Interrupting Sanders Exposed White Supremacy Of US Left

| Resist!

Above: Marissa Johnson, left, speaks as Mara Jacqueline Willaford holds her fist overhead and Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., stands nearby as the two women take over the microphone at a rally Saturday, Aug. 8, 2015, in downtown Seattle. The women, co-founders of the Seattle chapter of Black Lives Matter, took over the microphone and refused to relinquish it. Sanders eventually left the stage without speaking and instead waded into the crowd to greet supporters. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson)

You know, I’ve always liked Bernie Sanders. I appreciate that as a U.S. Senator, he has been willing to speak the truth about many important social issues, but he’s also a U.S. Senator, which means that he is only going to be as progressive as his electorate allows him to be.

That said, I’d generally been pretty disappointed with the lack of racial justice analysis in his economic inequality platform as a candidate for president. That is, until a few weeks ago when some phenomenal Black activists at the Netroots Nation Presidential Town Hall forced his hand.

For all of the “this is not the way” sentiment we’re hearing from White progressives, it was the interruption at Netroots (alongside other direct pressure) that led to Bernie’s explicit platform on racial justice.

Notably, Black Lives Matter activists haven’t been successful (though I am sure not for lack of trying) in interrupting Hillary Clinton in the same way (that secret service protection and massive campaign budget for private security sure is handy), but even she has had little choice but to pay attention to Black Lives Matter as a movement.

And there is a great deal of disagreement within Black communities (we as White folks would do well to remember that people and Black organizations aren’t monoliths) about whether the action was strategic and whether targeting Bernie was the right move. And that dialogue should continue to take place within Black liberation spaces, but White folks – that’s not our business.

Because here’s the thing – what’s powerful about these interruptions from Black women is less how it has changed the tone of the Democratic campaigns and more about what they have exposed in the White left.

I see these protests as less about the individual candidates themselves and more about how their White base refuses to center Black lives and Black issues. It’s notable that White Bernie supporters, who consider themselves the most progressive of us all, shouted down and booed Black women who dared to force Blackness into the center of White space.

Because let’s be honest, every Bernie rally is White space.

In watching the over-the-top angry response from White liberals about Bernie being interrupted in Seattle, I can’t help but think of the words of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. on White moderates:

What was true in King’s time is true in ours: the greatest stumbling block to racial justice is not the KKK; it’s well-meaning White people who would rather maintain injustice than risk the decentering of our Whiteness and White comfort.

And when I watch and hear the reaction of a mostly White Seattle crowd to a Black woman naming that the event is taking place in the context of Indigenous genocide, the new Jim Crow, and the everyday violence that Black, Brown, and Indigenous people face in Seattle, I’m ashamed.

Two Black women called for a moment of silence for Mike Brown a year after he was gunned down, left bleeding in the street for 4.5 hours, and White “progressives” shouted, booed, and chanted the name of a White man throughout that moment.

How much more committed to a “negative peace” can we get than literally shouting down the memory of a Black youth whose murder helped to spark this movement?

And how much more “devoted to ‘order’” can we be than to lecture Black people about what direct actions are and are not “hurting your cause”? (Notably, this language I’ve seen from countless White folks shows that we do not see the cause of racial justice as OUR cause – it’s that cause over there that we will tolerate so long as it doesn’t disrupt our Bernie rally.)

And how much more of a “stumbling block” can our self-proclaimed “allyship” be to racial justice when it’s so feeble as to proclaim, “I am a strong ally of the Black Lives Matter movement, but I’m not sure how to be an ally when they are this disrespectful to the only candidate that has actually done anything for minorities” (actual quote from one of the 15 or so social media threads I’m following as I write this article)?

Notably, it wasn’t two Black women who kept Bernie from speaking in Seattle. It was a White man, a Bernie supporter, who organized the event who shut it down, said the event was over, and informed the crowd that Sanders would not be speaking because he couldn’t agree with the “methods of direct action” of the Black women in front of him.

We are so resistant to the decentering of Whiteness and the centering of Blackness that we cut off our own nose to spite our face.

White solidarity toward racial justice must look like more than pointing to the fact thatBernie Sanders was a supporter of Civil Rights in the 60s. White solidarity toward racial justice must look like more than a Facebook share of a Ta-Nehisi Coates article (don’t get me wrong, I LOVE Coates). White solidarity toward racial justice must even look like more than showing up to the occasional rally that is organized and led by people of Color (though this is a good start – please show up).

White solidarity begins with our willingness to decenter ourselves and to divest from Whiteness, our privileges and power, and to support the centering of progressive leadership of Color.

White solidarity continues when we work with our own people to dismantle the deep-seated White supremacy that would cause us to boo during a moment of silence for a Black boy murdered by a White police officer.

  • frackfree


    Once again, Christian Fundamentalists raise their terribly ugly head. Perhaps this is their way to subvert Bernie Sanders, and help their adored and cherished Mike Huckabee. Mikie was a practicing and ordained Evangelical Christian Fundamentalnut preacher, prior to becoming a rogue politician.
    In a very Christ-like fashion, he stated at the Republican Debate, “Our military is not a social experiment. It is for killing people and breaking things.”
    I’m tellin’ ya, these people are dangerous. Extremely dangerous!​

  • Marcia Everett

    Did anyone listen to Thom Hartmann today? The majority of the calls were about the disruption of Black Lives Matter to the medicaid event. I tried to call in over and over but the line was slam full.

    So I decided to share with you what I was going to say. I don’t think that Black Lives Matter is against Bernie Sanders. More to it was as Thom said he is pulling in the crowds, and he doesn’t have the kind of security that those scaredy cat republicans might have. I mean really is that democracy? Democracy is messy and challenging and hopeful. Not roped off and sent to jail.

    Another reason BLM doesn’t interrupt the Republicans is that they don’t expect to get any love from the enemy. But they do expect some from their brothers and sisters. I mean while progressives are belly aching that they didn’t get to hear Bernie Sanders speak, did you remember that Trayvon Martin’s mom will NEVER hear him speak again?

    And I think Bernie Sanders knows or should know that because as everyone keeps saying, he was a disruptor at one time too. I mean really progressives, that is where the media is, disruption. But Bernie doesn’t seem to be handling things like a seasoned disruptor. (For more on that I recommend reading this article

    I keep hearing about this illustrious career as a civil rights worker, and that’s great. But he’s human he can have some snafus too. Like how about in Bush v Gore 2000 after attempts at recount, and fighting back in court had been dashed, we find out that counties in Florida where predominantly African Americans voted, were thrown away, not counted, and in places not even allowed to vote for the length of the lines. And in a last ditch effort to throw that decision under the scrutiny of the once powerful Voting Rights Act, House Democrats of the Black Caucus, came one by one to congress BEGGING for someone to enter their pleas into the record. It seems it only required ONE SENATOR to help. (OK I got the reason wrong but still where was the ONE SENATOR? )

    Progressives can we put Black Lives in front of the Environment? Can we put Black lives in front of the Economy? Can we put Black lives in front of Citizen’s United? Everytime we get together, you get our support for your stuff, and we get, “we gotta get this stuff done first.”

    Now it might be hard to think your stuff don’t stink but take a look at what one caller said. “If that had been reversed, and a white man would have been yelling in the face of a black woman, what would have happened?” TSK! Brother, please. What would have happened? Do you think she would have jumped up and down and screamed and kicked and fought? Really? ANY Black woman that might have been in the example? What kind of stereotype is that?

    So I’m going to help you all, even though I’m in the Green party where you all should be , taking tolerance classes with us, and suggest to Bernie, but really to the supporters of Bernie because he is not in this revolution alone, I’m going to offer a suggestion.

    You see if I went to hear President Obama speak (I support him mildly. He’s not entirely Republican) and let’s say, Medea Benjamin came in and DISRUPTED things. What would I do? I would listen to her, and see if I agreed with what she was talking about. See if I agreed that the issues she was bringing up needed to be received and addressed by the speaker. ANd if so I would show her my support by joining in and saying “No More Nukes”, or “No More Drone Strikes” or even “No More War”

    This way she would know she was not alone, and The President would get the message better. So it’s up to you to decide what you’re going to do if BLM DISRUPTS any more events. Just remember EVERYBODY IS WATCHING!


  • Stay strong
    Black lives matter

  • Gina

    For all of the “this is not the way” sentiment we’re hearing from White progressives, (…) Sanders would
    not be speaking because he couldn’t agree with the “methods of direct
    action” of the Black women in front of him.

    Oh, how nimminy-pimminy. All spontaneity lost. Did anybody have the idea that the WASPS are in danger? Their insanity is getting worse & worse.

    Johnny Cash and Charley Pride Medley – 1969

  • DHFabian

    The issue is actually far more complex. How would one expect white people to respond to years of ugly stereotypes and condemnation from black people? They are sick of being told to accept collective blame for all the evils of businessmen/corporations at least since the days of the 13 colonies. America has a hell of a poverty crisis today. The majority of US poor are white. We call poor black people “disadvantaged,” poor white people “white trash,” and treat them accordingly. It has virtually been open season on our homeless poor for years, as they’ve been beaten, even killed, by citizens and police alike. Most of these are white.These incidents cause no liberal outrage, no marches for protest, no interest whatsoever. “Just some homeless bum.”

  • DHFabian

    We don’t even note when a poor white person is treated the same as Trayvon Martin. That’s the problem. “Black Lives Matter” quickly turned into, “White Lives Don’t.” Especially the lives of our poor.

  • DHFabian

    No more or less than the lives of those of different colors. But in all honesty, human worth on the US is determined by one’s economic status.

  • DHFabian

    What reaction do you expect to the prevalent bigotry of black people today? How do you think the majority of US poor respond to the crap about “white privilege”? I don’t know what the “methods of direct action” you refer to would actually be, but I would ask what you would expect of Sanders — that he stand contritely on a stage as a group of black women shout insults at him?

  • cruisersailor

    Those “ladies” had no right to storm the stage and take over. Those are Nazi-like tactics.

  • mwildfire

    This is a misunderstanding. If white people mistreated by cops–which does happen often–don’t get attention it’s because their people aren’t standing up and screaming, not because somehow progressive people now only care about black people.

  • mwildfire

    I didn’t notice any insults in the video clip.

