Yesterday, at a Seattle demonstration where thousands of people gathered to hear Bernie Sanders, two black women — allegedly of #BlackLivesMatter — went up to the podium, had a verbal fight with him, took away his microphone, and did not let him speak.
Not that these women were using violence using a gun or something. But looking back, it was violence. To forcefully deprive someone of speaking to his supporters, and that too, this obnoxious way, is violence. If not anything else, it’s violence against somebody’s civil rights and liberties to free speech. They deprived Bernie Sanders of free speech, and they deprived the thousands of men and women who came to listen to him — of their right to free speech.
I wonder, had it happened to a group of black protesters where someone would come up to the podium, uninvited, and take the microphone away from the speaker, how they would react. Not very pleasantly, I presume.
But Bernie Sanders is a gentleman. He was disappointed, but didn’t get into a nasty argument with the women. Nor did his supporters do anything nasty. For better or for worse, the crowd left the scene, I guess, without hearing his message.
I later heard that the organizers at Black Lives Matter apologized for the incident, and disowned the two protesters. I can accept that apology, on Bernie’s behalf.
But I have two questions.
Question One. why this misplaced anger? Could they repeat the same indecent snatching Hillary Clinton’s mic? I doubt it. And I’m not prescribing it either. Yet, it is Bill Clinton (with support from Hillary), along with the Republicans, who had destroyed the welfare system, privatized it, and then handed it over to Bush who did the rest.
Under which president, blacks are being killed by cops everywhere? It’s a black president, and that too, America’s first. Why don’t these angry people — with their absolutely justified anger — demonstrate against Obama wherever he goes? What has he really done, other than speaking a lot, to save these black lives across the U.S.? What have the Clintons done about it?
Question Two. How come the campaign team that’s working for Sanders was so poorly organized and near-sighted? This type of incident has happened a few times in recent weeks, and yet, they did not have enough security measures to prevent such incidents?
What if taking advantage of such security breach, some crazy man belonging to some bigoted group went up on the podium, and pulled his gun? Remember Bobby Kennedy?
I am not scare mongering. And I am against any type of violence. I’m only reminding people of facts. MLK, Bobby, John, X…the list is endless. Political violence is not new to America.
I am truly sorry to say this, but I do not think with the sloppy organization I see right now, Bernie Sanders can win. He has every qualities an American president should have, and his pro-people message hits home. I believe he is a leader that American people have not seen in a very long time.
But, with his less-than-airtight campaign organization, the violent and richly-funded opposition from both parties will destroy him. They have media the referee on their side.
Yesterday, however, the untoward incident helped Bernie Sanders to get some much-needed media coverage. It was a blessing in disguise.
America is talking about Bernie Sanders now, either in a positive or a negative way.
Brooklyn, New York
Related reading (my article): Ferguson, Ebola, and Such Bad Blacks