I was disappointed to see that Bernie Sanders had his speaking time taken away from him in Washington State by the Black Lives Matters crowd, Seattle division, at Westlake Park. I’m not sure I would vote for him or agree with all his proposals (free stuff is often too good to be true), but it was his turn to speak and, with the exception of Trump (whether you like his buffoonish comments or not), he seems to speak his mind. Plus, if anyone is going to be open to the demands of Black Lives Matter it’s going to be him. By interrupting him, I believe the black women who took over the stage were working against their best interests and the best interests of the African American community who want these issues to continue to be addressed by the next president.
Politics is about compromise and negotiation (and bribery doesn’t hurt either) and forcing Bernie and the crowd to listen to an unscheduled speech plus demanding a moment of silence for Michael Brown was censorship and insincerity (the social issue was more important than the actual death, it’s like forcing people to pray because they happen to be at church). Remember, they refused to let Bernie speak while grabbing the mic away from him, it wasn’t a shout-out prior to him taking the stage or a request to debate him. And Bernie’s camp finally capitulated instead of forcing these protesters off the stage (considering the situation, it might have been detrimental to his campaign to have that scene on video).
Plus, if we’re going to give 4.5 minutes of silence to Michael Brown, what about the other black victims of police brutality they forgot? Should we be forced to spend hours in moments of silence? And what about the nonblack victims, including other races, gender or the LGBT community? Do they get to grab the mic from Bernie too or any politician scheduled to speak? Right, Bernie is such a big liberal bigot that he didn’t ask the police to remove the speech bullies–because they knew he wouldn’t. All they did was pick on the nice guy who had the most to lose from this situation if he did kick them off. They picked on the most left leaning politician in the two-party presidential race?
Yes, black lives matter and, yes, police brutality is an important issue–which is making great strides this year in awareness and action. It’s great to see! But it’s not the only issue the country is facing and you don’t get to grab the mic away from potential presidents we want to hear to give your own speech. Your issue–even an important one–doesn’t entitle you to someone else’s platform. Create your own damn forum. The black women interpreted the booing from what was apparently a majority white “liberal” audience as racist instead of what was obvious frustration with not being able to hear the speaker they came to listen to (and Seattle traffic is a bitch to get through to go to any event!). If a gay white man grabbed the mic at a Black Lives Matter “official” speaking event (or any black speaking event) to protest how the gay community is still demonized by the overall black community then I suppose he could call the primarily black audience a bunch of homophobic bigots for hissing at his interruption.
I embrace protesting, I embrace free speech even when it’s thrust in my face downtown. But this was childish behavior. I’m tired of leftist speech bullies.