  • mwildfire

    Seems to me there is one thing I notice in the video that the writer may have overlooked. Taking into account that aside from differing opinions on racial issues, there are differing attitudes about such tactics as interrupting the scheduled speaker–as the author does note–he comments on the boos and cries of outrage you can hear from the mostly white crowd, and certainly they’re there. Anyone paying attention at all knows racism is not dead in this country, nor limited to Republicans. But I noticed that the crowd got quieter when she called for the 4 1/2 minutes of silence for Mike Brown…in other words, she had significant support in the white crowd, but the way they showed that support was SILENCE (before that point as well). So to say “a white crowd showed its racism in heckling a black interrupter” is an oversimplification; SOME in the crowd reacted that way.

  • kmackenz

    There is a theory that the ‘Black Lives Matter’ protest at the Sanders event was actually a black ops by a leader in the group that supports Sarah Palin of all people.
    Why would Black Lives Matter try to disparage Sanders otherwise? There are plenty of better targets, like Clinton, for instance, who was First Lady when the prison to pipeline, 3 strikes, was instituted.

  • kmackenz

    The politics of this protest, also deemed black ops, (ie leader as Palin supporter and funded by Soros- a Clinton supporter) is far more complex than you recognize.
    Although racism is not simplistic, the games people play in political events are also not simplistic.

  • johncocktoaston

    BLM is an important movement and I have no problem with their tactics. I am a bit suspicious that this only seems to be happening at Bernie’s events. Hillary’s people aren’t above playing dirty pool by trying to put out the false narrative that Bernie Sanders is out of touch with black issues. As a person of mixed racial background I can see no better candidate than Bernie on working class issues for people of any race.

  • johncocktoaston

    This is very possible, it’s the first thing I thought of when this happened more than once..

  • Disrupting the event and NOT letting Bernie speak is beyond insulting – it was outright fascist BULLYING.

  • Speaking as the professional editor I sometimes am even in my 75th year, the fatal omission in Mr. Utt’s reporting is that the Seattle event disrupted by Black Lives Matter was most assuredly not a “Bernie rally.”

    Given the unusual depth to which the incident has been covered, Mr. Utt cannot possibly be unaware the event was instead a commemoration of Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid. It was organized by the AFL/CIO and the Washington State Labor Council to mark the Social Security’s 80th anniversary.

    For Mr. Utt to tag the event a “Bernie rally” is therefore deliberate deception. Not only does it purposefully obscure the inappropriateness of BLM’s targeting. It also conceals the fact much of the booing was an expression of legitimate anger at BLM’s implicit alignment with two of the most reactionary forces in the United States: those who despise organized labor, and those who are (genocidally) destroying the programs upon which we seniors and disabled people — many of us black — depend for survival.

    In this context, BLM’s silencing of Sanders becomes yet another intensification of the ultimate (and ultimately unbridgeable) schism in U.S. politics — not race, but the boiling hatred envious youth are being conditioned to feel for those of us who are still (somewhat) protected by unions and by Social Security. Medicare and Medicaid. The incident’s sole beneficiary is thus the Ruling Class.

  • Regarding poor whites who are also victims of injustice, whom middle class/rich “progressives” have written off as subhumans, as “white trash”, just WHO exactly do you think “our people that aren’t standing up and screaming” because they care about us are?

    Well I can tell you who those are that DON’T care about us: they’re NOT the middle class/rich white politically correct “progressives.” And they’re not the fascist white ring-wingers who launched the War on Women. And they’re definitely not the blacks in BLM.

    So then, WHO does that leave that’s left in this country to care about poor whites (especially poor white women who are human trafficking victims and survivors who are at the very bottom of the socio-economic heP) even just a wee little bit enough to maybe even acknowledge us and OUR human rights and MAYBE talk about our unmet needs and concerns.

    The operative word here is “talk”, not “scream” and not silence and bully the ONLY candidate (whose voting record going back decades proves that he’s the ONLY candidate that gives a shit about ALL poor and downtrodden people’s lives), by PREVENTING him from being able to speak at his own event in which he is NOT being shielded by a phalanx of professional handlers to control who gets access to the event and access to the microphone (unlike Hillary Clinton, whom NO ONE gets to approach or see unless they can afford a $2,700 ticket to HER events which are NOT open to the public, and certainly not subjected to disruption by BLM bullies and other financially backed professional shit disturbers).

  • Bravo, Mr. Bliss! Well said.

  • gardensheila

    I am disappointed when people decide it is an “either/or” situation. Below in the comments it appears that some folks cannot see that our issues are inextricably related. We need liberty and justice for all. We need shared dialogue. Interrupting events is a reasonable tactic. Refusing to give the space back to natural allies is not. Cancelling an event or speech when interrupted is not the best first strategy. I wasn’t present, and do not have adequate info to decide what was right or wrong. I would love to see a different outcome–an alliance instead of polarization. I would love for those complaining that black anger is inappropriate and means they don’t care about poor whites see that our commonality is more important than our differences.

  • litbrit

    Thank you for pointing out the deceptive framing of this event as a “Bernie Rally”, Mr. Bliss. And for your excellent, on-point analysis.

  • WTF?? Talk about cutting off your nose to spite your face.

    Let’s all play Divide and Conquer! Let’s attack Bernie! Let’s hijack an event and pretend we’re after equal rights! Let’s go after the only candidate who has even a whiff of social justice about him. Yeah, take the mic away, prevent someone from speaking; that’s the ticket. Maybe Hawk Hillary or somebody in the GOP clown car will give you a better hearing.

    And, for good measure, let’s also spew all this postmodern p.c. lingo bullshit about “centering blackness” and “white spaces” — with inane capital “B” and “W” initials, no less — Jesus Christ, somebody shoot me now.

  • Scooter Livingston

    I’ll bet that Jesse Lee “I Thank God For Slavery” Peterson was lurking in the shadows…

  • litbrit

    The women said they were going to shut down the event and informed Sanders et. al. of this by literally screaming in people’s faces–they leaned forward, inches from their faces, and screamed–and when one of the organizers (you can hear him) pleaded with them, saying that they could speak, to please be reasonable, one of the women bellows I AM REASONABLE!!! SCREAM, SCREAM, SCREAM!!! Then they called the crowd white supremacists and said they were not going to let Sanders speak, they were going to shut it down. Afterwards, they issued an appalling press release headed up by the hashtag demand #BowDownBernie. This, to a Jewish man whose father’s entire family was murdered during the Holocaust. If you can’t see the staggering insult inherent in every one of these women’s words and actions, may I suggest looking up the word “insult” in your favorite dictionary. For starters. Just….wow.

  • kevinzeese

    Whether you agree with the tactic or not it sure has been effective in getting discussion going, getting Sanders to put out a pretty good statement on race issues and getting more African Americans hired by Sanders. If Sanders keeps going in this direction he might find the BLM movement becomes a big supporter. He should seize the opportunity and build a relationship with BLM.

    And, let’s stop the conspiracy theories, these women were BLM and they have been embraced by BLM. (See article below.) They are not working for Sarah Palin, one woman seemed to support her when she was in high school, but there is no indication she is a Republican — and please stop with the Soros nonsense!

    You can disagree with the tactic, but it is not unusual for activists to jump in the spotlight created by a politician (I know we have done it quite successfully!). Sanders is getting a lot of attention, there was a lot of media and lots of people — and very little security.

    Why not a Clinton event? Because she does almost no public events and she has very intense security.

    Why not a Republican event? Because blacks are irrelevant in the Republican primary. They vote as Democrats more than 90%, often 95% of the time. Doing it at a Republican would backfire because their voting base would love to see one of their candidates put down a Black Lives Matter activist.

    I do hope the protest O’Malley since he has the worst record on police violence from his time as mayor of Baltimore. Yes, he has put out a pretty good statement on race issues but his history shows he cannot be trusted with police power (and certainly not the power of commander in chief).

  • RLStevenson

    Seems to me that a lot of people are unaware of complex issues when they shoot off their opinions pro and contra BLM interrupting Bernie Sanders. If you read the illuminating comment by lorenbliss below, you’ll see some of the complexity involved. I hope those who interrupted Bernie Sanders will read his comment and many others to understand, even if they do not change their tactics, why some people may justifiably disagree with their targeting.

    I don’t personally give a damn whether BLM causes an uproar, although I would welcome them interrupting other presidential-hopefuls too. I agree completely with Martin Luther King about ‘shallow understanding’ – but BLM also might consider whether this particular expression of their anger is the most potent way of helping black lives in the US. You don’t have to be black or white to be allowed to disagree on this.

  • rgaura

    Great discussion, thanks. Now is the time to understand that under neoliberalism, we are all niggers. We are all due to be marginalized, criminalized and warehoused, or shot, as this system doesn´t need us. Time to get together and envision, then create an alternative, human rights centered system which promotes life, health, and real security for all, in the US and abroad. I thank these women, and Bernie, for their contributions, and we all need to take the ball and run with it.

  • Kit Phipps-Winfrey

    I agree with many of your points. However, it would have been impossible for Bernie to have been the one senator to have helped the Black Caucus after the 2000 election. He was a congressman at that time. He became a senator in 2006.

  • gbossa_25

    “Interrupting Sanders Exposed White Surpremacy of US Left.” Wow! Dear comment posters – talk about a comments section totally supporting the title of this article – well, this would be it. Actually it is almost absurdly optimistic to refer to a “Left” even existing in America, as bulk of these racist navel gazing comments clearly demonstrate. So glad to see BLM didn’t accept the white left narrative of “We’re white, we’re entitled, head to the back of the bus and we’ll get to your issues later.” Our oligarchy, using the CIA, killed the entire leading progressive leadership of our nation during the 1960’s, JFK, Malcolm, MLK and RFK. This apparatus that has destroyed any semblance of U.S. democracy has never been challenged much less held accountable. Mr. “hopey, changy,” having fooled millions into believing an alternative narrative challenging the oligarchy was possible, remains in office, even as “the Left” falls over itself supporting it’s new savior in the form of Bernie. You can’t make this stuff up! Orwell meets theater of the absurd! What could possibly suggest to anyone at this point in our nation’s history that a president could be elected who would not be killed, if by some miracle he/she actually challenged the oligarchy? What evidence can anyone supply in support of the thesis that the oligarchy will somehow and for some reason willingly kneel before the people if only we can elect the “right” person to the office of president?

