The Bad Politics of the Black Lives Matter Protesters Who Interrupted Bernie Sanders

Racist Structures Must Change. To Create That Change, We Must Have Smarter Strategies and Tactics.


I guess those loud women should know their place and resign themselves to talking in swanky little art galleries like yourself, right Charles?

Disgusting. Fuck your respectability politics.
I guess I'm mostly surprised to learn that all it requires to seize the microphone from a politician is the will to do so. And also that, if this is the case, we don't see microphones seized from politicians a lot more often.
@2 . . . this points to a lack of will, generally.
On her facebook page (…), one of Saturday's BLM protestors, Marissa Johnson, writes about a friend whom she has known "since high school, back when I had a Sarah Palin button on backpack..." (July 19 entry). I guess Marissa found Sarah more palatable than "white supremacist liberals."

In that same post, Johnson writes, "GOP shoulda groomed me right they gotta see me on the other side *shrugs*"

Can't imagine the GOP is too disappointed with her performance on Saturday.
Seattle yaks...Kent acts!

Kent Black Action Commission (KBAC) Member Challenges incumbent for City Council

Gwen Allen, executive director of the Kent Black Action Commission (KBAC) and owner of C&G Hair and Beauty Supply on the East Hill, will challenge Thomas as a write-in candidate on the Nov. 3 general election ballot.…

"I think it had to do with sexist, racist, fascist, etc. men wanting to shut the 'crazy bitches' up. So anyway, I wish those crazy bitches would've shut up."
The stranger has supported all of the black lives mater movements tactics so far, such as blocking highways, disrupting traffic, marching through the mall, ect. Why change your opinion now. My opinion doesn't matter, but I think the peaceful protests and education efforts go a lot farther than disruption. The whole "we are angry and we don't care about anyone else" idea doesn't help. Yes there is racism, but everyone isn't racists. Disrupting the innocent shouldn't be the point of the movement.
How could the organizers of this event have been so sloppy with security that TWO unvetted and unauthorised persons were permitted to assault the number two Democratic presidential candidate? Fortunately they were only a pair of narcissistic bullies and not terrorists or assassins. This is the critical issue, everybody knows we live in a racist society and getting to equal justice and equal opportunity is going to take generations of work. It's critical that we take candidates security seriously before something horrible happens.
@8 Part of it is that there's a difference between direct action such as marches, blocking highways, etc. They are general actions caused to raise awareness in a general sense. Large numbers of people hijacking public spaces to bring attention to an issue.

This wasn't such. It was a handful of individuals hijacking a left-wing political event for a cause that benefits the poor and disadvantaged more than wealthy citizens, and a policy that has been under attack by the right for some time.

Whether that is a difference of degree or kind is something different people will see differently.

I kind of feel like we should criticize it because it's bad politics. As odd as it is to agree with Charles, who did they win over to their cause? Who didn't know about/sympathize with BLM before they did this, who now knows about and sympathizes with it.

As much as one thinks "direct action gets the goods" and spurns electoral politics (as the activist says she does in interviews), change happens by policy, and direct action works to spur policy change. To do so it needs to bring new people into the fold, not alienate/piss off potential/actual supporters, so many of whom waited all day at a forum about issues they care about.
@1: Ooor they could have spoken to the crowd in a tone more of "let's raise awareness for this issue and hold our country to a higher standard" and less of "you people are all complicit in this crime which you all find abhorrent". If you want to get someone on your side, treating them as an enemy isn't terribly effective, which is why they'd have gotten their point across better if they'd been less confrontational and more constructive.
I found the interruption at Westlake very unseemly. I tell you, though, having attended Bernie's Hec Ed rally afterward, that the Westlake disruption made an impact. "Black Lives Matter" was mentioned by numerous speakers and Bernie, repeatedly. Those gals created some change.
If that crowd had decided to cheer rather than boo the BLM protesters (just a few people chanting "hands up don't shoot" in solidarity), they probably would have just asked for the 4 minutes of silence and then handed the mic over. Instead they exposed a lot of the hidden racism that is festering under the polite surface of the Seattle status quo.
The problem with white people in Seattle (and I suspect Bernie Sanders) is that we're not willing to admit we're racist. Not in the 'Let's go burn some crosses" kind of way, but the colonized, subliminal, institutionalized way.
Most white people do have racist thoughts from time to time of which we're deeply ashamed. So ashamed we tend to become defensive or vitriolic when someone points out our flaws. Many white people just don't get that when you counter #blacklivesmatter with #alllivesmatter that it's no different that saying you're Pro-Life. Of course you're pro-life so is everyone. No one is Anti-Life. When a white person says "All Lives Matter", what they are really saying is that black people shouldn't really fight for their lives to matter.
Was the interruption tasteless? Maybe. But the point of the protest was to show their desperation, not their ability to be polite. When they threw tea in the harbor at Boston that certainly didn't qualify as a classy thing to do, but it certainly made a statement of the lengths we should be willing to go when our voices, despite being polite for far too long, continue to go unheard.
I think this article is worth a look:…

Yes, it's important to share awareness about the problem. But what is your goal? How is the BLM movement going to achieve anything? Obviously they'd like it if police officers weren't shooting black people, but how is that going to change? Awareness is nice, but you're the one with the microphone, please let us know what's your platform. Your plan.
@13 that's a false dichotomy. Tons of people in the crowd were undoubtedly the "kind of white people" who get that #alllivesmatter is a fucking absurd response to BLM. It doesn't flow that their event being hijacked is something they are obligated to respond positively to.

