great statement by Pramila Jayapal.

Imagine if there was no protest at the Bernie event yesterday. Imagine if nobody witnessed how quickly the white liberal crowd turned on the BLM protesters. What would we be talking about?

The news would be how Bernie has everyone excited to join his political revolution and how Ciara and Russell Wilson joined Taylor Swift on stage to the cheering throngs of Seattle's white tween community.

Nothing to see here, no race problem in Seattle.

We'd be all warm and cozy remembering how Bernie shouted, "Thank you Seattle for being so progressive!"

#BernieMatters #IStandWithTaylorSwift
6
@3, 5: please peddle your Bill Cosby bullshit elsewhere. BLM is about ending police violence against black communities. It doesn't have to be expanded to a generations-long effort to return to traditional marriage.
9
The crowd was mostly white? Have you seen racial breakdowns of our region?

The number of Seattlites who take BLM seriously just reached a new low. The BLM movement is similar to the B movement I had this morning. It made a splash but then I realized it was just a stinky pile of crap.
10
Regarding point #3, Senator Jaypal, if you don't have the spine and objective reasoning here to tell what is "right" - then why are you in politics? What would MLK say? See Cato's response comment @3 here. Of course it wasn't right.
11
Thank you, Pramila Jayapal.
12
The disruption of one liberal cause rally by another liberal cause group could only happen in Seattle (or Berkeley). Which makes Seattle look ridiculous in the national media
13
Darn: *Jayapal*
16
There is certainly white privilege in our country, but there is another kind of privilege going on that the BLM protesters have: the privilege to focus on only one aspect of injustice, among the thousands going on in our world today. They don't have to worry about Native American rights (who are the 2nd most group likely to be murdered by cops), nor do they have to concern themselves with LGBT rights, the failed War on Drugs, the economic fraud of our system, climate change & the looming environmental disaster.... They have to deal with what is in front of them, what they have to deal with every day, the imbedded racism of our culture and certainly of our justice system.

Along with privileges comes responsibility. It is the responsibility of those who don't have to deal directly with the imbedded racism to be able to address a wider arc of injustice in the world. This is exemplified in the Sanders campaign.

What Ms. Johnson and Ms. Willaford and their compatriots did yesterday was not disrupting the institutional injustice. They were demanding that attention be paid *only* to their cause, and not to the many other causes that are just as important. Yes, of course Black Lives Matter, and this is not an issue that should be ignored. But what they were actually saying is that Native Americans should be ignored. Economic slavery should be ignored. Global climate change should be ignored. Returning America from the oligarchy that it has descended into should be ignored. That is what these women were saying when, after being allowed access to the mic, they refused to relinquish it.

What I saw were two women who, flushed with a newly-held power (speaking in front of thousands! taking the mic from a presidential candidate! wow!), instead of speaking of our connections and our collective fight for justice, used it to boost their petty ego games. They derided and insulted their audience, belittled the concerns of those gathered, and showed that they can't be trusted. I don't think they care about Michael Brown at all. He's only a symbol for them beat other people over the head with and use him as way to garner self-pity. I find that a fairly disgusting way to use a man who should be alive and well right now, instead of murdered by those who enforce the injustice of our country. Basically, they're no different than the many trolls who live here on Slog: their own petty attitudes are the only thing that matter and fuck everyone else.

Their error is in failing to realize that they are free to dedicate their lives to a single cause, whereas others are committed to many causes, each one important. Because the true fight is against injustice, a fight that anyone can join in. Those that fight for justice, whether it be a specific cause or many, recognize it in others. To those who are only interested in their own petty fight, everyone else, everyone who doesn't look like them or isn't enslaved to that specific fight, is an enemy.
17
I really wish that I could get behind this disruption more than I do.

I think that we need to do a lot more about police violence but they aren't talking about the right way to go about it.

We need to remove the police's job as revenue generators. We need to continue to liberalize drug laws. We need to remove the profit motive from prison. We need to take the next economic step to counteract job loss due to labor reducing technology and to make sure that we have a society that works for everyone.

The race problem is based on a systemic perversion of a very primal part of our psyches that was developed early on that makes us fear and hate what isn't like us. The thing is that the way it works now it is directed specifically at black people. The way it naturally works isn't that specific. Naturally it works for everyone that isn't like you and will most likely take centuries if not thousands of years to fix.

The stuff I talked about above would fix a lot of things and might actually work in our lifetime.
18
Come on, this whole fiasco has the Clinton campaign's fingerprints all over it. Dirty tricks straight out of the Atwater/Carville/Rove playbook.

Yes, Black Lives Matter. Criminal justice reform (top to bottom, police to prosecutors to courts) is urgently needed everywhere in this country. This particular protest did nothing to advance this vital cause, but it surely benefited HRC in today's news cycle, just in time for the Sunday Morning Blowhards.
19
@Some Old Nobodaddy Logged In

Well said.
20
Some Old Nobodaddy Mansplainin'
21
Ears close when some old nobody calls other people's concerns "petty". Might want to look into that one.
23
"When the disruption first happened, the crowd turned ugly."

