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#BlackLivesMatter and Bernie Sanders

People claiming to represent BLM disrupted Bernie Sanders’ rally.

Original headline: BLM ATTACKS SANDERS.
Updated headline: NOT MEMBERS OF BLM
New headline: QUESTIONS EMERGE.

In the interim, I’ve been flooded with posts by angry white Liberals, incensed that anyone would DARE to protest at a rally for Bernie Sanders.

“Don’t they KNOW that Bernie is on their side?”

Immediately people began alleging that the protesters MUST be ratfkrs in the employ of Hillary Clinton, out to harm a serious threat to her candidacy.
OR they are ratfkrs in the employ of the GOP out to sow discord among the Democrats.
(Pro tip: Democrats have never needed outside help for that.)

Then came social media posts, allegedly from BLM “Leaders” disavowing these activists.
THEN those posts were taken down – the “Leaders” were not really “Leaders.”

BLM does not have leaders. It does not have “members”.
It is not a Liberal or Conservative group – the issues around unarmed people of colour being killed by police cuts across the political divide (or it damn well should).
If someone protesting under the BLM banner turns out to be a Christian, or a Conservative, or even a spoiled rotten, attention seeking nutter, they are no less likely to be a victim of unwarranted police violence. If pulling out one’s rosary and a Mitt Romney campaign sign were enough to make cops holster their weapons, someone should let the black community know – it would save lives.

Liberals seem to be outraged that a black person would dare to protest at a Bernie Sanders rally…because, they say, Bernie is on their side. This absolutely reeks of white condescension.
YOU don’t get to TELL black people who is and who ain’t on their side.
YOU don’t get to TELL black people not to protest at Democratic rallies because you think the Republicans are guiltier or less sympathetic or anything else.

In my view, it remains perfectly fair for people of colour to protest systemic racism at ANY political rally; to demand that the issue of state sanctioned violence inflicted on minorities be addressed. That the Democrats are arguably more responsive to the concerns of minorities than Republicans (in your view) does not equate with “Democrats are paying sufficient attention to the problem of systemic racism and white privilege.”

None of the foregoing means I dislike Bernie (I like him quite a lot).
It doesn’t mean I agree with the methods employed by these protesters.
It doesn’t mean I don’t think the GOP plays, by a large margin, a much bigger role in perpetuating systemic racism in America.
What it does mean is that white Liberals don’t get to tell black people to sit down and shut up because THEY support Bernie Sanders. It means that white Liberals don’t get to choose when it’s appropriate for black people to speak out. It means that black people have a right to disrupt your political rally whether or not they are Christians, Conservatives or once had a Sarah Palin button on her backpack when she was a kid.
It means YOU don’t get to be snotty and condescending because you don’t like her TONE or her ATTITUDE (while whinging about Joe Scarborough implying that the president is too uppity).

The reaction is far more appalling than the protest.
I’m about to unfriend one particular moronic asshole who has posted on numerous occasions how it’s absolutely, perfectly obvious that these protesters are being paid by Hillary Clinton to prevent Bernie from beating her.
“WHO else benefits??? WHO was a member of the Young Republicans???? FOLLOW THE MONEY!!!”
It’s not even the brainless fucking stupidity of that claim – as if Hillary would risk the total destruction of her campaign; becoming an object of loathing and contempt in order to fuck with a couple of Bernie’s rallies. It’s the goddamned blathering, certain paranoia that must be constantly lurking just beneath the surface. I’ve always had little patience for stupid. Some people don’t even toe the line…they dive head first into the deep end before the gun even sounds.

Apparently it’s too much for white Liberals to wrap their heads around the idea that a black Christian Conservative might not see the issue as Democrats = friends / Republicans = enemies; that PERHAPS these protesters see the problem as much broader than that – a problem of white privilege which has received insufficient attention from BOTH political parties (or maybe she even places more blame on the Democrats).
You can disagree with her about that…but you DON’T get to tell her to shut the fuck up and behave when Bernie’s talking. And you sure as hell don’t, on the back of flimsy evidence and fabricated, absolutely certain delusions, get to start tossing around slanderous accusations about anyone being a paid ratfkr JUST because they’re not the sort of black person YOU think they’re supposed to be.

There’s no doubt this issue is not going away anytime soon and this will not be the last I have to say about it. In the meantime, here’s hoping people give a little more thought to their reflexive presumptions and slanderous allegations around this issue.