  • Marcia Everett

    I stand corrected. (I could have looked it up and I didn’t) I hope the sentiment is not lost otherwise. There is a Blue civilian divide. And that is why ALL progressives should care as well because those are our civil liberties, but because it happens unusually high with Black people we have to ACT UP. Now we have video to prove what we have been saying for a LONG time and no one believed us. There is also a Blue vs. minors issue and basically we need to spell out what we want our police to do and not to do. Then we need to provide things for OURSELVES to be doing such as work and education and recreation. Basically we need to grab a hold of our society and for some it seems overwhelming until things come to a boil over moment.

    I bet had many people in these impoverished areas been more involved in civics, they might have staved some of this off. But we’re here now. I must also add that I did not hear what this woman has said. So that is why I said, listen to what they are saying. If you agree then show the support. If not that can be said too.

    But many Blacks are still involved with supporting Sanders as well as addressing these issues and are not into disrupting so, think about them when you get back to your social media outlets.

    Maybe ask them for some strategies.

  • Marcia Everett

    I just wish you all would see, we start a conversation about Black issues and somehow we always wind up talking about white issues. Can you stop talking about yourselves for just a little while? Long enough to solve this 450 year old problem?

  • Marcia Everett

    And they should have returned the microphone. They would have earned more respect that way. I have heard that some had deaths by police officers in their families and their emotions were raw.

    But I note something about crowds. As I watch speeches, I can’t tell whether the message is getting through sometimes. I’m applauding and cheering at certain lines and the crown is deafeningly quiet.

    It’s as if we need someone to TELL us what to cheer for. It has bothered me for a while. Obama speeches, Jon Stewart rants, etc etc.

    I think a BLM chant would have helped the whole situation.

  • Marcia Everett

    I think Secret Service protects her, and Donald Trump has paid people. I’m hoping that they don’t do this again, without an explicit agenda.

  • Marcia Everett

    TRUE DAT. I have been saying we need to be forming cooperatives because these people are going to close down the economy.

  • Marcia Everett

    “yeah! Get back in your place ladies! And Put out your cigarette, Do what you’re told!”

  • Marcia Everett

    No but he could have lead a chant- Black Lives Matter.

  • Marcia Everett

    I do not agree with the hashtag. #BowdownBernie. There is to be NO BOWING DOWN to anyone! That is just more OPPRESSION.

  • Marcia Everett

    And being arrested, being killed and not getting justice in court, is just outright fascist.

  • That same shit happens to POOR whites, too. But YOU seem to want to deny THAT inconvenient truth and tell us that OUR lives don’t matter, that ONLY black lives matter and NO ONE ELSE’S DO.

  • How about you stop covering up the CLASS line with the politically correct MASS line?

    What you call a “450 year old problem” is NOT something that only blacks have suffered and CONTINUE to suffer. So why should NO ONE ELSE get to talk about THEIR issues and common interests in the vein of human rights? Everything isn’t all about you or all about blacks. If you want to talk about “black issues”, let’s talk about the fact that black MEN had the right to vote, hold office, get “breadwinner” paying jobs, own property, etc. a full 80 years before ANY white woman had even just a fraction of those same rights.

    So what makes “black issues” MORE important than women’s issues? (Or trafficking victims’ issues? )

  • Clinton was also a Barry Goldwater Republican who supported those same “get tough on crime” measures that target blacks AND poor people of other races long before she ever strode into the White House as First Lady.

  • kevinzeese

    Are you being willfully blind to the facts that show blacks are disproportionately abused and killed by police, incarcerated at higher rates, face economic unfairness etc. This is not to say whites struggle as well, and not to say white lives do not matter — but black lives are under attack. People already know white lives matter, but based on the way government (and others) behave they do not seem aware that black lives matter as well. Your comment is the kind of willful blindnes that makes the #BlackLivesMatter campaign necessary.

  • kevinzeese

    If you read this website you know we cover all the issues you describe – the wealth divide, economic unfairness, living wage, women’s rights — of course these are all important issues. We cover the class divides in the US and world. Are you saying we should not support the #BlackLivesMatter campaign? I doubt it.

  • I would seriously question those statistics because when it DOES happen to whites—which is a LOT more often than you think—NOTHING is said. If anything, poor whites who are also targeted and killed by cops and citizens alike for being marginalized and POOR are “disappeared” with NOTHING said. Not a peep. So how do we really know how accurate those stats are? I don’t know how many poor white women who were victims of human sex trafficking that were found murdered and stuffed in dumpsters were counted. They were written off as “No Human Involved” on official police homicide reports as recently as five years ago. So I am pretty sure they weren’t counted in any statistics of police brutality or systemic violence. Because NOBODY cares.

  • No. I am saying that we should not support the “ONLY Black Lives Matter And No One Else’s Lives Matter” campaign, which is what this #BlackLivesMatter campaign has become.

  • sffoghorn

    Does finding BLM’s disruptions to be a faint echo of the Black Panthers’ empowerment and affirmation make me a white supremacist? Not telling black folks how to run their liberation, but I’m going to save my volunteer energies for political organizing that magnetizes the effected communities and appeals across the spectrum to organize towards empowerment.

    All politicians should be disrupted everywhere all of the time. But that is a feel good effort and rarely results in the heavy lifts required to sterilize the white supremacy genes from our collective DNA. That requires mass organizing to raise the kind of power that makes justice inevitable. Wake me when the calling out portion of the campaign is over.

  • kevinzeese

    Do we cover womens issues on this site? The Fight for $15? Wealth inequality? Poverty? We cover all campaigns. The #BlackLivesMatter campaign is organized by African Americans and focuses on their issues. They are doing a great job raising them and winning battles. Not sure what you want — are you saying we should not cover their campaign? I really don’t get where you are coming from.

  • I have yet to see poor human trafficking victims/survivors issues get addressed.
    And that is the poorest, most marginalized group who struggle for their
    lives every day. But we should just shut up about any issues concerning the poorest and most downtrodden people because only
    Black Lives Matter.

  • kevinzeese

    These small actions are all part of mass organizing. Black Lives Matter has done an excellent job of mass organizing in a very short time. This campaign is only one year old and has done hundreds of very strong actions all over the country and they have had an impact — changing laws. You might not like this tactic, maybe you are a Bernie fan, but that does not mean BLM is not doing the hard work you describe. They are doing it and doing it well.

  • But they DON’T care about poor whites. In fact, they HATE us because we’re white. They automatically accuse ANY whites who won’t bow down to them of being racist. They don’t go after the middle and upper class whites who are no more of a friend to poor whites than to poor blacks. Instead, they target and bully and attack poor whites because we’re a safer target. And I’m getting sick and tired of it.

  • sffoghorn

    I think that it is a generational thing. The Panthers were a generation before me and the anti-apartheid generation I am from was a faint echo of their power. I’m seeing a further attenuation into this generation, unfortunately. As a queer I see it within queer academic and nonprofit identity politics and I’ve seen that same pattern from afar in women’s and people of color organizing. The approach seems to be one of organizing anti-coalitions instead of inclusive coalitions, always a reason to exclude someone, to rage against the infidels. Organizing for emancipation from racism, sexism and homophobia in a racist/sexist/homophobic society means tolerating racism/sexism/homophobia while you’re organizing people steeped in a racist/sexist/homophobic society.

    I am not a Sanders fan, I am a registered California Green. I’m not going to reregister Democrat to vote for him in the primary, I’ll not work for his election, but if he ends up winning the nomination I’ll probably vote for him for whatever that’s worth. BTW, I co-managed a successful police reform ballot measure campaign in San Francisco in 2003 with Van jones and the Ella Baker Center before he went national. We beat the cops and Feinstein, it was epic.

    This is because we cannot depend on elected officials to promise us anything unless there is a demonstrated, organized and effective electoral base demanding it. Calling them out is predicated on the ability to effectively shame the shameless. Speaking the truth to power tells it nothing that it does not already know because power makes the truth and is okay with it. Naming the oppressions has been going on for decades now. It might feel cathartic, but if it moves the dial, it is barely perceptible.

    The kind of social revolution required to root out this rot cannot be delivered by any messiah politician. There are no short cuts. Power has to be raised from below to drive a social revolution. Lesbians and gays did this over the past 30 years by coming out by the tens of millions, living as out selves and increasingly walking in power. That is the only model of decentralized anarchistic movement towards social change that I’ve seen work. It took centuries to get us here and it will take a long haul sustained campaign to get us out of this mess. That is not what I want to see, that is what I see.

  • Marcia Everett

    So what you’re saying is, “there’s nothing to see here, everything you’re complaining about happens to all of us, you’re treated the same in all things, no one is behaving in a manner that causes any more harm to darker people, no one sees your skin color and behaves differently because of it. pooh pooh?”

    OR are you saying “well that happens to you but rather than fix it we want to talk about us some more and how the same thing happens to us and we have no ability to address these issues within the confines of the government we create?.”

  • cory raskel

    it’s n logic from the word go.

  • gardensheila

    I don’t buy your “they” and “us.” No doubt there are people of color who hate white people. Certainly the poor or every color are bullied, that’s no particular custom of only black people. And Bernie is not a 70-y-o man (he is, of course, but), he is a representative of the US gov’t which has pursued or tolerated Jim Crow and the New Jim Crow for generations. No doubt many Blacks and Latinos and Asians and women and disabled and LGBT people can identify with your “getting sick and tired of it.” You have stated elsewhere that you’ve been bullied, and I absolutely believe you. But EVERYONE didn’t bullly you. Not even all the people of color.

  • THANK YOU!!!

  • I don’t buy your “they” and “us.” No doubt there are people of color who hate white people. Certainly the poor or every color are bullied, that’s no particular custom of only black people.

    Of course YOU “don’t buy it” from your sheltered nice middle class life in your nice, safe middle class neighborhood where YOU undoubtedly have all your utilities on and plenty of good food – will never be targeted by ANYONE for ANY reason. The system works just fine FOR YOU, obviously.

    Have YOU ever been targeted and ganged up on by blacks whom you didn’t know, never had any prior interaction with, and viciously beaten up by them just because you were nothing but “some white bitch” for the status crime of Living While Poor And White in “their” neighborhood because of NOT having money to move out, making YOU a safer target for black rage than the middle class and rich whites who really are the problem that are tucked away nice and warm and safe in their comfy, lily-white suburban digs?

    Have YOU ever been a human sex trafficking victim? How about as a homeless orphaned white 12 yr old child whom EVERYONE threw away and basically gave you nothing but one big collective “F*ck you and YOUR human rights” after you managed by sheer dumb luck to survive and escape that hell?