That's a perfectly legitimate reaction. Radicals are fucking mental, they're gonna destroy BLM.
24
Ears close when Sean Kinney dismisses real talk as "mansplainin'." Might want to grow up and value the opinions of others.

25
@19++

That's the most down-to-earth well-articulated commentary SONLI has ever written. And we've collided many a time, too.
26
I think that the reason people were upset is because they had come downtown and stood around in the sun for a long time anticipating a speech by a candidate they were interested in. It would be akin to the Pride Parade being taken over by Occupy Wall Street, or a Seahawks game being preempted by a Gospel revival.
27
@5: My uncle is a cop. Like me, he's pretty friggin' white. A couple weeks back he said something about the issue of black-on-black crime that took me a little by surprise, and which I think is all that really needs to be said about it.
He said that the move away from community policing is to blame. Instead of the police being trusted and relied on, black communities frequently see cops as the enemy, and cops see those same people as needing punishment rather than protection. His take on the issue is that police departments need to rebuild those connections to the community so that they're welcomed, rather than met with hostility.
28
If you look at the Reddit threads for this event you can see that people within the BLM movement itself (here, locally) don't like the people who did this. The BLM movement in Seattle fucking sucks exactly because of shit like this. You can't give a protest group carte blanche to do anything they want just because they have a legitimate grievance. This BLM shit fucking sucks the same way the Occupy Wall Street shit fucking sucked. There is no leadership, no goal aside from interrupting speeches or fuckin' brunch at Norm's or some shit. These dumbasses are embarrassing. Why is the choice support any bullshit BLM does or you're against the idea of the black/cop violence idea entirely? Can't we hate on stupid shit like this precisely because it does nothing to advance the cause?
29
This is the problem with BLM and Occupy before it. It has no leadership and runs on a horizontal organizational structure. That only means there is zero accountability and anyone can claim the name of the movement as their own and do whatever they want to with that name. Yesterday worked exactly like the oligarchy wants it to work: divide the masses who will never have as much as the rich and have them fight over the crumbs.

30
Has it really been confirmed that these two women were actually BLM? Because elsewhere, I'm seeing conflicting reports, including Slog itself stating that their purported Facebook "BLM Seattle" page is less than 24 hours old. Nobody finds this suspicious?

This is a pretty huge point, as it would certainly serve a couple of particular interests to send in phony disrupters: 1) those who wish to discredit the BLM movement and 2) those who wish to disrupt Sanders' campaign.

Has there truly been enough investigation of this? Because I'm seeing this referenced as "BlackLivesMatter protesters disrupt..." in headlines all over the net, when all I'm actually gathering from the reports is that two women who claimed to be BLM disrupted an event. But if there's no previous and/or significant association with these two and BLM, shouldn't that be a key focus of these articles and shouldn't "purported" or "alleged" be appearing in these headlines?

Is it being at all considered that Bernie Sanders might not be the end-target at all, but simply a means of driving a wedge between progressives and BLM? What better way to do it than to send phony BLM ops against a darling of the progressive movement?

Am I wrong to be a bit skeptical here?
31
Thank you for writing and sharing this. I understand why people want to decide if this action was right or wrong, it's much simpler either way and you can go on with your life. But this incident raises much more difficult questions, much more valuable questions, that will take more time but also yield much more for us individually and collectively.

"How do we call people in even as we call them out?" - what a great question, I will be sharing it far and wide.
32
As Pramila points out, Bernie responded in exactly the correct manner to this protest by directly addressing race in his evening speech. He also added racial issues to his website overnight. All is well and I see no reason to condemn disruptive civil action. Not everybody can understand black feminism fully, but we all need it. Our society needs it, so we need it. It is well established that civil disruption is necessary in the spectra of tools in the Civil Rights fight.

Honestly, I think I agree that they should have relinquished the mic and allowed the event to continue as well. But I realized years ago that although I don't understand more radical forms of protest, they have their place. Would the headline reading BLACK LIVES MATTER MIC CHECKS BERNIE SANDERS BEFORE ALLOWING HIM TO CONTINUE AS IF NOTHING HAD HAPPENED been nearly as effective?
33
Some like to piss off
Some enjoy getting pissed off
Sane folks like neither
34
@32 Thanks.
35
Shorter Seattle Liberals: "We, a bunch of old, white people got upset because, instead of getting to listen to an old, white person talk to us about issues WE care about, we were forced to listen to a couple of angry young black women talk about issues THEY care about.