...if native American activists took over a BLM event, and the crowd was unhappy, is that racism? How about gay activists taking over a BLM event?
@1 Are we to assume that disrespectability politics will somehow create change?
Where is your evidence Mitch McConnel marched with the Rev Dr Martin Luther King? that is preposterous...
@13: I heard people (presumably white) cheering for the points she was making in the tape. I also heard an Older British Lady who was very upset at seeing her event go sideways and being called a Racist for her trouble.

"Racist" is a word that shuts down the dialogue. Bigoted is much more accurate. People of all ethnicities hold bigoted ideas about other people, but it doesn't rise to the level of Racism. Chinese people call Caucasians "White Devils", Boston Irish hate Boston Italians, etc.

I'm not the same as a KKK member. I am bigoted, I am prejudiced. Everyone is. Everyone is not a Racist. I wish we'd save it for those that deserve it.
And so the circular firing squad forms! Great job, protesters!

And it was only a scant week ago we were laughing at how divisive and crazy the GOP debates were.
@13 I'm not so sure. In the interview Johnson gave (linked in an earlier article) she said she wanted to "burn it down" whether or not you agree or disagree with the protester's actions, it seems evident that the entire point was to be disruptive.

Regarding the article: It's certainly possible some of the hecklers were sexist or racist (and I'm certain that some of the internet commentators discussing this are), but it should not be assumed because someone disagrees with the tactics that they are racist/sexist or otherwise bigoted. In pretty much every instance where there are hecklers at a political event the crowd reacts angrily, not to mention cases where the hecklers storm the stage, take the microphone and insult everyone in the audience. To assume that they must all be racist/sexist or against BLM to have this reaction is both naive and offensive.
@15 I'm not saying there's a dichotomy. I'm saying people should've supported those protesters instead of booing them. Supporting the Black Lives Matter movement is the only way we can have all the changes that Bernie Sanders purports to champion. It's all connected. Up till that point he had been criticized for not recognizing that. Since that day in Seattle he has changed his tune. That protest needed to happen. Sorry if the folks of Seattle got their tea dumped in the harbor.
I disagree with Charles.

And, I think we've a long way to go to understand what it means to be a racist. And calling white liberal Seattleites "racist" is certainly a way to raise hackles. But you know what? I think they were right. And I think it is precisely the racism of "supporters" that needs to be called out right now.

Am I a racist? the way I've come to understand it. The "systems" of our culture are inherently racist, in that they advantage races and classes of people in predictable ways. Insofar as I support those systems, I am supporting a racist culture, and working to disadvantage those who are harmed by that system.

Charles...I've come to view it as a pipe-dream that meaningful change can happen *within* the systems you are advocating be utilized for this change. Can't happen. Won't happen. And we now have a ton of historical data showing why that is so.

Disruption. Must happen. Is the only real hope for it to happen. And yes, white, liberal Seattle progressives who prioritize their tax brackets, their zoning issues, etc. etc. etc. are a big part of the problem.
Can't believe I'm admiring an article that Mudede wrote but I am.

No, 13, the reaction of the crowd wouldn't have changed how the women behaved. They were there to do exactly what they did, and it didn't depend on what anyone else did. And 1, as a woman, I have no use for either women or men shouting nasty claims in anyone's face, politician or not. Genders don't matter; behavior and intent do.
Charles, you wrote: "I also share the opinion with Seattle's BLM members that, though our city is progressive (gay mayor, socialist council member, and so on), it maintains an economic and social structure that benefits mostly whites and often blocks opportunities for blacks and reinforces black poverty."

Not to disagree (because I don't), but how do you see the current "economic and social structure's" impact on Asian communities in Seattle? Our Asian population (14%) is almost twice that of African Americans(8%). We certainly had discriminatory policies as bad, if not worse, aimed at Asians in our past: Relocation, Riots, Redlining...
@21 Sorry, no. Social Security and the police's disproportionate use of (often lethal) force against black Americans are not related.

Policy change doesn't happen in magical revolutions, it happens via specific policy changes. Saving Social Security--a federal program--from privatization is a far, far step from changing how police departments--local institutions--operate.