    Have you ever been viciously beaten up by two or more grown-ass adult black women and called a “white bitch” as they beat you – a trafficked 12 yr old CHILD – for “working their corner”, without giving a damn that you had NO choice, that you were being forced to be where you did NOT want to be, and that if you failed to make your quota (where “servicing” the next “john” might get your throat cut or chopped up and stuffed in a dumpster and written off as “No Human Involved” on police homicide reports) your trafficker(s) would beat you within an inch of your life – or maybe even KILL you to make an example out of you to “keep the other ho’s in line” when you were NOT being violently brutalized by your traffickers and your traffickers’ customers/enrichers – the “johns” who are men that use their money to buy rape tickets, most whom are CHILD RAPISTS if we’re going to be honest about it.

    You see, I HAVE experienced ALL of that shit. And worse is that I survived that systemic oppression and violence only to get continually re-victimized by this entire society (poor sex trafficking survivors cannot get food stamps due to prostitution records in at least 12 states, and cannot even get a crummy bed at a temporary homeless shelter or even get a job at McDonald’s) and told by middle class/rich white faux progressives like YOU that I should just suck it up and deal – because “white privilege.” That I should just be tolerant of the extra abuse and beatings I suffered from being targeted by adult blacks for being white when I was a trafficked 12 yr old CHILD.

    So thank you for being one more smug, selfish, privilege-blind, politically correct “social justice warrior” that totally invalidated and trivialized MY very real lived experiences as a POOR white, as a poor marginalized human sex trafficking survivor – and the very real, lived experiences of other poor whites who were also scapegoated and targeted by blacks and violently brutalized. All in the name of “social justice.”

    And Bernie is not a 70-y-o man (he is, of course, but), he is a representative of the US gov’t which has pursued or tolerated Jim Crow and the New Jim Crow for generations.

    Hillary Clinton and her husband, and every rich GOP candidate , every rich GOP elected official all the way down to the local governments as well are even MORE representative of that same US government that pursued, promoted and tolerated Jim AND Jane Crow for generations. In fact, they are far more representative of it than Bernie Sanders.

    Yet I don’t see BLM activists storming the stages at THEIR events and physically bulling any of THEM off the platforms while screaming in their faces and calling them AND everyone else at the event “white supremacists” and threatening them with shutting the whole event down if they don’t get the mic right now.

    No! Instead BLM activists have REPEATEDLY targeted and attacked Bernie Sanders – the ONLY candidate and the only elected official who has the slightest whiff of any social justice about him and who has been accessible to the entire public (unlike Hillary Clinton and all the others). And if that weren’t enough, they screamed blanket accusations against EVERYONE at Bernie’s events, calling EVERYONE “racists” and “white supremacists”, and demanding that everybody else bow down to them because fuck everybody else’s rights.

  • lorenbliss, if the BLM organizers and activists had a shred of honesty about them, they’d rename their movement to “Let’s Sacrifice Poor White Lives On The Altar of Social Justice Because Only Middle Class and Rich White People’s Privileges Matter” – because that’s exactly how this whole show has played out. Middle class and rich white “liberals” forcing POOR whites at the bottom of the socio-economic heap to pay the full cost and bear the brunt of what the capitalist/owning class created, maintained and enforced with a TON of help and cooperation from a large phalanx of middle class foot soldiers – the very same middle class that has always been the owning class’s bottom bitch.

  • Here is screencapped comment on YouTube regarding the hijacked event where Bernie Sanders was physically BULLIED and FORCED off the stage and NOT allowed to speak…

  • DHFabian

    BS. This was just another example of black elitism. If we want to take it a step further, it was a way of expressing, in particular, their utter contempt for white liberals. Their sense of superiority has no connection with a legitimate statement about current conditions in the US.

    I am trying to be patient with the author, who is clearly at a comfortable distance from the ugly realities of today. This fact is evident by the ignorance about “white privilege.” Politically correct at the moment, perhaps, but BS all the same. Those who are stuck with reality are keenly aware that America has a hell of a poverty crisis, created by the choices of the “mainstream.” Out here in the real world, not everyone can work (health, etc.) and there aren’t jobs for all.The US shipped out a huge share of our jobs since the 1980s, ended actual welfare in the 1990s, and told the poor to “disappear.” The great majority of US poor are white, effectively shut out of the job market/economy, and they aren’t getting that whole “white privilege” thing. Of those who live in cities: It has virtually been open season on our homeless poor for years, as they’ve been beaten, brutalized, even killed, by police and citizens alike. Most of these are white. Where is the liberal outrage? The marches for justice, the extensive liberal media coverage? There is no public concern whatsoever. “It was just some homeless bum.”

    We could take it further, pointing out that most of our least adequate schools — those who are least able to prepare children for the workplace — are rural, mostly white. Job opportunities continue disappearing, yet most of these people are too poor to move on. It’s not like the old TV show about the Walton family “struggling” on their farm, in their own home, with abundant food for all. We have unknown numbers of people living in abandoned barns and sheds, with no way up and out. Suicide rates have quietly continued to climb.

  • Try reading what I actually wrote. Whatever. You win the Internets. Happy now?

  • DHFabian

    Thank you. I didn’t know this, and that’s not how it was framed on the evening news. (Our media in general are great at simply overlooking some of the most important points.) On your final paragraph, it’s something different that actually gets left out of the media and the public discussion. We have a poverty crisis, the result of an agenda chosen by the middle class. I don’t personally know a soul who begrudges anyone a middle class standard of living.The rage is due to the middle class war on the poor, with the middle class demanding, “No crumbs for the poor!” The arrogance and contempt of the middle class is rooted in this. For years, liberals and Democrats have mostly ignored our poverty crisis, but if mentioned at all, it is in terms of black people only. The great majority of US poor are white. BLM simply became another well-financed bigoted “movement.”

  • Here’s the thing: if the upper-middle class BLM organizers and activists had a shred of honesty about them, they’d rename their movement to “Let’s Sacrifice Poor White Lives On The Altar of Social Justice Because Only Middle Class/Rich People’s Privileges Matter” movement – because that’s exactly how this whole show has played out. Middle class and rich white “liberals” forcing POOR whites at the bottom of the socio-economic heap to pay the full cost and bear the full brunt of institutionalized racism which is something that the capitalist/owning class created, maintained and enforced with a TON of help and cooperation from a large phalanx of middle class foot soldiers – the very same middle class that has always been the owning class’s “bottom bitch.” (Elitist limousine faux liberals and their well-financed and supported BLM tools that are smart/educate enough to vomit PC word salads on the Internet can Google “bottom bitch” if they wonder what that term refers to.)

  • Inneresting

    Trying to excuse these women’s behavior simply boggles the mind.

    As the author him/herself points out, Bernie has been a supporter of civil rights since the ’60s. So because a few people decided that he’s not *enough* of a supporter they decided that he’s an enemy and not representing their interests? Are you for REAL?

    Keep this kind of thinking and these kind of actions up and you’ll get exactly what you deserve.

    P.S. Interesting how there’s no mention in this “article” that BLM organizers have disavowed any part these women have in the actual movement.

  • gardensheila

    I am so sorry for your terrible experiences. Perhaps if I’d experienced what you did I might generalize that everyone was against me too. It is horrible to be victimized for who you are and what has happened to you. There is certainly a lot of bad actors in this world, and once victimized, it seems that people are more likely to be victimized again. I do speak from a privileged existence, and perhaps that is what makes me able to see differently than you see. I wish you the best.

  • What a crock of shit. This author is under the false pretense that “white progressives” are not doing what they can already. You don’t spit in the faces of people that are trying to help, you build bridges so you can work together. It’s really sad how many “white progressives” like this author have become apologists and propagandists for the someone like those Seattle disruptors. Also note that Johnson’s BLM page was only set up 24 hours before, the previous BLM Seattle page denounces her, she is actually a member of a different group who’s stated goal was to “declare war on the Democratic Party”, and Johnson used to be a Tea Baggin Sarah Palin supporter.

    “Journalism” fail.

  • greenbuffalo

    I have no problem with the tactics. I just don’t see how getting corporate politicians to “raise awareness” does anything. If BLM was making real demands and challenging real power then I would be excited. For now, it looks like a lot of well-meaning people being sucked in and the leadership will be cashing in any day now.

  • zmann

    Yes, I agree. I’ve seen some of them do it to Latinos and Asian Americans who are poor and more so if they’re women.

  • Absolutely. But we’re not allowed to talk about that because that’s an inconvenient truth that isn’t PC.

  • zmann

    The folks running BLM are becoming the biggest jerks of this election cycle. It’s like they’re giving out exams to the candidates “yeah, uh-huh, uh-huh, what else? uh-huh, uh-uh. hmmmm. no. not good enough.” Really?!!! Why don’t you guys draft your own proposal? How can the candidates know what you want if you do not tell them? Do you even know? This is not a guessing game. It’s not a game, period.

    BLM could be effective group to educate and motivate more citizens about myriad of problems that black people still face in the nation today. Some of the problems and ongoing injustices are mostly unique to black Americans, though many are also applicable to the majority of citizens, especially those related to jobs, social safety nets, and abuses within the system such as those within criminal justice and law enforcement agencies, most of which are subject to location of the political and cultural controls by different states and subdivisions down to cities or areas of cities. But even these are only general and often the laws, rules, regulations, requirements and implementation of the normal functions of governments and agencies can be rendered ineffective or detrimental to civil rights or fairness through lack of sufficient funding, vague, confusing, or contradictory administrative direction, and so forth.

    The great difficulty with any progressive movements that work to remove or lessen the impact of injustices is that so many have increased and become so widespread that the tasks become seemingly overwhelming. In order to try to form coalitions within any minority groups, there is a tendency to fail to prioritize goals and strategies, or to plan in advance to deal with internal dissent and breakaway factions, as well as infiltration. If then as one must for most minority movements a broader coalition with other groups is necessary to have social and political impact the problems are multiplied many times.

    The problem that I’m seeing with BLM is that some of the cohesion that originally was created is breaking down which has become particularly evident in the confrontations with Sanders at Netroots Nation in Arizona and then at the Seattle event. No strategist could have possibly thought this debacle was going to produce positive results for support of BLM among anyone except those who feel they have to do so to try to salvage the reputation and integrity of the original group.