And as a result, many people are now saying they can no longer "support" BLM - as if they ever really gave it more than tacit lip-service in the first place - what a crock.
36
This article should be required reading. Her viewpoint is right on. This is what critical thinking looks like. Thanks Pramila!
37
I appreciated this editorial a lot. One thing this whole situation, including the comments here on slog, highlights to me is how hard it is going to be to change things in this country, but I think this kind of thoughtful, compassionate, and nuanced perspective is our best chance.
38
I think civil disobedience is warranted, if not always laudatory, in cases of institutional injustice. However, since social acts typically have consequences, it's interesting to ask who the organizer was who either (a) didn't think to ask the police to remove the protesters from the stage, or (b) instructed the police NOT to interfere with the BLM protesters, thereby thwarting the entire Bernie Sanders appearance. I think he/she is the real story.
39
Jesus, Jayapal, like Sawant, just can't ignore an opportunity to grandstand.
40
@COMTE

Is that really how you're summing this all up?
41
@8: you're the one trying to expand BLM's mission. certainly that internecine violence should stop, but again, IT'S NOT THE FOCUS. when you tell the Af-Am community to get their shit together, stop babies making babies, and by the way, pull up your pants, before they demand that police stop shooting them down in the streets for minor crimes, you sound like a bigot.

it's like fundamentalists insisting we solve mental illness before we address the plague of mass shootings.
42
They stole the show, but they did fuck all to advance their cause. Which is sad and really too bad, for everybody especially BLM. Insulting and disrespecting the crowd, respective speakers, and throwing a tantrum doesn't get you what you want. You don't demand respect, you command respect. They cheated everyone at the event. They denied the voice of someone who could have possibly potentially have helped them, and they set their cause back however far, to those held captive to their outburst. Way to turn people off from a cause that so desperately needs to be addressed and deserves peoples attention. The next time someone cedes you their time, make better use of it.
43
As I said in another post, I would have been much more impressed with this if they had done it against a republican candidate. For as awful as Old Seattle White Liberals apparently are, they at least let them speak. But then again, when was the last time a Republican made a public speech in Seattle?
45
I'm frequently told that, as a white male, I'm not really allowed to comment on racism or sexism/feminism. So, I guess I'll just keep my mouth shut about it (you know, act like I don't care), but it would have been nice to hear a senator speak about SS at the SS rally.
46
@5, re: Sutton's Law -

I think that was even stated false in an episode of the TV show Castle.

http://www.snopes.com/quotes/sutton.asp
While lore would have it that the bank robber replied "Because that's where the money is" to that common question, Sutton denied ever having said it. "The credit belongs to some enterprising reporter who apparently felt a need to fill out his copy," wrote Sutton in his autobiography. "I can't even remember where I first read it. It just seemed to appear one day, and then it was everywhere."
47
Wake me when a BLM activist grabs the microphone and announces that they have been inspired to get a law degree (so they can be a non racist public defender or judge) or a cop (so they can increase the number of non racist cops).

This stunt was just words with little behind it, providing a shot of publicity that will fade when the next thing rolls around.

48
Pramila, you disappoint me.

We teach our kids every day in schools to stand up to bullying, but when you had your chance you failed. And in writing your neutral “feelgood” piece here, you continue to fail. You are one of our rising politicians, and you certainly know that you can’t make everybody happy all the time. Sometimes you have to take a stand, and you have failed to do that – so you are no better than the other politicians (of both parties) who dodge questions, obfuscate, and take the safe road.

The crowd (any crowd in that situation) was understandably angry. The girls on stage were rude and intransigent. You (and the “multiracial coalition” you refer to) were the only ones in a position to make things right – but you stood by and let Bernie twist in the wind. He was a guest in your house – you took your moment in his spotlight, and then you ran and hid, and let him down.

Fail.
53
Bureau of Land Management provocateurs.
54
1) We have many long time heavy duty problems in the US, racism is just one of them. It became obvious at Net Roots Nation and again yesterday, BLM wants to be the center of attention and intends to achieve that by whatever means necessary. Be prepared for the consequences of those ill conceived tactics.
2) “When the disruption first happened, the crowd (mostly white) turned ugly.” The disruption was ugly. Did you not see those girls screaming in those men’s faces? Such rude disrespect. Beyond ugly. Chicken or egg? Really? The girls were uninvited, rude, inconsiderate, bullying brats. They should have been booed. If BLM wanted to speak at the program they should have asked. Is it a cultural thing. I was taught to respect my elders.
3) You don’t know what is right? We all pretty much learn that in kindergarten. Play nice, be polite, take your turn etc etc. Not rocket science. You all can rationalize those girl’s actions all you want but the facts are the facts. Most white people who supported the movement were offended by those girls actions toward Senator Sanders, the organizers and the crowd.
4) You sound pretty full of yourself telling Mr. Sanders what he should and shouldn’t do and say.
5) I really don’t see where you all get off “calling Senator Sanders out.” I don’t get it. I am a mature adult. When I grew up we didn’t “call people out.” That expression meant looking for a fight and well, in most circles it just wasn’t done. Unless you know you were a biker or something.
I WAS 100% behind the BLM movement. Done now. I know, I know, I’ve been told already by some angry people on twitter that they don’t need me, good because you all are going to have to do it on your own because you seem hell bent on alienating the rest of us that were on board with you.

