I posted the Bernie Sanders segment of the Netroots Nation Presidential Town Hall on Saturday, just hours after Black Lives Matter protesters turned a boring, milktoast political event into a rousing demonstration. The protesters said they didn’t want speeches or a history lesson. They wanted to force the two presidential hopefuls off of their stump speeches and into the reality of black lives by answering the question: As leader of this country, how would you “dismantle structural racism”?
Social media has a way of twisting history. Consequently, I decided to upload the Martin O’Malley segment of the town hall, which preceded the Sanders segment. Both the O’Malley segment and the Sanders segment appear after the jump. You’ll note that in the O’Malley segment, the protesters clearly ask their question (above) and state that they expect an answer from Sanders also. Jose Antonio Vargas also reiterates that all presidential candidates should be prepared to answer questions on systemic racism and how to stop it.
Sanders had at least 10 minutes to come up with an answer to the protesters’ questions, unlike O’Malley. When Sanders comes out (at the beginning of the second video), Vargas motions to the Black Lives Matter protesters who are still right in front of the stage and suggests that Sanders answer their question first. Sanders dismisses Vargas and the protesters saying, “I’m going to say what I came to say first.” And goes into his stump speech.