The annual “Netroots Nation” conference is currently under way in Arizona, and today Democratic presidential candidates Bernie Sanders and Martin O’Malley were interrupted by hecklers whom the organizers of the convention quickly expelled from the hall invited up on stage and handed the microphone. This Washington Post report shows how far around the bend Democrats are right now:
PHOENIX — A forum featuring two of the most liberal candidates for the Democratic presidential nomination was disrupted and taken over Saturday by liberal activists seeking to showcase their concerns for the plight of African Americans. . .
Shortly into O’Malley’s allotted time, his discussion with a moderator was disrupted by more than 100 protesters that included members of Black Lives Matter, a group formed after teenager Trayvon Martin’s shooting in Florida, and the Black Alliance for Just Immigration. . .
Close to 10 minutes later, leaders of the protest were handed microphones and rattled off a number of their concerns, including deaths of African Americans in police custody, and demanded specific solutions from O’Malley. . .
The protesters remained as Sanders appeared on stage, and he took a less patient approach.
“Whoa, whoa, let me talk about what I came to talk about for a minute,” the senator said, before launching into a riff on income inequality and steps to address it.
The Vermont senator faced chants and heckling as well, but Sanders continued talking. Asked what he had done in the Senate to benefit black Americans, he started to talk about the 2010 Affordable Care Act.
“We can’t afford that!” heckled Elle Hearns, a 28-year-old Ohio-based coordinator for the LGBT rights group GetEqual. . .
When Bernie Sanders isn’t left enough for you. . .
O’Malley made several starts at addressing the issues raised but was interrupted.
“I think that all of us as Americans have a responsibility to recognize the pain and grief throughout our country from all of the lives that have been lost to violence, whether that’s violence at the hands of police, whether that’s violence at the hands of civilians,” he said.
“Stop trying to generalize this s—!” yelled Ashley Yates, a 30-year-old activist from Oakland, Calif.
Later, O’Malley drew boos as he said: “Black lives matter. White lives matter. All lives matter.”
After his appearance, O’Malley addressed those comments on a radio show being recorded at the convention hall.
“When I said those other two phrases, I meant no disrespect,” O’Malley told the online radio show “This Week in Blackness.” “I did not mean to be insensitive in any way.”
Please, please, can these folks show up for the Democratic National Convention next summer, with a case of Chicago ’68 envy?
Special irresistible bonus material:
Lucas Hernon, 30, of Las Cruces, N.M., who’s undecided in the presidential race, said he thought O’Malley handled the situation well except for when he said white lives also matter. “As a white person, we don’t need to be reminded of that,” Hernon said.