55
The Stranger can't spell protesters.

Also, the crowd was fine until these two children started name-calling and accusing the ENTIRE CITY of being full of white supremacists. These children were given their time and that wasn't enough - why? - they weren't here for discussion; their stated goal (on their private Facebook group) was to prevent Bernie from speaking. They are not part of the BLM movement, they're anarchists from Outside Agitators 206. https://www.facebook.com/outsideagitator…
56
@54: Bummer. Cause' BLM was counting on your blessing.
Tragic.
57
For the rest of the campaign, Bernie may want to go by Colonel Sanders. There's a stereotype that black people like fried chicken.
58
#30, the evidence that these protesters were not part of BLM is growing and growing. Over on another thread these two women are seen speaking at another non-BLM venue that had BLM banners and chants. The appropriation of BLM's name seems intentional and repeated at this point.
59
I think it is a self evident truth that a police officer has a right to conduct business in a smoke free environment. Either put out the cigarette in your car or walk 25' from your vehicle. That should be law in all 50 states.
60
Thoughtful and serious, but Jayapal blows it in the end: "... we need multiple sets of tactics, working together. Some are disruptive tactics. Some are loving tactics. Some are truth-telling tactics. Some can only be taken on by white people. Some can only be taken on by people of color." It's nice, you're right, when people can work together (this wasn't it, by the way).
But instead of offering specific ideas she gives us platitudes that among other things tacitly condone the bullying that's behind this highly theatrical (very mediagenic!) infantile tantrum.
In what ways does BLM see this as a success? Would they do it the same way again?
Also, it seems to me that the flexibility Sanders showed was a big deal, as was his ability to make decisions on the spot without consulting some string-puller.
61
@58: People can be a part of a number of groups, concurrently, aimed at effecting change using a number of tactics, no?

The protagonists state on their Facebook page and their webpage that they seek, "an end to police terror, an end to the slavery that is the prison system, and we want the people who profit from these systems held accountable." White progressives should be cool with that, right?

They also claim to be the "Black Lives Matter Seattle Co-Founders."

Are we not to take them at their word?
62
I love when liberals go all out tinfoil when their infighting flares up again.

"T-they're outside agitators! There's no way this could be the natural consequence of identity politics!"

Yeah lemme guess the disrupters were paid agents of the Republican Party/the Koch Brothers/the Illuminati. I'm calling next week's Salon articles right now.
63
Tell me something...when these women stormed the stage, why did one extend her hand to Bernie and when he extended his to her, she pulled away? Like some cool kid on the playground saying "too slow".
The agenda of these women made little to no sense. They were all over the map and frankly, confrontational from the start. Their goal appeared to be to waste as much time as possible and piss off the crowd. Funny the author fails to mention they called the crowd "liberal white supremacists". And as Bernie and the event organizers tried to talk calmly with them, they proceeded to scream bloody murder in everyone's face.
I hate to break out the tinfoil hat, but this stinks of a set-up from the Hillary camp. Bernie was in a no-win situation. If he confronted the protesters verbally, he's a racist. If he does nothing, many will see him as weak or unable to control a situation. The continued attacks on Bernie from BLM appear to be an attempt divert the main message of his campaign away from economic equality - and just as he's climbing in the polls and attracting more or Hillary's supporters and even some registered Republicans.
64
I do, however, look forward to the next MLK celebration march in Seattle where I hope a few senior citizens take over the mic and talk to the crowd about social security and medicare. Maybe 6 minutes and 50 seconds of silence in remembrance of how long one has to work before they can collect benefits, that will only start once everyone is silent.

http://mlkseattle.org/pages.php?submitte…
65
48

Agreed. I like Pramilla but as a woman of color she seems afraid to be critical of others of color. She has certainly judged whites much more directly but that's given an easy pass these days.
Or maybe it's just because she is now a politician whose goal is to be re-elected.
66
Here's one point of reality that no one wants to address.