    Unless there are clearly defined leaders and spokespersons for BLM who represent a substantial number of active supporters the hope of progress is very small because the media and conservative operatives will give the opportunists, narcissists and splitters much more attention than they would otherwise receive.

  • zmann

    If this were a science experiment, this article would be like concluding a hypothesis was correct when 75% of the evidence suggested otherwise. Meaning, this conclusion that “it worked!” is ridiculous. What worked by having screeching hecklers TWICE shouting down Sanders in public was:

    1. less informed voters, including blacks, will conclude that he has not done enough for civil rights in his career

    2. alienate the very crowd that came to see Sanders–calling the extremely progressive and non-racist crowd names they didn’t deserve

    3. turning off progressives that have been supportive of their movement

    4. putting Sanders in a lose-lose situation: if he doesn’t let them speak, he’s a bully; if he does, he’s weak (which people were saying the very next day).

    By declaring a victory in this event, the leaders running BLM will only perpetuate these sorts of destructive tactics and ruin any chance of getting a true progressive elected. These hecklers were clueless agitators if not paid provocateurs. I have a better tactic that actually works. Approach Bernie before the speech and ask him to touch upon these issues in his speech and include them in his platform, upon which the very polite and humble man would surely have agreed to do. He offered to let them speak first; instead they didn’t let him speak AT ALL. I bet many in that crowd have written off giving active support to BLM if these women were truly representative in the least. They did not succeed in anything and hopefully Sanders will prevail despite their attempts at damaging his campaign. He was already the best candidate for their purposes and that is why they met with Clinton IN SECRET

  • zmann

    There more African Americans in my community who are willing to keep up with the times and distance themselves from BLM. Most of them I talked to used to support BLM but the more they find out from past BLM events, the more they’re telling me that solving racism by reinstating segregation is not the way. This is the 21st century and multiculture is here to stay despite this nation rotting. It’s going to be a lot of work and we don’t know how long it will take but I’m hopeful that working class poor of all stripes will unite against war and capitalism that are enabling racism among races.

  • zmann

    Sanders wasn’t senator in 2000. He was a US House representative.

  • John ‘Genryu’

    What the hell is withe obvious agenda of this site towards baseless attacks on progressives now? Even the BLM has admitted that the clowns who interrupted the event had absolutely nothing to do with them. Are you getting paid by the GOP now or what?

  • John ‘Genryu’

    Seriously, knock off the passive aggressive bullshit. It’s transparent and it fails.

  • kevinzeese

    Wow — you have some facts wrong and definitely are making false accusations about us.

    First, Black Lives Matter has not made the claim you made. In fact just the opposite. See

    We are supporting BLM’s call for Sanders and other candidates to take their agenda seriously. We’re pleased Sanders is listening. He has incorporated race issues into his stump speech, hired a spokesperson who is a black justice activist and put out a position on race, which is pretty strong. We hope Martin O’Malley, who has a terrible record of police abuse of young African Americans from his time as mayor of Baltimore, is protested, as well as Hillary Clinton who does not have a great record and her husband put in laws that added 100,000 more police and greatly increased black incarceration.

    We would like to see presidential candidates interrupted more often. They operate in a bubble that avoids people and represent the views of Wall Street more often than the people. Sanders is good on the issue of Wall Street and the unfair economy but not as good on foreign policy, militarism, Israel and immigration. We need more protest of candidates, not less.

  • kevinzeese

    I don’t see that disctinction as very important from the perspective of protesters. Sanders was there, was the main speaker and he brought the media and people that made the protest worth doing. And, it has had a good impact — creating discussion of Black Lives Matter issues and moving Sanders in a good direction on race issues.

  • kevinzeese

    Such nonsense. Where have Black Lives Matter said sacrifice the poor?

    Division between poor blacks and whites is something we need to above. Your posts are creating divisions when we should be working for solidarity.

    They call their movement Black Lives Matter because as African Americans they feel like their lives are not valued by the country, especially by the police. They are not saying anything about poor whites not mattering.

  • kevinzeese

    I don’t know why you keep repeating this. Show me where BLM has said they do not care about poor whites? Why make up a division? They call their movement Black Lives Matter because they feel like African American lives are not valued in the United States. That does not mean they see poor whites or poor Latinos or others as having no value. We need unity not division so do not sow seeds of division.

  • kevinzeese

    If you want to form #PoorLivesMatter that would be great. You are not silenced. And, we’d be happy to cover you on Popular Resistance.

  • V4V

    I will respect the BLM movement when they call out the black political class beginning with Barack Obama, Eric Holder and Loretta Lynch. Attacking Sanders while giving them a pass is hypocritical at best.

  • Bill Rood

    Thanks for posting this video. It’s the first time I’ve seen what actually happened in Seattle. The BLM activists were clearly over the top and should have been arrested for disorderly conduct. I think most of the rank and file in BLM would object to this sort of behavior, but like the Tea Party before it, the haters hijacked it, at least in Seattle.

  • Bill Rood

    Wow! I can certainly understand your fury at specific individuals who have victimized you personally and at those two or three BLM activists in Seattle who were completely out of line and divisive. The wonder is that I do not detect within your comments a hostility toward blacks in general or denial that blacks are still sometimes victims of racism.

    I believe when you used “they” in the comment that included the video, you were referring to those specific individuals in the video. In the above comment, you acknowledge that many privileges of the rich are obtained “at the expense of blacks.”

    After having watched much of the video, I do not see your comments as being the least bit divisive, and I agree that these activists should be denounced for their excess.

  • Bill Rood

    Did you watch the video? The jerks were offered offered the mic for a limited time, but insisted on shutting down the event. They damaged their own movement with their excess.

  • Bill Rood

    After having watched the video posted by Jacqueline S, Homan and read many of the comments here, I have concluded that this Seattle action was a false flag event intended to damage both Bernie Sanders and Black Lives Matter.

  • kevinzeese

    That attitude would mean there is no free speech in this country and almost every protest movement in US history would have been criminalized. Please — candidates are interrupted. Bernie voters need to get over it. Bernie is handling better then some of the Bernie bots who are following him. Bernie was weak on race issues and needed to be woken up. He is a better candidate because of it. Face up to your candidates weaknesses on race, war, Zionism, immigration, school testing . . . he is not perfect and deserves to be protested.

  • The BLM movement has not denounced those activists. So as far as I’m concerned, the BLM movement approves and endorses it. On the BLM-Seattle FB page, And my “hostility” (as you put it) is primarily aimed at middle class/rich white “progressives” who promote and encourage the following ideas:

    1. That any white who disagrees with some or part of this well-financed bigoted movement is a racist. FACT: we disagree with being targeted by those with social class privilege who clearly ARE out to get poor whites and scapegoat us by reducing all the problems to white racism because addressing CLASS might mean middle class “progressives” having to relinquish a hell of a lot more privileges to make a LOT of shit right – not just to blacks but to poor whites as well.

    2. That all whites are living without any systemic oppression harming us while the ONLY poor, abused and downtrodden and targeted group deserving of support and prioritized concerns are blacks (including affluent blacks).

    3. That POOR whites (NOT middle class and rich whites), including destitute human trafficking victims and survivors, owe every black person (including comfortably off blacks with significant social class privilege) reparations for “white privilege” and if we don’t agree with that we’re “racists.”

    Never mind the fact that some of us poor whites actually experienced real chattel slavery and got permanently stigmatized for it and are literally struggling just to NOT DIE from unrelieved absolute poverty (and have been for DECADES) in a society that silenced and marginalized us and disappeared us from the public square, and swept our lived experiences and realities under the rug and outright DENIED them – just like how middle class/rich brogressives DENY the existence of poor (and mostly white) human sex trafficking victims/survivors by promoting the “Happy Hooker” “Pretty Woman” myths.

    4. That black activists involved with BLM are never wrong, that all whites should bow down to them no matter what (something they demanded Bernie Sanders do), and that BLM activists (like Amir Islam) have the right to call for the literal physical deaths of every last white – including POOR whites who have never had ANY institutionalized power in this society (capitalism is applied patriarchy and in THIS capitalist society, money = power and the police have always been the servants of power).

    Note that poor whites – especially poor white WOMEN who are human trafficking survivors – do not have any “progressive” allies who even give a shit about us enough to say, just once, that OUR lives fucking matter too and that we are NOT “trash” and NOT to blame for what middle class and rich whites did and are still doing.

  • Bill Rood

    I call BS on your assumption. Sanders is not “my candidate.” War and the MIC are my red lines, and unless he speaks out against our interventionist foreign policy and Israel’s excesses, I will be voting Green.

    I support the goals of BLM, but right is right and wrong is wrong, no matter what cause you are advocating. I would have no problem at all with a brief disruption, but this went way beyond that. Watch the video. The BLM “activists” were offered the mic but insisted on continuing the disruption rather than speaking. I’ve read elsewhere that after they got a “moment of silence,” they refused to return the mic to its proper owners. What about the free speech rights of Bernie Sanders and the people who
    organized the rally? Their right to speech was totally 100%

    I stand by my other comments here. Regardless whether or not Marissa Johnson was a Palin supporter, if OA 206 is not a false flag organization, it certainly has had the effect that would be the goal of one. Who benefits when a wedge is driven between supporters of BLM and groups that are supportive, especially when other actors are not protested at all or are granted a private meeting as with Hillary?

  • Bill Rood

    I agree with just about all of this comment except I don’t see what “patriarchy” has to do with anything. Are not poor and working class males also exploited? Are not Hillary Clinton and Carlie Fiorino members of the privileged, exploitative class?

    Note also that I explicitly said I see no evidence of “hostility” (other than toward these “activists”) in your comment, though I did say you were justified in your “fury.”

    You are clearly well-educated and articulate, so apparently some teachers somewhere did right by you. I hope you’ve been able to use your education and communication skills to overcome most of the stigmatization you’ve alluded to.

  • I don’t see what “patriarchy” has to do with anything. Are not poor and working class males also exploited?

    Yes, patriarchy most certainly DOES oppress males lower on the socio-economic pecking order precisely because patriarchy is hierarchical by necessary default. So when I refer to “patriarchy”, I am referring to a system of male supremacy that actually hurts males—especially poor males, not only women. I probably need a better working term to describe that hierarchical structure, but I am using the historical structural definition. I think we need more words, LOLZ.

  • I hope you’ve been able to use your education and communication skills
    to overcome most of the stigmatization you’ve alluded to.