But please, go on defending a Palin-loving, attention-seeking buffoon who is openly proud of the fact that her actions probably turned people against the cause she purports to support, or the fact that local BLM activists note she is a clown.

And bullshit. Sanders actually was talking about race before the Seattle event, as anyone familiar with the issue knows. He has been an on-going dialogue with BLM, and increasingly trying to focus on an issue that hasn't been one he focused on in the past (for obvious reasons: Vermont, federal government). But the fact is the women in Seattle have no desire to have a dialogue, or affect electoral politics: they made that clear. Burn it down!

Fuck, I don't even support Sanders, but this tarring of him and his supporters as the problem is the apotheosis of the liberal circular firing squad.
Madasshatter...if the actions of this one protestor has turned you or anyone else away from the issue of #BLM, then you weren't really there to begin with.

@22 writes "Charles...I've come to view it as a pipe-dream that meaningful change can happen *within* the systems you are advocating be utilized for this change. Can't happen. Won't happen. And we now have a ton of historical data showing why that is so."

Really? No meaningful change on issues relating to race has happened through the normal channels of representative democracy? I, for one, am surprised to find we still have chattel slavery, Jim Crow, and the actual institutions that actively (not passively) oppress, rather than disadvantage, African Americans.

But you're right. A revolution must be the only answer and we should shit on the people doing the grindingly hard work of striving to make progressive policy changes because they don't create your dream utopia (note: your, this is a democracy).

Perfect enemy good much? (Let me guess, every four years you vote for Nader.)
I'm cool with it (not like it matters to anyone). Bernie is all grown up, he can learn from this, and he is refocusing his platform to foreground these issues. It may just be PR but I'm wiiling to give Sanders the benefit of the doubt.

Can we turn down the butthurt, people? Just a bit?
Anyone who storms the stage at an event, calls the crowd nasty names, and then immediately demands that only they can speak, and the crowd must do exactly as they say, is going to get booed. It does not matter what they are trying to convey.

If anything, the cause they were representing, and their gender and race afforded them much better treatment than they could have gotten. Bernie Sanders can not be seen shoving black women off a stage. Not going to happen. He could not even take the mic afterwards for fear of the optics.

Sanders needs to step up his security game. Those two would not have gotten within 500 feet of Hillary. Hell, you could kill someone with those giant cross earrings.
@MadAssHatter...have we made some progress in some areas? Certainly. But is it enough? Nearly enough? Good enough? Contrary to your snark, I'm not looking for the perfect...but take this, for example: 1 in 3 black males will go to prison in their lifetime. (see here:…).

Can you imagine if the sons of white people we're going to prison at that rate? (for reference, 1 in 17 white males will do so).

The point is, asking black people to just ride it out, stand in line, wait their turn for justice...too slow, too small, too insignificant.

As for the effectiveness of disruption politics? We went to war over unfair taxation on tea. Unfair taxation on tea = war. Was that too much? Too disruptive? Imagine if the British were jailing our sons at a rate of 1 in 3. Would you consider that insufficient grounds for the Revolutionary War?

You sit comfortably with your ending of slavery and Jim Crow, not really understanding the crisis that exists all around you. Wake up.
Question: Did Johnson and Willaford approach the event organizers before the event and ask to speak, or did they simply hijack it without warning?
Cue the folks who want more security/police presence from here on forward. Oh, the irony.
I wasn't saying everything is ok! I was suggesting your claims that the only solutions can be found outside the political system/process were wrong (like most radicals you gloss over what that might mean or look like, or how it might work). "Things aren't working fast enough for me, blow it up!" is not actually that popular of an agenda, and as such can only be instituted through authoritarian means.

But if you really believe the American war of independence can be distilled to "we went to war over unfair taxation on tea," to the degree you feel the need to repeat it in successive sentences, I don't really give a shit about any of your simplistic views of the world.

PS: the Boston Tea Party was in 1773.
"My point is simply that, as imperfect as Sanders is, and as imperfect as white progressives are in this city, it still makes more political sense to form alliances with them rather than risk isolation."

That's so magnanimous of you, Charles - deigning to form alliances with such *imperfect* white folks.
I think a lot of you are missing Charles's point. He's not saying their disruption and anger wasn't without just cause, or should be condemned because it wasn't Seattle "nice", he's simply being very pragmatic and pointing out that these sorts of movements can only persist, flourish, and ultimately succeed by persuading people to join with you. I absolutely guarantee you that fewer people are sympathetic to the BLM cause today than there were last Friday, and that's not a good thing.

Whatever you might think about gay marriage, that movement proved that by winning over middle American grandmothers through completely non-threatening methods and positive messaging (and making your enemies the obviously hateful ones) is the way to win. It's all about strategy for a timeline that likely extends past the horizon, and being mindful of what motivates the human heart.
@22 You're getting into semantics, but the common understanding of the term racist is offensive and describes a very different set of beliefs than what you describe. It's night and day to say to someone, "you are racist," versus, "you exist in a racist society and benefit from it." The first is an accusation that the person has despicable thoughts and feelings. If your measure of racism is supporting the "system" anyone who pays taxes is racist, including the vast majority of black people.