After Obama's turn ends in 2016, the US will go from a country in which African-Americans held power over one of the three branches of Government, to most likely a scenario where blacks are left with one Justice, a handful of Congressmen, and candidates who are all white and have not uttered one sentence about how they might continue to enforce racial fairness.
67
@64:

It'll never happen. Old, white Seattle liberals are too afraid of offending anyone's delicate sensibilities to ever get that agitated about anything besides whether their organic, free-range granola is fair-trade or free-trade, and who gets to plug their Leaf into the e-charger next.
68
I appreciate and truly respect this article. I would, however, like to submit the following as a counter-argument to the assertion that he hasn't addressed the issue of racism before, or that he hasn't proposed specific changes in policy to address it. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RDI-qzGP…
69
It's been a boring though nice weekend. Maybe Brendan can liven things up on Monday with one of his typically great articles on the Greek financial crisis.
70
Bernie might have actually said something inspiring and heartfelt and TRULY effective. You know, real disruption. But we won't know. We only have the unintelligible shrieking of a few boorish clowns. BLM needs structure and real organization...or else they will marginalize themselves without any help at all.
72
Comte. You can alienate your allies all you want. But it is ineffective.
73
i like the picture under the headline. while the woman screams Bernie just shrugs and leaves to talk with another 10,000 people who hear what he has to say.
74
@51 I'd argue that extrajudicial police executions are not a trivial matter, but i'll entertain your assertion. to me, your proposals (that black people begin behaving in a manner you accept) address the general (raise your children differently) while BLM argues for specific action (stop killing us NOW).

GENERAL change is incremental; years of SPECIFIC actions create it, compose it.

there is little argument that this was a clumsy specific action - but it has already created incremental change.
75
@61, you don't seem to understand BLM is an official organization, not a loosely aligned group of citizens. They have memberships, national and regional charters, the whole works. The women involved in this protest aren't members of BLM. Of any chapter, anywhere.

I can say I'm a member of the Romulan Star Empire, but that doesn't make it reality. These women intentionally masqueraded as members of an organization they are not members of.

At this point, we absolutely should not take them at their word. They are publicly known liars and charlatans.
76
@75, document "The women involved in this protest aren't members of BLM. Of any chapter, anywhere." It sure makes sense. Can you back that up? It would be helpful. And if that's the case, why isn't BLM saying that? If they ARE, then where? If not, why not?
77
#76, they said it on Twitter less than an hour after it happened. As far as why they're not saying it more loudly, I'd urge you to look at this very thread. BLM, much like Bernie Sanders himself, knows there's not much to say at this point. It will all get lost in the uproar. BLM and Bernie both lost thanks to these women. They have no way of engaging in the conversation without getting shouted down by one side or the other. Or, to quote Army of Darkness:

"I do not think he'll listen, lad."
78
I love Seattle and I support Bernie, but both need to STOP. LISTEN. RECOGNIZE. RECONCILE. I don't want to hear that Bernie Sanders is "disappointed" or that someone who witnessed what happened is "heartbroken." I want a POTUS that takes on #blacklivesmatter with the seriousness it deserves. I want Seattle (a city I love btw) to stop pretending it is so progressive and face how racist it is. It is time for white people to stop telling black activists how to act. It is time for this country to really do something about how racist it is and how that racism relates to the violence and inequality throughout the nation. Seriously? It's time for real change. It's time for white people to STFU and listen. The deeply rooted systemic racism in this country cannot be disentangled from the inequality. White people are rising up against the wealthy elite because it is affecting THEM now (the white middle class). The damage done to the non-white population in this country and the desperately poor in this country is not being addressed. Everyone is so concerned about the white middle class and how they are ceasing to exist and they are struggling. The daily murder of blacks in country by POLICE and other gun toting racists; the obscene percentage of blacks that are incarcerated in this country, the high percentage of blacks in this country living in poverty, unemployed, and exploited needs to be a number one priority of whoever is the next POTUS.
79
Imagine if the Occupy movement had the foresight to name themselves poor people matter or something like that. The tactics used in occupy protests have roundly been rejected by this city. Smashing stuff didn't work, blocking traffic didn't work, ect. A rejection of tactics does not mean a rejection of the movement. One can be critical of those who they support. If the situation is as dire that it requires screaming in someone's face and not allowing them to speak, doing it just once won't be enough. Blocking traffic on 99 once won't be enough. The sporadicness of the actions mixed with the hyped up rhetoric alienates people and does not create bridges.

If you want to adopt such an all encompassing title like black lives matter you must also accept that your tactics will be critiqued.
80
Bernie didn't lose a thing. He went on to another event where many more people who wanted to hear him could, without interruption. Of course he was disappointed (why should he be criticized for saying that?), the organizing people were disappointed since they'd accomplished getting him to that event, and the people who'd waited for hours at Westlake were disappointed. And all for a few minutes of shouting which didn't accomplish anything. As someone else said, go interrupt a Republican, any Republican; there are plenty of them. Bernie spent his youth and young adulthood railing against the machine and he's still doing it; he's not the one who should be shut down.
81
The ignorance is astounding. The rudeness abhorrent. And the lack of intelligence shown by these 'leaders', depressing. What they succeeded doing is disgracing the BLM campaign, and losing the support of thousands of people like myself.
82
@77 i don't see how bernie and blm lost in this... they both have national platforms and are measured in their speech. Bernie walked off like a boss, and still has a national platform for people to hear his message.

granted the people that didn't get to hear him speak missed out but Bernie will continue to inform people on his stances and people will continue to rally around him. blm will still be active and bringing people together for a common cause instead of creating tension and divisiveness like the 2 yahoos did.

they are the ones that lost, they had a platform to reach the nation, Bernie practically handed them the mic, and they squandered it.
83
What's sad is that these two women have their heads so far up their own asses that they apparently still think that their micjacking paid off.
84
@82, for all BLM has taken the high road, they are still constantly being attacked and demonized for the actions of these third party agitators. Heck, even Slog still has a headline directly blaming BLM for this protest action. They have lost in the court of public opinion, and are being marginalized by the left and the right.

