Marissa Johnson and Mara Willaford boldly grabbed the microphone to point out that “progressive Seattle” is riddled with problems of police abuse, incarceration of youth of color, gentrification, disproportionate suspension of Black schoolchildren, and other racial justice issues. Black Lives Matter is very much on the scene in Ferguson now as the anniversary of that shooting death is marked. Others countered with chants of “white lives matter” or “all lives matter”.
“Black Lives Matter” activists have begun to turn up the heat on Republican candidates.
Shortly after the protest, Sanders released a comprehensive platform on racial justice and introduced Symone Sanders, a young black activist, as his campaign’s national press secretary.
“Black Lives Matter” is not an agenda. This is the time for all the Democratic and Republican presidential candidates to speak to the issues of race. And that we focus on the critical issues the BLM activists raised and Sanders skirted.
On Wednesday night, the protesters disrupted a Jeb Bush speech in Las Vegas.
Former Daily Show correspondent turned Nightly Show host Larry Wilmore is now weighing in on the Black Lives Matter protesters who interrupted a Bernie Sanders’ rally over the weekend.
Last Saturday, Bernie Sanders, the Vermont senator running to the left of Hillary Clinton for the Democratic presidential nomination, was confronted at a rally in Seattle by members of the Black Lives Matter movement.
Protest and civil disobedience are proud American traditions, but there is a way to do it that does not undermine the credibility of the movement.
“This is the wrong deal, and I hope Congress rejects it. If I’m elected president of the United States, I will make sure Iran never gets nuclear capability”, he said. While disruption is uncomfortable, it does result in candidates acknowledging and addressing the issue with policy proposals.
“There is racism in America”.
However, a number of Democratic lawmakers are standing behind the protesters, even when they target their own party. The nonpartisan group bills itself as “an ideological and political intervention” aimed at pressuring lawmakers of all stripes to adopt specific policy prescriptions for advancing “the needs and dreams of black people“.
“You can get your message out without shouting people down on stage”, he said.
“Right now, we’re playing catchup”, said the Reverend John Richard Bryant, who was asked about Black Lives Matter during a speech in Washington, D.C., Wednesday. The pair said that Sanders didn’t pay enough attention to criminal justice reform and racial equality. In the aftermath of the Freedom Rides in the early 1960s, Robert Kennedy met Black activists from the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee in an effort to redirect their direct action and confrontational demonstrations into voter registration and other “peaceful” means of change. They’ve got it to spare compared to us: they’re going to be smelling the roses in their golden years while we’re already pushing up the daisies.
If white folks are annoyed by being held up by black people, they should take cold comfort in knowing that for a few years, they will continue to live while the rest of us are dead.