Black Lives Matter protesters shouted two presidential candidates off the stage on Saturday at Netroots Nation - their own candidates.
MSNBC reported that Martin O’Malley and Sen. Bernie Sanders both failed to appease the angry protesters chanting “Black lives matter,” who forcefully approached the stage partway through O’Malley’s conversation with journalist Jose Antonio Vargas.
“It’s not like we like shutting s**t down, but we have to,” Black Lives Matter founder Patrisse Cullors said. “We are tired of being interrupted,” she asserted with no apparent sense of the irony.
“Every single day folks are dying. Not being able to take another breath," she explained to any listeners who might be unclear on the concept of dying. "We are in a state of emergency. If you don’t feel that emergency, you are not human.”
Translation: if you don't side with us unequivocally, you're not worthy of consideration or conversation.
As event organizers pleaded with the mob to give O’Malley a chance to respond to their points, the former Maryland governor tried to speak about criminal justice reform, only to be interrupted again with the chant, “Black lives matter.”
“I know, I know," O'Malley offered, "Let me talk a little bit... Black lives matter, white lives matter, all lives matter.”
Big mistake. That statement, which any rational person would acknowledge is sensible and true, drew boos and shouts and gasps because it doesn't buy into the racist identity politics behind the Black Lives Matter movement and progressivism in general.
O'Malley essentially gave up the stage to Sanders, who also could not pacify the protesters. He pushed back with visible exasperation:
Black lives of course matter, but I have spent 50 years of my life fighting for civil rights and if you don’t want me to be here, that’s OK. I will answer your question, but I’d like to speak for a couple of minutes.
Sanders tried to steer things back to his talking points of economic inequality, African-American unemployment, and racial disparities in the justice system, but protesters didn't back off.
The event ended 15 minutes earlier than scheduled. Vargas, who proudly calls himself "undocumented," later tweeted that he wanted to continue the conversation but wouldn’t silence the protesters to do so, because, "We cannot silence people of color and women of color."
Of course you can. Just announce that no one, including people of color and women of color (apparently women of color aren't people), is allowed to interrupt the scheduled speakers rudely and disrupt the proceedings, and anyone who does so will be escorted out. It's that fair and easy.
Netroots Nation released a statement an hour after the event ended, which said that the group “stands in solidarity with all people seeking human rights... Although we wish the candidates had more time to respond to the issues, what happened today is reflective of an urgent moment America is facing today." Actually, what happened was reflective of the fact that racist bullies aren't interested in debate or discussing solutions, even from their own party's candidates.