Bernie is now seen as weak and milquetoast by many within the Democratic establishment for not standing up to the protesters. Granted, had he stood up, those same members of the establishment would have been able to portray him as racist. But to the people Bernie needs to endear himself to in order to win the nomination (remember, delegates often are not required by law to vote a specific way, this varies wildly by state), this action did him no favors. The political movers and shakers needed to be wooed away from Hillary and to Bernie's side if he is to win, and now those movers and shakers have less of a reason to leave the establishment candidate. I've heard many people (some even posted on some of these Slog threads) talk about how they're now not going to vote for Bernie as a direct result of his "lack of leadership". The impression is if he can't handle two agitators, how is he going to handle Putin?

Both sides were measured in their speech, yes. But they were measured in their speech because that was the best option they had. For people who wanted to see them get up on a soapbox and actually lead, their measured responses were pitiful mewlings.
85
"Bernie didn't lose a thing."

Not sure I agree with that. As a 70 year old man who may well (understandably) struggle to mount the energy to engage in these efforts, he just might lose the motivation to do so going forward. And that'd be a shame.
86
Well the tactic seemed to have worked wonders. Did anyone know that 28,000 people saw Bernie speak tonight and 11,000 watched on the two youtube channels? No? And who knew how many livefeeds and TV audience. If you look online all you see is 2! girls interrupting a Social Security rally.. I know they were an extreme splinter group and only marginally associated with # BLM. Nice set up for the race riots needed to get everyone to vote from fear. I found the article intentionally misleading, and giving a false view to the world of this as an actual attempt to talk instead of a direct attempt to shut it down, as they specifically stated. They handed Bernie the mike and then grabbed it back, stood an inch away and screamed into his face. You made it sound as if Bernie refused a chance to speak, when he tried to. You made it sound as if the crowd became angry because of the interruption, instead of intentionally being screamed at as "liberal white supremists" "Seattle are racists" "white people are useless to #BLM"Labelled the action #bowdownbernie. Why are you directly shielding these agent provocateurs? They were intentionally doing everything in their power to cause! an outburst and cause division. Yay for anarchy? You actually blamed some (and certainly a minority) members of the crowd for getting angry! They were perfectly trying to make people angry. I've heard so many excuses why everyone should support this behavior. No one ever, should support this behavior, directed at anyone for any reason. Even, and many times, how the crowd (certainly not all white) should have been honored to stand there and respectfully listen as epithets were spat at them. Where was the Washington leader of the NAACP, who was on stage before, with a #BLM shirt, telling everyone how he was looking forward to Bernie talking about race. He could have talked those girls down! He just disappeared. Where was he and why did he remain silent? Seriously, that is a valid question. You might have tried. Instead you sit back and offer justifications for what should have been unjustifiable.
87
@77:

"Somebody said it on Twitter, it MUST be true!"

And there you have it.
88
you do know the protestors identified as radical christians who support Palin, right?

of all the people to interrupt and try to bring down, Bernie Sanders is -not- the person. he's the one who has been fighting for civil rights since before you were in diapers.
89
if all it takes is 2 women being allowed to show themselves for what they are, pedantic and immature, for you to question the leadership ability of a senator that stood up against the american government and walked with mlk, or question the leadership of a national movement with a clear and concise message that targets the current establishment, to call their responses mewlings or to stop supporting their causes, then you're throwing a tantrum not unlike the 2 agitators did.

'Bernie and BLM didn't react they way i thought they should, waaaahhhh'
90
@87, somebody posted it on Twitter is better than the sum of evidence you've put forth in three entire threads. Got better evidence? Put up or shut up. I'm tired of you rehashing the same arguments in different places in some vain attempt to get traction. You've become stale and boring. Get newer, better material already.