    When you’re a sex trafficking victim/survivor, you usually get slapped with a prostitution record. And that slaps a 99 year “sex offender” status on you, which bars you from employment just about everywhere no matter what you do to advance your education or what skills you build. (My degree is in mathematics with a minor in physics and I earned that degree while homeless and eating from garbage cans only to never get a chance for a job anyway.)

    In fact, that sex offender status that trafficking victims and survivors get slapped with even bars homeless sex trafficking survivors from getting even so much as a crummy-assed temporary bed at homeless shelters. And in at least 12 states, it also bars you from getting food stamps.

    So when middle class/rich liberals spout off at the mouth about systemic oppression and lecture me on how fucking privileged I am just because I’m white, and tell me that I should bow down to middle class/rich blacks (who are NOT poor unemployable trafficking victims/survivors struggling for their lives on a daily basis) and I think of all the other women and girls just like me whom I personally knew while being trafficked who did NOT survive because they died while in “the life”, I tend to get my back up in a HUGE way. And for a damn good reason.

  • Bill Rood

    How about just “hierarchy,” “hierarchical structure” or “oligarchy” or just a reference to authoritarianism? Patriarchy is a loaded term in that it might connote that males are in some sense responsible for the situation when in fact many females in positions of authority/control exploit the system more than most men, who generally are at the bottom of the hierarchy just like women. This makes some men defensive, though I figured based on your other comments and context that you didn’t intend the connotation. Yes, we need more words.

  • Bill Rood

    Hmm. I see from your profile you list yourself as “Just another software developer” and I see you’ve written several books. You’re obviously making the best of a bad situation. I hope your royalties and other gigs (freelance work?) are sufficient to make your life much better than previous years. Far be it from me to assume so.

  • I agree with you. “Hierarchy” or “property/capital owning system” probably work the best as far as being the most accurate.

    Although I do not know what it’s like to experience life as a male under our effed up system, and can only speak to experiences I know of, witnessed, or lived through, I certainly do not deny, nor wish to dismiss and exclude brothers who are also oppressed in this struggle for basic human rights and dignity who have also felt the jackboot of oppression on their necks. Maybe different types of oppression, but still oppression from an hierarchical system that is rotten to the core.

    Because when you get right down to it, the questions should not be which group’s lives matter more than others. Rather the real questions should be:

    1. Should ANYONE be economically pushed out and left to die from unrelieved abject poverty?
    2. Should ANYONE be trafficked and then criminalized for it?
    3. Should ANYONE be denied the means of getting their basic needs met in their old age?
    4. Should ANYONE be targeted for police brutality?

    The answer to ALL of those are a resounding “NO!” and these are the questions that should be asked. But the minute there’s even the slightest chance of those questions being raised, middle class/rich liberals have to seize the mic and silence those issues with identity politics. And NOBODY wins anything (except those in the oppressor classes – the petit and grande bourgeoisie)

  • I am not a “Bernie voter”, but was deeply suspicious when he was the ONLY candidate targeted in this way. You say Bernie is “weak” on certain issues that are important. But let’s get real here, Bernie is not God (if there is a god). And neither the right-wing of the Democractic party (especially Hillary Clinton) nor the garden variety GOP clown car of candidates have exactly been the epitome of social justice and systemic change honoring the basic human and social rights of anyone (other than the rich and their professional middle class gatekeepers, enforcers and reinforcers).

  • kevinzeese

    Bernie was not the only one targeted. Martin O’Malley was the focus at the Net Roots conference, Bernie seemed secondary there. O’Malley deserves focus since he had such a terrible record of police abuse when he was mayor of Baltimore. Hillary does not do many public events and they are high security so there is not much opportunity. She did not attend Net Roots, probably knowing she was risking protest since she would not be popular there. On the Republican side, African Americans vote Democrat (almost unanimously) so they are irrelevant in the Republican primaries.

  • kevinzeese

    I would like to see anti-intervention, anti-war and pro-Palestinian protesters interrupting Sanders as well.

    Glad to hear you have clear red lines. Too many people do not have such clear stands.

  • Obviously and just as you say, the distinction between a rally for Social Security and Medicare versus a rally for Sanders is unimportant to the people who terminated the event. Where we differ is in our understanding of the significance of their act.

    You say shutting down the event had “a good impact.” I don’t know your age, but the obsessively self-centered indifference to geriatric, disability and economic issues so expressed is surely typical of younger USians regardless of their race or socioeconomic status. I on the other hand am both physically disabled and old — and therefore, because I am no longer exploitable for profit, I am a prime target of the slow-motion genocide implicit in all the Obamanoid/Republican/Democrat austerity programs. Hence I regard the forcible termination of the Seattle event as yet another wound maliciously inflicted by the vast majority of USians who — again regardless of race — are (increasingly) hostile to the (increasingly) desperate needs of elderly and disabled people and lower-income people in general.

    From this perspective, the forcible suppression of Sanders’ protests against the empire’s forthcoming Social Security cuts and its already imposed (and already deliberately deadly) cuts in Medicare, Medicaid, food stamps, low-income energy assistance and other such programs is no less oppressive than the forcible suppression of BLM’s protests against the empire’s ongoing war of extermination against people of color. Both forms of protest are protests against the empire’s diabolically clever methodologies of genocide. Murder is murder, whether by the active measures of the One Percenters’ militarized police or by the passive measures imposed by the One Percenters’ wholly-owned politicians. But apparently BLM is too self-centered (or perhaps too ignorant of realpolitik) to grasp the all-important point.its termination of the Social Security event was thus a huge (and hugely deplorable) service to the Ruling Class.

    On the other hand, if, as you say, it was appropriate to shut down the save-Social-Security/save-Medicare event, then why is it not appropriate to shut down or at least disrupt every political event in the USian homeland? The political truth is the Bernie Sanders candidacy and the protest politics of Sen. Elizabeth Warren or U.S. representatives Alan Grayson or Jim McDermott are not only rendered meaningless by their minority status, but are in fact part of the Machiavellian methodology by which the One Percent maintains the Big Lie of USian representative “democracy.” Thus the real function — indeed the only real function of Sanders, Warren, Grayson, McDermott and their very few like-minded colleagues — is to perpetuate not one Big Lie but two: firstly that the Democratic Party is (by some particularly deluded mode of magical thinking) separate from the de facto one-party apparatus that tyrannizes the USian Empire on behalf its One Percent overlords; secondly that there are still functional vestiges of the empire’s former (albeit racially limited) pseudo-democratic process.

    But acquisition of this sort of political wisdom would require the Left’s wholesale rejection of Moron Nation anti-intellectualism (the very affliction that destroyed Occupy from within even as the empire was destroying it from without), and then the thoughtful evolution of a disciplined ideology of class-struggle that fully accommodates the realities of racism and sexism. Alas, this will obviously never happen. The nation’s anti-intellectualism is the by-product of a cradle-to-grave conditioning so relentless it is now effectively part of USian DNA — and that, the resultant impossibility of achieving ideological solidarity — is why all USian efforts at forcing genuine humanitarian progress are either now and forever doomed or at the very least delayed until successive environmental cataclysms (perhaps) shatter the power of the Ruling Class.

    Nevertheless, the statement by one of the BLM event-terminators that the USian politics has “never” represented black interests “and never will” is absolutely true not just for her immediate racial-identity constituency but, regardless of race, for every subject of the USian empire’s 99 Percent. From this perspective — here I repeat myself — all USian political events should be disrupted as the Big Lies they are.

    But that too will never happen. The pivotal, Ayn-Rand-minded, morally imbecilic (un)consciousness that shackles the vast USian majority — again regardless of race — is a carefully inflamed,.bitterly envious, increasingly murderous hatred for anyone — especially union members and/or elderly and/or disabled people — who has thus far managed to cling to some tiny vestige of economic security. Moreover, anyone who questions this grotesque reality is in clinical denial of the ever-more-victorious Republican blitzkrieg that is methodically sweeping the nation toward unabashed fascism and even a uniquely USian form of Nazism. Like it or not, it is this (reflexively selective) denial — specifically denial that genocide by austerity is ultimately no different from genocide by bullet or truncheon — that is the ultimate message conveyed by BLM’s termination of the Seattle rally. And so it will remain — at least until the Left acknowledges all such celebrations of USian history and/or present-day politics as tacit expressions either in brazen support of capitalist savagery or of the Big Lies that enable it — and therefore musters to disrupt every such event.

    (Disclosure, I am one of the millions of victims of the budget cuts in question. The Great Wall Street Ripoff of 2007-2010 took nearly 70 percent of my annual income, permanently obliterated the market for my (award-winning) photographic and editorial skills and bankrupted me as well. Since then my only income is a Social Security pension, and so it will be for however much longer I survive. My pension is so small that since 2009 it has qualified me for welfare. Last year this included $137 per month in food-stamps, an $18 per month stipend paid to the local land-line telephone-service provider plus various Medicaid supplements to the health care I purchase via Medicare. But this year, thanks to the aforementioned, slow-motion genocide imposed by Republican/Democrat austerity policies, my food stamps have been slashed $37 per month and the $18-per-month telephone assistance has been permanently eliminated. Meanwhile my Medicare co-pays for the life-sustaining specialist services of cardiology and physical therapy have skyrocketed 400 percent, and I am now forced to pay 20 percent for life-sustaining laboratory tests that until this year cost me nothing. The Medicare, Medicaid and food-stamp cuts are all the work of the federal Obamanoid/Democrat/Republican coalition — the de facto one-party apparatus that rules the nation despite mass media’s propagandistic refusal to acknowledge or expose it. The loss of the telephone stipend was inflicted by Washington state’s Democrats, who (again) hurled lower-income people under the proverbial bus to save the nation’s largest state tax exemptions for Big Business. This means many of the state’s lowest-income elderly and disabled people will have no reliable phone service at all. [Yes, there is still the federal free-cell-phone service, but cell phones are notoriously unreliable, particularly given the destructive weather inflicted by terminal climate change.] Which means — just as the One Percenters and their political vassals intend — these seniors and disabled people are forever cut off from 911 emergency services and are therefore soon to dead — precisely the circumstances and outcome thoughtlessly but implicitly endorsed by BLM’s selective disruption of the anti-austerity, save-Social-Security, save-Medicare event in Seattle.)

  • kevinzeese

    Thank you for that strong analysis. Of course, the predicament you face is one faced by millions, including many African American elders. The situation for poor unemployed, disabled and low-wage workers are equally sad and desperate. There is also no doubt that black Americans are facing an emergency of police violence.

