As I mentioned in yesterday’s blog entry, I got a chance to see Bernie Sanders speak here in Seattle on Saturday night. It went really well. At 15,000 attendants, it was his largest crowd to date, and about 3 times larger than Hillary Clinton’s largest gathering. But earlier in the day, he attempted to speak at another event which turned out to be a bit of a disaster.
That event was supposed to be about celebrating the anniversary of Social Security and Medicare, but it got taken over by the Black Lives Matter movement. They were hostile and aggressive, as you can see in this video. The crowd, who had waited quite a long time to see Bernie, was not amused.
This seemed like a very self-destructive move. Yes, black lives most definitely do matter. Yes, they have a lot to be angry about.
But it seems like common sense to me that when you’re advocating for change, you should partner up with the very people who are most predisposed to agree with you. Bernie Sanders is not an enemy of this movement. He speaks out about racism, advocates prison reform, wants an increase in the minimum wage, has spoken out against the militarization of our police forces, works for immigration reform, women’s rights, and more access to education for all.
And everyone in that crowd felt the same way. So why would you push your way onto a stage, scream, make threats, and show downright hatred toward this group of people if you want them to be persuaded by your message? Is your goal increased support and advocacy or alienation?
If you want the kind of awareness that moves people in your direction, sometimes it’s better to hop on the bandwagon, even if it’s not rolling along as fast as you’d like it to be, rather than trying to set fire to it. A lot of people actually want to be on your side, ladies. I know I do. But this situation turned me off. Just sayin’.