@89, I still support both Bernie and BLM. I'm not the court of public opinion, however. I do agree though, that individuals on either side who let this sway their opinion weren't truly allies to their reported causes.
91
yeah the picture under the headline shouldn't be the woman screaming into the mic, it should be her screaming in Bernies face.

http://media.breitbart.com/media/2015/08…
i'm sure this milquetoast do nothing senator has never had to deal with something as imposing as a couple of women trying to shout him down.
92
The women are local activists. They were not paid by Hillary omfg.
93
These people deserve to have Trump or Walker as their president. Then they would really have something to complain about. One of the women said she didn't want to vote for any more old white men. Is that why they are obstructing Sanders campaign and no one else's? Are they racist bigots themselves and attacking Bernie because of the color of his skin and age? Saunders is probable the candidate that has been most supportive of people of color and the last person they should be attacking.
94
85, Bernie is not going to stumble and fall because this happened. He left and went to another event, and then to Hec Edmundson and led a real rally. He's 70, not 90, and if he didn't have a lot more stamina than you've probably got, he wouldn't have started this campaign in the first place. No more ageist comments, please, even in sympathy.
95
With all due respect to the bloggers point of view. I, like many others was there and the crowd did NOT get ugly. The takeover was ugly and they should be embarrassed. Bernie Sanders was literally bullied! Physically shoved and shaken. No one, no matter what, deserves a platform by behaving this way. The crowd was defending our right to hear what Bernie had to say. She called us racists before we even realized she had stormed the stage.
96
I like a lot of what the congresswoman says in her article. The thing that concerns me is when black people cry racism and believe that justifies any type of behavior. The cry of racism is correct. The belief that racism justifies any form of behavior is incorrect. Looting a CVS during A demonstration against racism is thuggery not nobility. Disrupting a Bernie Sanders rally with incoherent name-calling is not protest. It is counterproductive stupidity. Recently, black lives matter put a statement up on their website that indicates that they are a "decentralized" movement. In other words, anybody can put on a black T-shirt with the letters BLM on it, and act like total idiots. I conclude that BLM is not a movement we should take seriously. Bernie Sanders should not have stood aside and let these thugs take the microphone. They were not speaking for anyone. They should've been arrested and put in jail.
97
Defending those two women is standing up for the right of Sarah Palin fans who have no association with any BLM group to break up a pro-Social Security rally and push around Bernie Sanders.
98
Can we break up the next BLM event, grab the mic and start talking about Social Security expansion and protection or would that make us racist?
101
To the author and everyone else - let me set some facts straight because this whole thing is a HUGE red herring that only serves to waste our time and divide our mutual cause.

BERNIE SANDERS is not a 70+ year old WHITE GUY.
BERNIE SANDERS is a 70+ year old JEWISH GUY.

The JEWISH PEOPLE are the MOST OPPRESSED IN HUMAN HISTORY.
To have a BLACK PERSON (African decent?) stand up and lecture a JEWISH PERSON - who USED TO BE SLAVES TO THOSE SAME AFRICAN PEOPLE - on civil rights and racism? IS FUCKING PREPOSTEROUS!

FURTHERMORE - the SINGLE BEST CANDIDATE FOR PRESIDENCY that #BlackLivesMatter movement COULD POSSIBLY ask for in the White House?
It would MOST CERTAINLY have to be a non-black person with strong "white" support base who actually understands and fully supports the BLM cause and the racism issue - no?
Obama certainly wasnt a good candidate for attacking racism in America, was he? No - racism just got worse under his presidency.
So tell me you false-BLM campaigners who ruined an event in Seattle and embarrass everyone else who really is a BLM campaigner --- HOW IS IT EVEN POSSIBLE to get a better candidate than a "white guy" who also comes from an oppressed ethnic group, and who actually marched with MARTIN LUTHER KING and got ARRESTED for CIVIL RIGHTS PROTESTING in the 60's/70's????
Because that candidate is BERNIE SANDERS and you will most likely NEVER GET ANOTHER CHANCE to support a candidate that has these credentials.

WAKE UP YOU FOOLS!
THIS FIGHT IS TOO IMPORTANT FOR US ALL TO FIGHT AMONGST OURSELVES!
102
@99 to be fair we can't really know how many police killings are unjust and unwarranted because police willingly falsify their reports so often
103
I was raised by (what I thought was) a white family proud of being race positive in the deep south. I was raised that way and always felt like I was on "the black side" if I were to take a side. This was through my child's eyes. Now, I am being told I should be ashamed because of my white skin and the harm my life has inflicted on the black people. I lived through the 1970's in Selma Alabama mind you...and stuck up for black friends. But now...now I am being told in stereotypes meant for my lilly white skin it just wasnt enough. I had viewed black people with love and support but now I feel you cannot see past my skin and certainly have no time for the things I did do right. I tried so hard to do the right thing, and it doesnt matter at all...cause now I am just another white person that needs to be shown their errors and pay for all of the things whitey did to you. I was literally told by a black person a few weeks ago that they didnt ever get close to white people because they cant be trusted. So....yeah, thanks for the faith you never had in me to be good to you because of my skin color. I am beginning to lose all hope. White lives matter. Black lives matter.
I was formerly an abused woman. For a long time I didnt trust any man. Then I learned that some men are okay. This is where I feel the black community is now....hurling pain at white people across the board, but you're alienating your allies and giving fuel to the haters and bad men. Please...every time I see one of these posts I reach out again and again. It won't matter though, because in this climate all white people are the enemy. Want to draw us closer together? We need "relationship counseling" that goes beyond name calling and blaming. As a country, we need to find our strengths together. At this point...keeping positive is a burden.
104
Dear Senator,