I get the pessimistic feeling, but the fact is that we have made enormous progress by utilizing the political system coupled with strategic protests and disruptive tactics. Of course there is a long way to go, but we should be utilizing all avenues of effecting change.
@25 you're wrong BLM and social security are connected. Look at the privatization of the prison industry which imprisons 1 in 3 black males in this country. I'm sure they're using the same tactics to try to get social security privatized. People are just ignorant or they turn a blind eye and let it happen because of fear. They would be having a lot harder time privatizing things like social security if we had never let things like prisons get privatized
@31 That's the part that cracks me up. These ladies would have totaly had permission to say their peice and get their moment of silence had they just asked.
@36 Shotsix...

The difference with the gay movement and the #BLM movement is that gay individuals are still part of our white and privileged families. Those grandmothers that had to be won over had gay grandchildren. Many gay men were able to leverage their existing privileges in order to affect change on this issue. I have multiple gay people in my life, as is the case in a large number of white families in America. So the gay movement was "our" movement. It was personal.

Even here, the way we talk about this issue is in the context of "their" movement. If those other people, those black people, would handle "their" issue better, change would come more quickly! But that's exactly the problem; they are the minority and too few of us, even white liberals, see this as "our" movement. We're just spectators.
Surely the crowd should have cheered after being called liberal white supremacists! Then we could've had conservative political cartoon after conservative political cartoon depicting the clusterfuck of white guilt that that would have represented!
@39...and would have made no impact whatsoever.
Mudede suggests sexism and racism might have played a part in the negative reaction to the protesters but not a word that black anti-Semitism played a part in their continually harassment of the only Jewish candidate. They refused to shake his hand. Perhaps because he was a Jew? Why is the subject of black racism towards others always completely ignored by the anti-racist activists? It's more than a lil racist.
Roger Valdez is drawing a parallel to the reaction at Westlake with the reaction he got trying to get an upzone in Revenna.…
typos ahoy!
@38 "I'm sure they're using the same tactics to try to get social security privatized."

Your claims without warrants are well and good, but don't hold your breath waiting for me to give a shit about how you're "sure" that "tactics" (huh?) on a state-level policy issue with diffuse impacts and a federal-level policy issue that is a universal social program are identical... because you're a fucking moron.

See what I did there by being a snarky asshole and directly insulting you? That undercut my entire argument and made its actual points irrelevant.

AGREE. COMPLETELY. Those two acted like immature little brats. That wasn't a protest. It was a tantrum.
@40 I think you're being overly simplistic in how difficult the past 30+ years of transforming gays from "other" to "us" was. Lot's of very un-privileged and privileged people of all races slowly and incrementally nudged America to the relatively gay friendly atmosphere we find today. None of that was accomplished by putting natural allies into defensive positions. You shouldn't call somebody an asshole and then expect them to invest in your vision.

Oh well, as a straight person you probably can't appreciate the struggle.
@8, The Stranger and many of its commenters have previously advocated that freedom of assembly (the act of moving to a place where one will gather with other people) and speech goes to those who are loudest and most coercive in seizing the public square (or public throughway people use to move points of assembly). They only condemn the tactic now with BLM? Freedom of assembly and speech aren't only for those who will physically and coercively take the microphone from other assembled to hear and participate in speaking together on the topic of their choice. If the government position is that freedom of speech goes to the individual and group who can muster the most force to seize the microphone, then the freedom will be only for the strong or most coercive.
"True, some of the people who booed Johnson and Willaford were likely racist, but many were simply upset by what they perceived, with good reason, as arrogant behavior. - This, I'm sorry, is going to rub a lot of people the wrong way—and not because they are racist but because they are human."

uhhh.... what?
@46 I'm sorry if I gave the impression I care about anything you think. Because I REALLY don't
@51 And that's really bad politics. Which was the point Charles, other commenters, and I are trying to make.…
I don't see what the problem is. Bernie upgraded his platform and we're still talking about it. I wouldn't recommend it as a sustained approach, but the occasional rude outburst isn't going to kill the movement when protesters are routinely clashing with the police.
@48...on the contrary. I have 2 gay brothers, an ex-wife who is gay, 3 gay cousins, and a son who is gay. I was politically active in a direct way on the issue of gay rights from the mid-90's on. The point being, even though I am straight, this was my issue, because it directly affected my family.

