Why are members of the Black Lives Matter organization targeting Bernie Sanders? Because they can.
There’s no way they’d get within a mile of any Republican function or, dare I say it, a Hillary Clinton event.
When you hold big public rallies, you’re going to have interaction with the public, and Black Lives Matter is a public movement.
Strategically I think it was a mistake to, basically, force Sanders from the stage. One has to believe there were many allies of Black Lives Matter, albeit white allies, in the Seattle crowd. I don’t care what your mission is, don’t alienate your allies. But being an old, privileged white guy, I shouldn’t be second guessing the motives of an organization defending the lives of African-American men.
Flathead Memo’s James Conner had a harsher take, calling the activists “black racist thugs” and “shock troops” and to “charge (them) with assault, throw them in jail and throw away the key.”
I have great respect for Conner and his writing and usually agree with his posts. I can understand his anger since Sanders is one of the few candidates who would actually address the police violence, racism and poverty that plague America’s minorities. I imagine he sees it as just plain bad manners, too. But neither he nor I can ever comprehend the pain being felt in the African-American community over the shooting deaths of so many young, black men.
Sanders handled it well at both venues that have been disrupted: at Netroots Nation and Seattle’s Westlake Park. He kept his head, stayed above the fray and then left the stage, this time for another Seattle engagement that was 15,000 strong.
He still needs to articulate his stand on police violence against people of color, and advance a strong anti-racism policy, though.