    We need to not let those in power turn us against each other. I’m sure many elders support Black Lives Matter and I am sure many Black Lives Matter protesters support better conditions for our senior population.

    We need to find unity or we will never win any of these battles.

    Thanks for your comments.

  • Thank you. You are undeniably correct in citing our desperate need to evolve solidarity. If we could but accomplish that — if indeed we could evolve both a path to solidarity and the discipline to sustain it — we might also by sheer numbers eventually overcome even the One Percent’s monopoly on the mechanisms of lethal force.

    That is why, the older I get, the more I turn to Marx, Engels and Lenin for political sustenance. Their principles modified to accommodate the lessons of history and the environmental, political, socioeconomic and technological realities of the present seem to me to offer us our only viable hope of survival — ourselves among the endangered species on a planet the capitalists may already believe they have slain. Thank you again.

  • We need a different system. A REAL New Deal. Like an economic bill of rights. Genocide is genocide. Whether it is by bullet, baton, and taser or by being condemned to death from austerity cuts and other measures of enforced abject poverty (which is like being beaten to death in slow motion).

    I too am also a member of a demographic that is a target for genocide by enforced abject poverty and have been for at least the past 40 years.

    There is an old Cree proverb that goes something like this: “You have destroyed a nation once the hearts of its women are stomped into the ground.”

    And that is pretty much how we did get to this point after a 40 year long War on the Poor where this country’s poorest women were not merely collateral damage, but the primary target.

    I’d like to share with you my own lived real experience and a little walk through history in order to try to make some sense of this mess.

    Almost immediately after LBJ (who created anti-poverty and welfare programs which mostly helped poor women who’ve always suffered the most and the worst effects of discrimination and economic terrorism) left office and Nixon got elected, there
    was an immediate backlash against LBJ’s Great Society social programs for the poor.

    In fact, it began even before that—resistance was mounted by well-heeled interests, and led by professional upper-middle class academicians while Johnson was trying to get his poverty relief measures pushed through during his 1963-64 Poverty Tour.

    In the early 1970’s, lawmakers in the state of Nevada where prostitution is legal and “regulated” and most of the brothels are owned by members of the Bonano crime family, passed a law forcing poor younger women who applied for welfare to first take “work” in the legal brothels (since prostitution is legal there, it is a “job just like any other”).

    The National Welfare Rights Union, which was a grassroots org spearheaded by poor single mothers receiving a paltry welfare benefit under AFDC,
    launched a massive protest right out in front of Nevada’s infamous Mustang Ranch brothel to protest poor women being forced into prostitution by the state (which essentially made the state of Nevada
    guilty of human trafficking).

    Several feminists, including Gloria Steinem, joined in and protested with the National Welfare Rights Union.

    The protests forced the state lawmakers (many whom were brothel owners themselves) to back down because the public outcry was tremendous.

    As a poor older woman who is a survivor of child sex trafficking, I never got a chance for a job after escaping my traffickers 31 years ago no matter what/how hard I tried in order to be “worthy” of a chance for a job.

    I was shut out of any and all jobs my entire working age life due to an unfair prostitution record that held me back and rendered me unemployable—a record I incurred from when I was trafficked into prostitution as a homeless orphaned child from age 12/13 -17 from 1980-1984.

    After I managed by sheer dumb luck to escape that hell, I never got a chance for a job no matter what hoops I jumped through in order to be “worthy” of a chance for a job—while getting told by smug, arrogant middle classers that I “have it made compared to the poor in other countries”, and that “no one owes you a job” and that if I was poor and not making it, it was my own damn fault for “not trying hard enough.”

    I never in my entire 48 years of life had access to adequate medical and dental care and some semblance of a stable life.

    The average life expectancy rate of sex trafficking survivors in the US is only 34 years old because for many, many years we’ve been left to literally die from absolute poverty.

    Ever since I was trafficked, and throughout the past 31 years since escaping my traffickers, I have never known what it was like to be able to experience one full year of not having one or more basic utilities cut
    off for lack of any money or income to afford the bills.

    I don’t know what it’s like to be able to afford three meals a day. I often can’t afford to eat even just one meal a day. I experienced and observed this classist, sexist, misogynous, racist, ableist, and ageist “Me First” society in its shit-stained underwear—not its fancy lecture suit.

    The very short-lived Great Society programs “failed”
    because they were sabotaged by the servants of privilege and power: privileged academicians from
    elite universities, policymakers, Congress and every president after LBJ. The sabotaging of anti-poverty
    programs began almost immediately after LBJ implemented them, thanks to the middle class/rich (and male) dominated political climate that has always been deeply entrenched in this country, which still thoroughly permeates society to this day.

    Upper-middle class academicians deliberately stood on their privileges to lead the War on the Poor,
    particularly against poor women, starting with the
    Moynihan report. The Moynihan report not only racialized poverty to the point of erasing both female poverty and white poverty, it also dehumanized ALL of the poor in general.

    Daniel Patrick Moynihan’s report was influenced
    heavily by Harvard urbanologist, Edward C. Banfield who was a “leading scholar of his generation.”

    Banfield was also one of Moynihan’s drinking buddies. According to Banfield, the poor “have no interest in the public good” and are “pre-occupied with having sex.”

    Banfield held that the only way to ensure that the poor got chances for jobs was to abolish the minimum
    wage. He also suggested that the only way to get rid of poverty was to get rid of the poor—preferably by “auctioning off poor women’s babies to the highest normal class bidder.”

    Banfield not only influenced Moynihan’s report, he also served as an advisor to former presidents Richard Nixon, Gerald Ford, and Ronald Reagan.

    And Reagan could not have launched the War on the Poor without the cooperation and complicity of a Democrat-controlled Congress during his first term—the “New Democrats” (the same people that brought us the “gift” of global neoliberalism).

    Since Ivy League academia as a bastion of privilege produced “scholarly research” claiming that poor women couldn’t keep their legs shut because of the lower class’s “pre-occupation with having sex”, it’s no wonder that America’s privileged classes decided that prostitution was the only thing poor women were good for.

    When Clinton “ended welfare as we know it” in 1996, nothing was done to ensure that this country’s poorest women would be welcomed into middle class jobs during those “better times” when there were a lot more jobs to go around than there are today.

    Nothing was done to remedy the problem of sex discrimination in hiring/firing promotion/pay.

    Nothing was done to ensure that poor women being thrown off of their measly $4K annual welfare aid, which never was enough to live on, would have access to advanced educations, apprenticeships, and have any legally enforceable and protected right to a toehold onto even the lowest rung of the middle class jobs ladder.

    Nothing was ever done to guarantee 100% full employment for all who are able to work so that nobody—regardless of age, race, gender or disability—would be socially and economically excluded and left unable to economically fend for themselves.

    All of the funding cuts to welfare and the elimination of other social programs for the poor starting with Reagan leading up to Clinton’s Welfare Reform was a real boon for johns—men with middle class incomes who use their money to buy rape tickets, who are nothing but socially shielded child rapists if we’re going to be honest about it.

    These same rape ticket buyers are also the most ardent opponents of equal opportunity employment laws with teeth and any legitimate welfare social safety net for the jobless poor—things that would greatly reduce (if not eliminate) the number one condition of vulnerability that forces poor women and girls into prostitution or puts them at high risk of being trafficked: Absolute poverty due to structural oppression, systemic economic/job discrimination and lack of a real economic safety net in a country that never provided enough jobs to go around for everyone who desperately needed a job (not even during the “better

    Our domestic sex trafficking crisis in The US is one of
    the most shameful, darkest legacies of America’s War on the Poor because poor women and girls were not merely collateral damage in these past 40+ years of the War on the Poor—we were the primary target.

    Those who are comfortably off say “well why aren’t the poor dying in the streets like over in the slums of Mumbai?” without looking at the countless POOR WOMEN who died out on the streets of America that were written off as “No Human Involved” as official police procedure on official homicide reports because of being “only prostitutes” by cops—who often extorted money and “free samples” from poor prostituted/trafficked women and under-aged pubescent girls while these same fascist jackbooted thugs with badges enjoyed middle class incomes,
    job security plus medical and dental benefits, paid vacations, and pension plans.

    Of course, no one questioned how/why so many poor
    women and girls got pressed into the commercial rape trade in the first place, either—they already knew the answer to that. Society already decided that the gutter and an early grave was the only place poor women deserved.

    I don’t know how many of my fallen trafficked/prostituted sisters’ bodies have gone unclaimed in morgues after their deaths didn’t even make a blip on the news. Nobody has been counting them. Nobody ever cared.

    Of those of us who escaped and survived who are over age 40, there are fewer than 100 of us alive in the US today. Because we were literally condemned to die from absolute poverty by a society that completely turned its back on us after discarding us into forced prostitution while children (the average age of entry into the sex trade is 11-14 years of age).

    For those tiny few of us who managed to escape and survive, I don’t know of more than two who ever made it to even the lowest rung of the middle class. We’re all
    poor. We’re STILL treated as sub-humans and denied jobs and looked down on as garbage by everybody else in society—even those of us who are accomplished self-published authors, even those of us who managed to get educations and built high tech skills around the obstacles of life-long extreme, soul-crushing poverty.

    You would not believe the degree of danger and the constant threats of harm that are aimed at the few of
    us who escaped and survived. For speaking our truths, we get doxxed, stalked, threatened, slandered and discredited—by very privileged people with upper-middle class jobs and the luxury of lots of free time
    to spend attacking poor trafficking survivors who dare to hold personal fundraisers—our only way of getting any money to be able TO survive. We literally have NO support at all. Not socially, economically, or otherwise. Nobody cares about us. They never did.

    And of course, not a single middle class raindrop ever believed they were responsible for causing the flood.

    Systems of oppression do not happen by accident in a fit of collective absent-mindedness; they’re upheld and perpetuated by deliberate intent. And that deliberate intent is all about preserving privileges for some
    at the expense of others—those without privilege.

    Systemic oppression is a privilege transfer vehicle that serves up the human rights of consumable, disposable people in economies of scale. Privilege occupies the space where someone else’s human and social rights belong.

    Every poor dead trafficked and prostituted woman and child who wouldn’t have been trafficked or otherwise forced into prostitution and condemned to early death in the first place if not for a real lack of an adequate
    economic safety net in the absence of a guaranteed right to a job—are the dead albatrosses that the Left should hang around every middle class and rich liberal’s necks, starting with both of the Clintons.