We are still so segregated that even in this thread, we are still talking about this in terms of us/them.
i bet that crowd would have booed donald trump too. because he was white and not because of the content of his character
@54 Are you being purposefully obtuse? Throughout this thread, and in the original post, "them" in context signifies the activists. Not African Americans as a whole.
@52 are there any politics that aren't bad though?
@56...I'm certainly not trying to be obtuse. And maybe I'm wrong...but in the tone of the discussion here and elsewhere, it still feels to me like a majority of white liberals still think of the #BLM movement as the movement of others, not the movement of us.
We're still fighting the MLK/Malcolm X (who wasn't nearly as militant as he was made out to be) dichotomy.
@59 If you think that specific aspect of the issue--getting white liberals to buy into it as their fight--is important, then how can you not agree that antics that vilify white liberals and openly deride them are counter-productive? (Which is the _entire_ point being stressed by Mudede and others.)

At least be consistent, like Marissa Johnson. She at least says she doesn't give a fuck in convincing white liberals it is their cause, too.
@60...because I think making white liberals uncomfortable is really the best way to change.

I disagree with you and others that the result is or has been a lessening of attention to the #BLM issue. And I think the shoe fits; as MLK stated, it was the appalling silence of supporters that most inhibited change. And I think the same still holds true.
@58 probably because all white people live on easy street and don't have to deal with poverty, police violence, inequality or being judged by the color of their skin. black lives matter, whiteboys and white b*****. show your support you racists or we'll burn this motherfucker down
Well said, Mr. Mudede. I will be interested to see whether similar "invasions" occur in the more heavily policed events of 1% politicians. I think we both know the answer to this speculative possibility...and that fact in itself is not without significance or political import. I'm reminded of my own history and that of many others in the New Left, where the greater venom was typically unleashed not upon the ruling class, but upon the more vulnerable, unthreatening, and nearby persons who were comrades falling short of one's own imagined revolutionary mark (Marx?). There is an element of this in what the BLM vanguard did at the Sanders event, and it is something that merits self-examination.
Spot fucking on, this piece. Exactly. I was at the event. I was mad because these people jumped the line.
@2/3 - I think these activists picked one of the few politicians that wouldn't have had this action be responded to with force by some sort of law enforcement.

No way Mitt Romney would've let these activists get anywhere near him. I'd guess the same for Barack or Hillary.
Before the Sanders disruption, I would have gladly given time and money in support of BLM. Now, I'm not so sure. And yes, I'm saying that my support was tentative and lukewarm. But I was interested and willing to be convinced. The stone-cold statistics are convincing. The tactics and rhetoric are not. Unfortunately after last weekend, my interest in BLM has basically evaporated. I'm sure I'm not alone.

Support for any cause is a choice, not an obligation. If you want my support for your cause, meet me where I am politically and I'll consider it. Don't yell at me or speak in a condescending way. I'm not obligated to support you in the first place, so you'll have to earn it. If you decide that the process of courting my support isn't worth your time, then so be it. There are plenty of worthwhile causes that would be grateful for my support.
Why bother to organize your own rally when you can let someone else do all the work, all the heavy lifting, and then just go highjack their event?
As unnerving as these activists actions were, as Mr. Mudede says, they were less unnerving than seeing the blurred head of that unarmed man blown off at point blank by an officer of the law. That shit was upsetting.
..."because I think making white liberals uncomfortable is really the best way to change." @61 has this right.

Also what @62 said.
Only racists believe BLM is wrong to insist that black Americans are disproportionately harassed, arrested, jailed, and killed by law-enforcement officers.

No fuckin' shit, Charles! Right on. And thus the attention should be on the cops, and only the cops. Full-bore, video-recording attention. Giving attention to these two women is misplaced. Personally, I don't give a fuck for either of them. What I want to know are the names, addresses, and direct interviews of every cop in Ferguson, MS who let a bunch of heavily armed racists roam their town at will while arresting peaceful protesters. I want questions answered NOW, from the low-level street cop to the DA all the way to the city council. These are the people who the left should be spilling internet ink over, not two politically naive activists. We got those coming out our yin-yang.
I had the honor of attending the MOVEMENT FOR BLACK LIVES national convening in Cleveland, Ohio last month and gaining a better understanding of what the #BlackLivesMatter movement means.

The "action" taken by those two brave Black young woman - on the eve of the first anniversary of Michael Brown's death - was not about Bernie Sanders, not about his campaign, not about the Democratic Party, and not politics as usual - it's about the political reality that Black people are being brutalized, beaten, framed, maimed, and killed by the powers-that-be even as we speak.

But don't take my word for it. Instead read and reflect on the official #BlackLivesMatter statement on what the movement is, what the movement isn't, and the movement never will be:

August 9, 2015

"At this time, #BlackLivesMatter does not endorse any presidential candidate. Moreover, we are not affiliated with a political party. Our work is not funded or driven by any political party nor is it influenced by local or national candidates.