I am touched by your tone and your heart on this issue. While I don't support Bernie Sanders for a variety of reasons, I can certainly appreciate some of his ideas. On the issue of racism in our country I strongly resonate with your sentiments and attitude and I am tired of our partisanship dividing us on such important issues. Warm regards, keep up the "good" fight.
105
Words words words... You say you understand why the protestors did what they did, you say you accept the concept that protest sometimes must by definition be disruptive. But you never came out and either applauded or decried the protest itself.
The protestors were wrong. By assuming that their protest was more meaningful, more important than the efforts of the organizers of the event, the message of Senator Sanders, and the rights of the thousands of people gathered to hear that message, you are saying that black lives matter MORE than the rights of others. MLK never said that black lives matter more, only that they mattered the same. Your refusal to condemn the disruption of the gathering only proves that you do in fact believe that black lives matter more. You are WRONG.
106
To me their cause is dead. They are pushy black women (that probably don't like "bein' disrespected") but haul off and disrespect a candidate for President and a community. Well guess what, I dont give a shit about their cause anymore. And Im tired of the past injustices being put on my shoulders because I happen to have a different pigment. Fuck that! If they dont like it here, get a passport and move back to Africa. They are always claiming their rightful african heritage, "I'm not black - I'm African-American". Now its "Black Lives Matter". Why isnt it "African American Lives Matter"? Is it laziness? Is it that we would have to then acknowledge that why just African-American lives matter and not ALL lives? If life is so fucking terrible here, move back to where it all began. Go back to your homeland and the land of your ancestors. There is always one good thing about America, you have options. Maybe its time we stop looking at ways to flashpoint a cause a work together in a respectful fashion. Something this situation wasnt and no fucking excuse in the world can justify.
107
OK. All the points make sense. Still, I wish something would have been said about taking someone else's microphone on someone else's stage using someone else's "dime."
108
BLACK LIVES MATTER! All black lives matter, even the thousands upon thousands of black lives that are currently being wasted in American prisons for non-violent, mostly drug related offenses. I'm right there with BLM on the core of the issues of racism in America.

That said, I do not appreciate anybody coming into my city, my hometown of which I am deeply proud, and call us "white supremicist liberals". My initial reaction is to say FUCK YOU to you and your bullshit disruption. Don't come into my house, thinking you can insult my family and then expect me to listen to your grievance, however righteous your grievance might be.

And just to "keep it 100" here, there is something to be said for pulling the log out of your own eye before worrying about the mote in someone else's. There are many, many issues within the Black community that must also be addressed, including the demise of the family unit (absent fathers), that require a bit of self evaluation.

But hey, it is easier to blame "the other" for our problems. As long as its somebody else's fault that we are in the situation, whatever it may be, that we are in, we can ignore our own actions.

Unless and until we, as a nation, are willing to have that much ballyhooed "grown-up conversation" about race relations - and not talk past each other - this isn't going to get better.
109
To the protesters who disrupted the event, I would like to understand how it furthered your mission…
To what degree did it increase public understanding of and empathy for BLM?
How has it supported recruitment efforts?
How has it improved BLM access to political candidates in order to be a respected partner in the political dialog on the national stage?

Please cite verified tactical field data in your response. (Anecdotal data will not be accepted.) However, in its absence, I am willing to accept the idea that any publicity is good publicity for "furthering the movement". If that's the case, it's as if you've take a page out of Donald Trump's playbook. Good for you.
111
remember when this website had moderators and a user wouldn't get away with a dozen racist posts?
112
I'm sure every republican out there is extremely happy that these ladies are doing a much better hatchet job on Sanders than they ever could. Congratulations.
114
I came across this video this morning. I think his heartfelt message is worthy of your attention. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qZaBmWxy…
115
@90:

If you don't like my material, you can always, you know, just stop responding to it. And so far, I've seen exactly ZERO comments refuting anything I've said to-date on the subject. Additionally, since you seem to be so hung up on the concept of "who's in charge here", I would point out that, as of now there has been no "official" condemnation of the disruption by anyone affiliated with BLM, no disavowal that the protesters are not members of BLM (and no, I'm sorry, but I'd be willing to bet that a 16 year old kid posting an "apology" on FB doesn't meet either of our standards), and furthermore, according to news reports, the Portland "chapter" has actually come out in support of it. So, much for your assertions on those points, but, hey, you just keep on whitemansplaining Malcolm X for the rest of us, and keep believing he would have approved of your doing so, m'kay?
116
@111, is that in the salad says of "show only registered user posts" ?