  • ebonydiva06

    Being black, disabled, and young all of these causes are valid and not one should be favored over the other. But getting an 800 disability check becomes quite worthless if a police person is having a bad day when stopping me or questioning me about some violation that doesn’t have a death sentence. What you are saying seems calloused and insensitive as if black people don’t have your same struggles on top of having to deal with racism. That’s hurtful to read.

  • ebonydiva06

    It isn’t black people that push that idea of poor blacks. Do you think black people like the stereotype of being thought of as poor and dependent on the government just because you are black? People think it is mostly black people who depend on these programs but its not. Please take this stereotype. You can gladly have it. Also BLM is a grassroots movement and no finances I ever heard of was involved. Who needs money to protect, march, and post on twitter? You speak lies.

  • ebonydiva06


  • ebonydiva06

    Clinton is a whole other story. I don’t think it was really about Sanders as an individual however. They just went where they though they could have a voice and be heard. That they succeeded in.

  • ebonydiva06

    Oh, we do but people never listen. For the most part, he has been called out numerous times for not being supportive of AA issues. You just don’t come in the spaces it is discussed I guess.

  • My apology for the tardiness of my response. A former user of open-source software (Ubuntu), I have been dragged back into the Microshaft madhouse by my newest computer, which cannot be purged of its Windows infestation without nurdery of a caliber far beyond my knowledge and my budget. Hence I spent most of the weekend upgrading Windows 8.1 to Windows 10 and then a big part of Monday and Tuesday squashing the most obvious bugs. (Though like roaches in a Manhattan apartment, there are undoubtedly more such bugs lurking close by. )

    That said, I suggest you please re-read my posts on this subject, as my opinion — though I am gravely troubled by BLM’s shutting down the Seattle/Westlake event — is most assuredly not as you portray it.

    To simplify it as best I can, here are its five points, including background (where-I’m-coming-from) elements omitted from what I have previously written about the Westlake incident:

    (1)–The mature form of capitalism is fascism. That’s why fascism is the inevitable final-stage of capitalist governance. But given the racism, classism, sexism and able-ism that is intrinsic to the U.S.majority viewpoint (a byproduct of its viciously unforgiving and malevolently hateful prosperity-gospel Christianity), fascism here is actually a uniquely USian form of Nazism. As such — as Nazism reconstituted under the Eagle and the Cross rather than under the Eagle and the swastika — and particularly under the stress of the impending environmental apocalypse — its Ruling Class is ever-more-forcefully demanding the genocidal extermination of anyone who is not exploitable for profit. Hence the propaganda apparatus (which remember is owned by the same One Percenters who own the government) has maliciously convinced the (white) Moron Nation majority of the Big Lie that “poor people” and “poverty” and “burden on the taxpayers” are synonyms for African-Americans, never mind the vast majority of fatally impoverished USians are white. Which is precisely the common economic ground that should unite all impoverished peoples on the battlefield of class war regardless of race or ethnicity. (True, this ideological perspective is not spelled out in my previous posts on this thread, but if you check my other posts elsewhere, you’ll find I have said it so repeatedly, any regular reader [including whatever secret police agents regularly drop by]. will surely recognize me as ever-more-unreconstructed, un-contrite Red I become as I age.)

    (2)–Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid and indeed all other safety-net programs are under relentless, unprecedentedly savage attack. And the attackers are winning every battle — note what they have already done to us with their unbroken succession of victories. Moreover, with the Democrats, the Republicans and the national propaganda apparatus all owned by the same One Percenters and thus now publicly united in genocidal war against the poor, there is no rational possibility — now or ever — of stopping the enemy offensive. The fascists will win (just as, but for the inconceivable heroism and sacrifice of the men and women of the Red Army, they would have won c. 1939-1945). And this time (precisety as the One Percenters have wanted from about 1930 onward), the United States will become a de facto Nazi nation. Such is capitalism — infinite greed elevated to maximum virtue (and thus the methodical rejection of every humanitarian precept our species has ever set forth) — and such capitalist governance: absolute power and unlimited profit for the Ruling Class, total subjugation for all the rest of us. But this time there is no Red Army. Hence this de facto Fourth Reich will prevail, literally ruling the entire planet, until the forthcoming environmental apocalypse destroys it (and probably our entire species as well).

    (3)-Thus we live in what is literally the bleakest, most depraved, most hopeless epoch of human history. But just as the overwhelming and (until Stalingrad), seemingly unstoppable Nazi onslaught did not relieve the Soviet people of their moral obligation to fight for economic democracy and thus human freedom and dignity, neither does our (potentially far worse) plight relieve of us of our own obligation to do likewise. (And no ma’am, I am not merely another white armchair radical. Though I do not often speak of my contributions to the struggle, it was my refusal to participate in an extensively organized Ruling Class effort to libel the entire Civil Rights Movement as an “interracial sex orgy” that sent me to the Knox County Jail on 2 June1963. My defiance cost me a mainstream journalism career that, until then, had seemingly been destined for The New York Times; it also prompted three attempts to snuff out my life, and it resulted in the slaying of the beloved German shepherd, Brunhilda, who helped save me from the hitman in the first attempted murder. That’s why I am especially troubled your misunderstanding of my position was so “hurtful to read.” It tells me I should have communicated better, Discus space limitations be damned. For that failure too I apologize.)

    (4)-Given the steamrollering, implicitly genocidal Ruling Class assault against Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid and all other such programs, it is our duty as proletarians (no matter of what race) to oppose the enemy as best we can. The event at which Sanders was to speak in Seattle was not — say again was not — a Sanders campaign event. It was instead a formal defense against Ruling Class theft of the earned and paid-for stipends due us through Social Security and Medicare, and by extension a defense of the entire socioeconomic safety net. Sanders presence there had nothing to do with his presidential candidacy. It instead resulted from the fact he and Elizabeth Warren are the only two genuinely outspoken members of the U.S. Senate in the fight to save these programs. Hence one or both were logical speakers at the Westlake rally. And in this context, BLM’s decision to shut down the rally was in fact a decision to side with the Ruling Class in its war against the entire USian 99 percent. Again in this context, the BLM action was therefore absurd — tantamount to protesting deadly medical-care cutbacks by invading hospital operating-rooms and shutting down life-saving surgeries.

    (5)-The issue of the appropriateness of disrupting presidential campaign rallies is an entirely different matter. To repeat what I said in my longest post below: The political truth is the Bernie Sanders candidacy and the protest politics of Sen. Elizabeth Warren or U.S. representatives Alan Grayson or Jim McDermott are not only rendered meaningless by their minority status, but are in fact part of the Machiavellian methodology by which the One Percent maintains the Big Lie of USian representative “democracy.” Thus the real function — indeed the only function of Sanders, Warren, Grayson, McDermott and their very few like-minded colleagues — is to perpetuate not one Big Lie but two: firstly that the Democratic Party is (by some particularly deluded mode of magical thinking), somehow separate from the de facto one-party apparatus that tyrannizes the USian Empire on the exclusive behalf its One Percent overlords; secondly that there are still functional vestiges of the empire’s former (albeit racially limited) pseudo-democratic process. In other words, I support any (properly focused) disruption of all the ever-so-obviously scripted Ruling Class political campaigns, as for example BLM’s action at NetRoots a few weeks past. In addition, I regard it as proper to target the Sanders campaign in particular because — never mind his Democratic Party identity is irrefutable proof a Sanders presidency would be another presidency of absolute betrayal — he is the only candidate in either party who might be persuaded to speak out against the national cancer of racism. Meanwhile the ultimate effect of such (properly focused) disruption is to prove USian “democracy” is indeed not just a Big Lie but (for everyone save the One Percenters), the biggest most ruinous Big Lie in all human history. Once again, as always in USian history, it is people of color — invariably the empire’s most maliciously persecuted minorities — who are showing us that hideous truth.

    (In the event you like most USians however well educated are unfamiliar with what occurred on the Eastern Front of World War II and how the Germans slew a now-estimated 45 million Soviet soldiers and civilians, I respectfully suggest you Google two Russian films that portray the grisly realities of that struggle as vividly as any cinematography can. Each is available on-line. One is Fortress Brest [Bretskya Krepost in Russian]. The other is Come and See [Ede e Smotre in Russian]. Yes, in my younger years, I knew people who were there, Red Army veterans and Holocaust survivors.)

  • AlanMacDonald

    Wow — a lot of comments for Popular Resistance.

    Bernie should really be moving from mere “Political Revolution” to an integrated and non-violent Revolution against Empire in all its sectors of political, economic, racial, and our entire “ailing social order” of oppression!

    Bernie could easily contrast himself with Hillary and beat her soundly by simply ‘coming-out’ as being AGAINST the Empire that has captured and controls our former country —- since Hillary (and the neoliberal-con ‘D’ Vichy party) can not say anything about that Disguised Global Crony-Capitalist Empire, as she is nothing but the Empire’s #1 choice and ‘cover’ FOR the Empire.

  • black lives matter!

  • dont feed me that all the colour of the rainbow lives matter BS 🙂

  • Rationalist

    Give me a break. The crowd was harsh on the protesters because they were acting like obnoxious bullies, not because they were black. Interrupting someone else’s event, hijacking the stage and having the audacity to act like they are the victims and telling other people to hush when they rightfully them them to get off the stage. They showed a complete disregard for the First Amendment rights of Sanders. That’s like a stranger breaking into your house and hushing you when you try and ask what the hell they are doing there. They were the agressors, not the victims and the crowd had every right to be angry with them. Even the larger Black Lives Matter movement criticized their actions. The fact you would reflexively say it was racist because they were black and the crowd is white and completely ignore the context and circumstances shows that your the one who is racist as you view the world solely in racial terms rather than looking at individual acts and circumstances.

  • Playing the race card has become the proxy for class warfare. The majority of those in deep poverty with NO incomes and NO way of being able to economically provide for themselves are WHITE. Abject poverty is ignored and even denied by the middle class and the rich, who get political representation and politicians bending over backwards to get their votes. But those of us in abject poverty have NO ONE representing our interests or even giving a damn about our unaddressed concerns and unmet basic human needs. Blacks are called “disadvantaged” even if they’re middle class, but poor whites struggling just to stay alive while trapped in abject poverty with no hope are called “poor white trash” – and treated accordingly.