As stated in our mission, #BlackLivesMatter is an ideological and political intervention; we are not controlled by the same political machine we are attempting to hold accountable. In the year leading up to the elections, we are committed to holding all candidates for Office accountable to the needs and dreams of Black people. We embrace a diversity of tactics. We are a decentralized network aiming to build the leadership and power of black people. We do not endorse any political party and we are not supported by any political party. Our political aims we’ve stated clearly.

Historically, all political parties have participated in the systematic disenfranchisement of Black people. Anti-black racism, especially that sanctioned by the state, has resulted in the loss of healthy and thriving Black life and well-being. Given that, we will continue to hold politicians and political parties accountable for their policies and platforms. We will also continue to demand the intentional dismantling of structural racism.

For more information about #BlackLivesMatter nationally, please visit the official website at, follow @BlkLivesMatter on Twitter, or visit the Facebook page here."
"Can it have a lasting impact? If it hopes to do so, it will have to consolidate, form a clear structure, create democratic procedures for action, and make alliances with other like-minded political organizations."

Generally I find this piece insightful, but this statement, particularly as a conclusion, is somewhat specious. It sounds like a good plan, but Mudede is not in a position to declare these tactics ineffective. There is no precedent to effectively dismantling American racism; it has never been done.
can we all just have mixed babies and get rid of white people?
@17 First I heard Mitch McC walked with MLK, also. Not sure he actually walked, but he encouraged others to do so. It's not an obscure secret:………
Great article CM. #BLM
@43. you may have a point about the black anti-Semitism (which has existed for decades). The woman who yelled the most said that she was an evangelical Christian and her religious beliefs led her to do this to Sanders. I don't want to believe that but I don't want to believe any of this shit and yet it's happening.

I'm certain that their vision was to get arrested while trying to get to the mic, all whilst making a scene for the cameras. The idea that the liberal white supremacist occupiers of the Duwamish Delta could've been so accommodating certainly didn't make it to their whiteboard. Next time, don't underestimate our willingness to be flogged.

Shame the agenda wasn't more coherent and that the speakers were so insufferable. We can only hope that this was practice for a more meaningful performance.
I agree entirely. I reject bullying whether from the right or the left. It was threatening, disrespectful, arrogant, and self-promoting. There are SO FEW black folks in this city, we can't afford to alienate people who would otherwise be allies. Grow up

Bernie ain't perfect but he's as close to FDR we're ever gonna see, and anybody who supported Sarah Palin should be shown the door. Talk about bullying, Talabangelicals are what's ruining this country, and I reject that judgmentsl hypocrisy, too
@78. Thank you for the much needed laugh. Agreed. Clearly her tea party parents raised her well, attack the one candidate who wont have security stop you before you can even get to the stage, then when the organizer says he will let you speak afterwards, demand to speak NOW, and then after you speak, tell Bernie to come over, in a tone that resembles a school yard fight. I was there, and I booed, as most people would when children take over the stage and start screaming. She then says we are all white liberal supremacists which would of course incite boos, and then uses that as 'proof' that we are racist. I think your devout Evangelical Christian logic is showing.
Her twitter handle...

Describes herself as a Radical Christian Mullatanist.


Mullatanist - Self-important, overly priviliged little girl who uses her mixed race heritage to selfishly get ahead while deriding others with similar privilige.

It just screams, "I'm black but don't forget I'm also part white, GOP higher ups I'm trying to impress! That means I'm a safe choice to demean people who actually try to help the black community!"

Basically she's Samuel L. Jackson's character from Django.
Its funny how everyone prefeaces their politically correct comments with "I still support BLM" with their comments eventhough Seattle has now become a national public embarrassment on the issue. Screw BLM. I'm for "ALM" All lives matter. Blacks have proven this week in Missouri that instead of using words they need guns to start crap. Frankly they arent any different then any other "culture" that has an ego problem that wont allow them to scream their stupidity in the face of total stranger face. Well guess what. You scream at me, you get a fucking face palm and a walk-away. You shoot me, you're just hurting your cause and if you think you're somehow better than me because under the guise of "justice against another culture" then you're just as bad as those you accuse. So BLM can go screw themselves. They are nothing but a bunch of hypocrites
...and the clearly racist enter the fray here...align with Charles and others, and Charles and the others are still so intent on criticizing these women (who are articulate and strategic and well behaved given the gravity of the issues at hand) that they dare not call out the blatant racism in these threads. Ugly...ignorant. The idea that equality will trickle down if we just support white liberal causes is as bankrupt as economic trickle down theory.
@84 criticizing a persons actions is racist now? i'll just go interrupt a blm protest and call all of them racist, and if they boo at me it will prove my point that they hate the color of my skin and not the content of my character. same with all of those people on the internet that would dare talk about my actions. racists, all of them
Face it the only people who are "not" racists are black people. It is impossible for a black person to be racist. If a black person calls anyone racist it is true in the eyes of the media and the left. You have a socialist scared to kick a stranger off of "his" stage because of the color of their skin. Wait, is that racist? The left is scared of the left. That is kind of funny.

