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Selfish, stupid ‘Black Lives Matter’ slacktivists again infringe on others’ First-Amendment right to assemble

Updated below (on Monday, August 10, 2015)

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Photo Tweeted by Dan Merica, CNN

Incredibly selfish “Black Lives Matter” slacktivists refuse to allow Bernie Sanders speak before a crowd of thousands at a city park in Seattle, Washington, today. Fuck political correctness — now that this bullshit has happened twice (the first time was last month in Phoenix), Sanders needs to have significant security at his future events, and disruptors need to be removed immediately, because those who gather for events have the First-Amendment right not to have their gatherings shut down by selfish, stupid members of special-interest groups.

So thousands of people gathered at a city park in Seattle, Washington, today, to hear democratic socialist presidential candidate Bernie Sanders speak.

But what those thousands of people wanted was not at all important to the handful of “Black Lives Matter” slacktivists who, according to The Huffington Post, forced Sanders to leave the gathering before he meaningfully could speak to the crowd.

I call these ignoramuses “slacktivists” because think about it: They are not taking on the powers that be, those who are the real problem, but they are targeting the very one presidential candidate who, being a pacifist, is the least likely to give them any resistance (thus, his public appearances — thus far, anyway — are pretty easy for these slacktivists to disrupt and to commandeer), and who probably is the one who is the most on their side.

Serious political activism would necessitate attacking those who actually are the problem, but you won’t see these “Black Lives Matter” morons interrupting, say, law-enforcement or Repugnican Tea Party gatherings, will you?

No, these are fucking geniuses: Attack your strongest ally! That’s always a political winner!

What if we LGBT individuals had commandeered black-rights gatherings after 70 percent of California’s black voters hatefully voted for anti-same-sex-marriage Proposition H8, claiming that Gay Lives Matter? How well would that have gone over? Um, yeah.

The issue is not whether or not the “Black Lives Matter” slacktivists have a point. Of course they do. They have many points. Unarmed black Americans continue to be slaughtered by mostly white cops (and it is no consolation that Sandra Bland was pulled over by a light-skinned Latino cop) at a much higher rate than are unarmed white Americans. This is a fucking problem, as is the crazy-disproportionate incarceration of non-white Americans (on top of over-incarceration in general). The so-called “criminal” “justice” system indeed needs a major overhaul.

None of those facts here are in dispute.

But the tactics of the “Black Lives Matter” slacktivists are sorry-ass. Bernie Sanders — Bernie Fucking Sanders — thus far has been their main public target when he is the one candidate for U.S. president who is the most and the best positioned to help them.

Democrat in name only Billary Clinton talks a good game, but hers is a record of talking (and of holding titles), not of actually doing anything.

And on the Repugnican Tea Party side? Would a President Ben Carson help the “Black Lives Matter” slacktivists? No, sorry — he calls them “silly” and “divisive.”

By all means, “Black Lives Matter” activists need to be in dialogue with all of the candidates for the 2016 Democratic Party presidential nomination, but they wouldn’t dare to even try to disrupt a Billary Clinton speech or public appearance.

That’s because Team Billary keeps quite-tight control of her public appearances — something that, unfortunately, Team Bernie is going to have to do from now on, now that “Black Lives Matter” morons have commandeered two of his public appearances.

Again, these tactically challenged fucktards have the right to have their political cause, but they don’t have the right to shut down public gatherings — to hijack them, to try to force their own narrow political agenda down the throats of those who have taken the time, energy and expense to assemble not to hear them speak, but to hear someone else speak.

I would remind the “Black Lives Matter” terrorists — yes, terrorism, broadly defined, is using the intimidation of others, or at least trying to use the intimidation of others, to advance your own political agenda, and that’s what the “Black Lives Matter” slacktivists are doing when they shut down public gatherings — that the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution reads:

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

If the U.S. government may not infringe upon “the right of the people peaceably to assemble,” what right do the “Black Lives Matter” terrorists have to infringe upon that right?*

Team Bernie needs to do what Team Billary does: Have tight security at public gatherings and ensure that no fringe groups ruin the gatherings for everyone.

It’s a progressive trait to eschew policing like that, but sometimes policing is necessary, lest chaos ensue. In the case of the last two shutdowns of Bernie Sanders’ public speeches by “Black Lives Matter” fucktards, I rest my case. The “Black Lives Matter” assholes make such policing necessary.

