There is no one to blame for the Bernie Sanders interruption except ourselves

One thing is for sure, if America were in the midst of peak election season, Republicans wouldn’t have to use the age old strategy of divide and conquer, progressives are doing just fine dividing ourselves, and for no good reason.

Bernie Sanders was supposed to give a speech at a Saturday afternoon event at Westlake Park in Seattle. Before he could give said speech he was shoved aside by several Black Lives Matter activists who are calling for changes to the criminal justice system. Sanders eventually left the Saturday afternoon event without giving his speech.

On a release on Facebook, the movement wrote “Today BLM Seattle… held Bernie Sanders publicly accountable for his lack of support for the Black Lives Matter movement.” Clearly, they should have read into Bernie’s history before silencing him, but they were not wrong to do it.

For anyone who has followed Mr. Sanders’ career as I have, it must come as a shock to see him silenced for not supporting any form of equality, including criminal justice. Sanders’ was active in the civil rights movement in the 60’s while in college and was there in person for Martin Luther King’s “I have a Dream Speech.”

Sanders has made a career of championing equality in all its forms whether it’s class, color, religion or sexual identity. His record on Civil Rights is on par or above any progressive that has ever sat in congress. That is just the facts.

Now, back to Black Lives Matter. What the girls in the Seattle chapter did when they interrupted Bernie may be seen as misguided or misinformed to some, but it was not wrong for a number of reasons. And please don’t tell me you subscribe to the theory that these girls were Sarah Palin/Tea Party supporters. Grow up.

First, they brought up an issue that is very important to them and the country (and even Bernie) and they managed to make headlines across much of the mainstream media. That is what activism is all about, getting your voice heard.

Furthermore it forced Bernie Sanders into addressing the issue for those who don’t know his history. Instead of getting mad or aggravated, the day after the event was crashed, Sanders introduced a comprehensive platform to his campaign that addresses racial inequality. A win – win no?

Now for the past few days I’ve seen progressives go at each other’s throats over who is right and who is wrong. You know who is wrong? Republicans, conservatives, regressives, people who don’t even acknowledge that black lives matter.

If progressives want to make a difference in the country we live in, we need to be as tolerant as we all claim to be, especially to each other. We shouldn’t be fighting amongst ourselves, we should be fighting the other side (who also enjoys fighting among themselves).


  1. According to last night’s ABC, Bernie Sanders has disavowed the apology an unknown “staff member” issued for Bernie’s behavior in the BLM confrontation. I wonder about this…

  2. Mike, I’m disappointed in this column… You have obviously also not done your research, just as you allude that those girls haven’t….. They accomplished Nothing of value to the Progressive movement, except causing division as the Conspiracy theories fly.

    Bernie’s newly released ‘Criminal Justice Reform’ Platform was NOT as a result of the actions of these 2 women… nor was the timing of its release. A platform takes WEEKS to prepare and vet before release, not overnight. This, as well as the introduction of his newly hired Press Secretary, with Black Lives Matter background, is more a result of what happened in the previous instance of having his speech interrupted. Obviously he learned that he must address these issue more aggressively, and acted promptly to do so. The timing of the release was already planned for his West Cost swing.

    This Seattle interruption has added nothing to the debate, but increased divisiveness and insecurity in the movement as we descend into the Paranoia of a Conspiracy Theory driven Troll Hunt !!!

    • These girls did not divide the progressive movement, nor are they responsible for any conspiracy theories, we did and we are. It’s comments like yours that are dividing us over nothing. Have progressives stopped taking Black Lives Matter seriously? No. Has Bernie Sanders suddenly plummeted in the polls? No. So what ‘s your problem?

      Furthermore, there is no lack of research here. his Criminal Justice Reform’ Platform could have been written in a day It wouldn’t take him long seeing how he’s been fighting for it his whole life.

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