If you are white you are racists. If you say the BLM movement is doing nothing productive for the African American community, you are most definitely racist. When you look up BLM on google to find the positive message it is hard to find. The message gets turned into no one matters very quickly.
@74 can we get rid of the oddly racist one-drop rule?
I do not have to listen to two spoiled brats talk about how racist I am and be quiet. The old man who was being pushed around should not have had to put up with her abuse. And, I agree the British lady in the audience. This is America and we do not have to listen to you. They deserved to be arrested for disturbing the peace. Old people matter, too. Brats.
@13: I don't think the majority of it was racism. I think if a couple of white anarchist kids (for example) had seized the mic and kicked Bernie off the stage, people would have boo'd that, too. I think you're veering dangerously close to arguing there should be different standards for black and white behavior, which smacks of conservative attempts to depict black people as naturally more violent.
@79: I'm uncomfortable with tarring her with the "Palin supporter" brush. I had a lot of stupid opinions in high school, too; I'm lucky Facebook didn't exist yet.
I'll say it again: As hard as it may be to realize this in cozy liberal Seattle, liberals are constantly under siege in the U.S. Everything about our electoral system favors conservatives right now. Make no mistake; this is an election about not letting things roll backwards 20 years. If we start tearing down our own forces we're going to get steamrolled and we'll have President Rubio or President Bush. How much good will that do the BLM cause?
Charles I agree with your article, thank you for making the points.

If PETA, a Palestinian group, Greenpeace, or a veteran's group had shut down Sanders, many people would be just as annoyed by the boorish interruption.This does not mean somehow we are 'anti animals' 'anti Palestine' 'anti environment' or 'anti veterans'. So how does a BLM supporter thinking the Westlake interrupters were flawed in their actions make people racist?

You are committing a logical fallacy if you are making an association between disapproval of method and racism.

Sorry, but this reminds me of the time some idiot at The Stranger chortled about the lawsuit between Transocean and Halliburton, being blithely unaware of the ownership of those two corporations!

Oh, sorry, Charles, that would have been you!

You claimed: Also, I think the reason many found this behavior so disagreeable had more to do with sexism and racism.

Dood, when will you ever admit to thuggish behavior?

Never, one guesses.

So you are suggesting it had nothing to do with the targeting of one specific candidate (at Netroots Nation, and now in Seattle) by an ostensibly BLM outfit, whose major donor at this time appears to be one George Soros, the same backer of Hillary Clinton, the same fellow heavily invested in the private prison corporations (GeoGroup, CCA, etc.)?

Yup, hoping for another Clinton Omnibus Crime Bill to fill up more and more private prisons, perhaps?

Some religionist/rightwingers, and former supporters of Sarah Palin disrupt a Socialist candidate every time he attempts to speak, when possible?

Now how could that possible be staged?

Thought you came from a country where a great deal was staged?

Another zero content article from Mudede.

NO free passes Mudede! (Unless it's for corrupt politicians who have introduced Mudede to New Horizons' swingers club, huh?)
And oh yeah, plenty of rightwing black jackholes in Seattle, Mudede!

Official homework assignment for the low-information write, Charles Mudede: Pray explain to us minions what politician, white or black, presently active today, who marched with Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr., hasn't been targeted in some manner over the past decade?

I will await your response.
Yes, for me it was about the arrogance and vitriol with which they took over the event. It has little to do with their being black or female - I'd want to smack upside the head a white male pulling the same, out-of-place shit. (Maybe even moreso, so perhaps that's where my sexist, racist side is coming out?)

The entire action reeked of bullying and throwing a tantrum, and it felt evident they were baiting someone to respond physically. There is certainly a political strategy to chaos and a perception that you're out of control. Unfortunately, their message was so poorly presented that it just felt like they were attention-seeking and used BLM and Bernie Sanders presence at this event to achieve that goal without doing benefit to the goals of Black Lives Matter.

Like Anonymous, some of the actions done in the name of BLM are spot-on and garner my support. But like any nebulous organization for which one becomes a member just by declaring themselves one, a few bad apples can fuck it up.
@13, here's the problem with your thinking, one continues to hear endless number of black folk say that no whites are being shot by the police.

In 2014, the greatest category of those shot by the cops was the white people category, but, a black person was over twice as likely to be shot.

Constant repitition of untruths or lies doesn't help further the situation, as blaming the revulsion with despicable behavior as racist --- that, once again is claiming a free pass on responsibility and behavior.

When I was in Marine Corps boot camp I was as disgusted with a brother turning in his fellow black brethren, as I would have been disgusted with a white boot doing the same.

It was backstabbing and despicable behavior, and no teabagger is going to get a free pass because they are black.

