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.
It has been interesting watching the rapid collective transition on the Blog of the attitude regarding the disruption of the NetRoots Rally. The very first missives contained a startled and slightly indignant “What the heck happened?” perspective that quickly transitioned into a “Oh Yeah! This was a GREAT thing that happened! Just what we needed! I understood it all along!” sort of bluster.
As I said, it seemed to be a collective realization that, for most of the attendees, there was a level of indignation at the disruption that quickly changed to a need to explain the takeover and disruption of the NetRoot Conference in positive and upbeat terms. Thus we have had a series of posts by talented writers explaining the importance of what happened.
I am not offering any particular analysis of the transition…I just found it interesting how quickly the narative changed and the indignation turned to cheerleading.
Really? Because I was sitting next to Pamela at the event, and the perceptions we had and voiced to one another at that time haven’t changed in any significant way.
I think the videos are very telling. I think analyzing the candidates’ responses is important. I was shocked that neither of them had better answers.
Today there was a story in the Huffington Post saying that Bernie’s presidential campaign has raised $15 mil since he officially announced, but that he has spent $0 on polling. After Saturday morning, he might want to open up that coin purse and spend a few bucks polling people of color– at least. From the whiteness of his crowds to the Twitter mess he has on his hands thanks to #BlackLivesMatter and #BernieSoBlack, it appears that his economic equality stump speech is not resonating beyond white liberals.
Actually, on the original video, you can hear Bob saying to me, “This makes everything more interesting.” Or something like that.
The O’Malley segment was so bland, that I turned the video camera off a few times to save my battery power.
I’m glad they protested.
White liberals should remember the democratic party now belongs to people of color as well as white liberal elitists.
Yup. People of color don’t want to be taken for granted.