On Saturday Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders was speaking at a campaign event in Seattle, Washington when protesters from a local Black Lives Matter chapter took over the stage and demanded the crowd hold Sanders “accountable” for not doing enough, in their view, to address police brutality.
Here’s video of the event.
There have been no reports of #BlackLivesMatter activists disrupting campaign events held by former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, though that’s likely due more to the fact that Clinton enjoys Secret Service protection – and thus a much higher level of security than Sen. Sanders.
While many have been critical of the interruption of Sen. Sanders’ event in Seattle by #BlackLivesMatter activists, Jamie Utt at Change From Within noted a similar disruption of Sanders and Martin O’Malley at last month’s Netroots Nation led to O’Malley releasing a criminal justice platform and Sanders including some racial justice analysis in his economic inequality platform.
You know, I’ve always liked Bernie Sanders. I appreciate that as a U.S. Senator, he has been willing to speak the truth about many important social issues, but he’s also a U.S. Senator, which means that he is only going to be as progressive as his electorate allows him to be.
That said, I’d generally been pretty disappointed with the lack of racial justice analysis in his economic inequality platform as a candidate for president. That is, until a few weeks ago when some phenomenal Black activists at the Netroots Nation Presidential Town Hall forced his hand.
For all of the “this is not the way” sentiment we’re hearing from White progressives, it was the interruption at Netroots (alongside other direct pressure) that led to Bernie’s explicit platform on racial justice.