Neocons, whatever their category, should be equally despised!
The problem has to do with the male ability to completely deny the reality of the world we have created. It's about priorities and Charles has just proved how messed up his priorities are with this piss poor article that essentially acknowledges the problem as a serious priority, but not a higher priority than the ego of those who have already paid the deposit to have exclusive right to wave the "I believe in equality" flag.

The unmistakable racist undertone that threatens to destroy everything that America stands for, is not simply the fact that law enforcement officers treat non-caucasians more aggressively and more unfairly than they do caucasians. The actions of individual men does not direct translate to a broken system.

What does without any doubt signify the seriousness of a broken country, is the racism that is apparent in the judicial branch of our government. There will always be assholes who will never admit their racist view of the world and despite their denial their actions prove it, but when our carefully designed judicial system is in such a state of denial that it lets the death of a black boy be judged as legal action which would never have the same verdict if the death was of a caucasian under the same circumstances.

I can understand that not all cops have integrity, and the pressure for sympathy towards them.

It's the cases that don't involve cops -- such as zimmerman being found not guilty for the death of Trayvon -- that are the sure sign that our country will fail due to having the people, and their govt poisoned by racism

People are human and mistakes will always be made, the sure sign of failure and what that translates to are not the fact the zimmerman got away with it, the sure sign is that there are people who have the gall to claim that racism played no part in the verdict. The sure sign is the denial of men saying you don't know for sure that zimmerman would have been judged the same if he killed a caucasian

The sure sign is when journalist's like charles write crap like this, claiming to be in favor of a cure that will remedy our poisoned and dying system, but just not that cure or this one, that now isn't the time to begin action, if we could just wait til tomorrow and have faith that the poison will cure itself

It doesn't really matter if the reason is charles being in the firm grip of denial or if it's his ego and needing people to bow down to his politics before he will allow much needed fixes, the bottom line is that somebody with somewhat correct priorities would have viewed the interruption (staged or naturally occurring) differently than the people who reacted negatively. First reactions, even when wrong, mean very little, it's the actions taken after the fact that have real meaning, it's piss poor articles such as this one published by the stanger, that speak of the real problems in our society.

The crowd could have used derogatory and disgusting terms like the "n" word and I'd be less worried about the rampant racism within our society than the booing the crowd did, but only because people have the ignorance and arrogance to publish shit like this and describe those who prioritize fixing what is broken as bad politics
By 2050, the Asian and Latino populations in the US are expected to double from 2005 levels (reaching 29% and 9%, respectively). The African American population is expected to remain 13%. Look at what's happened to South Central LA -…

I'm looking forward to seeing how black activism - BLM and otherwise - adapts.
Barring Gandhi, no reasonable person should expect anyone to respond to horribly misplaced insults with silence or gratitude. The criticism of the crowd response to being called "white supremacist" is a sad joke by people who are lying if they claim to stomach insults more graciously.

That's like me spilling coffee on your carpet and then blaming you for having a dirty floor. Only the most immature people who are unwilling to admit they are wrong would agree with the supposed BLM's tactics and blame shifting in this instance

The pathetic state senator who was too gutless to call it like it is in her editorial earlier this week should be ashamed. What good is a progressive who can't speak to the truth for fear of angering her base, minority or otherwise?
@94 agreed. "The entire action reeked of bullying and throwing a tantrum, and it felt evident they were baiting someone to respond physically."

@99 agreed. I am also disappointed in the senator as well, she had a chance to call these people what they were, self-centered children and she didnt. I was at the event, my reaction to the 'white supremacist' was 'WTF', personally my booing started when she told us to shut up and listen or they were shutting it down. What other response could their possibly be?
Joel Connely has it about right.… Also, someone I know commented on the article and what occurred at the Bernie Sanders (don't abbreviate his name, ever) Rally, "This is a dangerous precedent to set, the most forceful get to have their say? This is liberty for no one."
"The screaming was so heated, so shrill, that I found it to be more abusive than productive."
Those of us who were politically active during the '60's remember the type. Just like Kwameesha Savant at a City Council meeting.
They all carried Mao's Little Red Book, and could quote it verbatim, without understanding what they were saying. They all slept under a poster of Che on the wall above their bed. They all knew the latest slogans, and it seemed like that was ALL they knew. They all were fans of the Symbionese Liberation Army. Whenever they grabbed the mike, they never gave it back, and they never spoke at anything less than a yell or a scream or a shout.
They're a big part of why Richard Nixon got elected, because people who REALLY wanted to bring about political change were so turned off by their tone-deaf drivel that we gave up political activism.
Be careful. You may not be doing yourselves any favors when you act up.
"As much as I may agree with the content of Johnson and Willaford's disruption, its context (an event that was not for Sanders but for a very important issue that affects millions of black Americans) and its brazen disrespect clearly closed rather than opened a lot of people to the BLM cause."

Prove it. I mean, clearly that act in concert with the interruption at Netroots have caused both Clinton and Sanders to pay more attention to the BLM cause.