The “Black Lives Matter” terrorists apparently calculate that we white and other non-black progressives will be too intimidated, lest we very predictably slanderously and/or libelously be labeled by them as “racist,” to call them on their shit; therefore, these terrorists are to be allowed to do as they please, lest they defamatorily brand us “racist” if we do so much as to dare to protest their reprehensible actions.

Nope. It’s not about race — it’s about the constitutionally guaranteed right to assemble peaceably, the right that the “Black Lives Matter” slacktivists selfishly, stupidly have come to believe they have the right to violate (as long as it’s someone else’s right to assemble peaceably, of course).

I’ll tell you what is racist: refusing to call a black person on his or her bad behavior because of his or her race, that is, putting his or her race before his or her bad behavior. That is racist.

If the “Black Lives Matter” slacktivists want their agenda and their rights to be recognized by others, they at the same time need to recognize the agendas and the rights of others. Now.

In the meantime, Team Bernie needs to protect the constitutional right of those gathered to hear Bernie Sanders speak by employing the very apparently necessary security measures — as Repugnican or Billary Clinton a thing as that might feel like doing.

The needs and the rights of the many outweigh the needs and the rights of the few — something that the selfish, self-absorbed “Black Lives Matter” slacktivists need to realize, lest they fizzle out much sooner than any of them had realized could happen.

P.S. I see from further news reportage that, thankfully, Bernie Sanders had a second engagement in Seattle this date, that tonight he spoke to “a packed crowd” at the University of Washington campus — uninterrupted this time, apparently.

“No president will fight harder to end institutional racism and reform criminal justice system,” Sanders told the crowd, according to The Associated Press. “Too many lives have been destroyed by war on drugs, by incarceration; we need to educate people. We need to put people to work.”

The AP also added more details from today’s earlier debacle in Seattle (emphasis in bold is mine):

When the crowd asked the activists to allow Sanders to speak, one [“Black Lives Matter”] activist called the crowd “white supremacist liberals,” according to event participants.

After waiting about 20 minutes, Sanders himself was pushed away when he tried to take the microphone back. [That’s called assault and battery — of a U.S. senator, no less; someone should have been arrested.] Instead, he waved goodbye, left the stage with a raised fist salute and waded into the crowd. He shook hands and posed for photos with supporters for about 15 minutes, and then left.

The AP reports that only two “Black Lives Matters” morons had managed to ruin Sanders’ appearance today. Again, they should have been removed from the venue. I, a white man, certainly would expect to be removed — forcibly, if I refused to cooperate — were I to try to commandeer someone else’s public event. To say that a black person similarly should not be removed because of his or her race — again, that’s racist.

And “white supremacist liberals” — what a nice touch. And awfully ironic, coming from an apparent black supremacist.

That said, though, ironically, perhaps if you are a (guilty) white liberal who believes that blacks should not be held accountable to the same standards of behavior that white people would be — if, say, you believe that “Black Lives Matter” morons should just be allowed to selfishly, stupidly ruin public events — perhaps you are a “white supremacist liberal,” since one who is not racist believes in equal treatment and equal expectations of and for everyone, regardless of his or her race.

P.P.S. The Washington Post reports that Bernie Sanders’ crowd tonight in Seattle at the University of Washington was his largest crowd yet, at 15,000 people. The Post notes that thus far in this presidential election cycle, Billary Clinton hasn’t garnered a crowd of even 6,000 people.

Gee, is this why the “Black Lives Matter” fascists are targeting Bernie? Because he’s so popular, because more people want to hear him speak than they do any other presidential candidate, at least on the Democratic side?

At any rate, clearly the “Black Lives Matter” terrorists, who very apparently incredibly stupidly put the nation’s race-based problems at Bernie Sanders’ feet, are vastly outnumbered. And, methinks, because of their misguided and short-sighted tactics — and not because of their basic cause, which is just — their days as anything resembling a real political force quite potentially are numbered.

Update (Monday, August 10, 2015):

The Huffington Post now reports:

A day after being interrupted by Black Lives Matters protesters at a campaign event in Seattle, Washington, Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) released a detailed platform on combating racial inequality.

Sanders’ campaign posted the platform on his website [yesterday], and he addressed the issue of racial justice [last] evening in front of more than 20,000 supporters in Portland, [Oregon,] drawing his largest crowd yet along the campaign trail. Nearly 12,000 people attended Saturday’s event in Seattle.

The platform delineates policy proposals pertaining to what Sanders calls “the four central types of violence waged against black and brown Americans: physical, political, legal and economic.” …

So Bernie’s crowds continue to grow by leaps and bounds. More than 20K is a lot of people. (Again, thus far Billary hasn’t even hit 6,000 people, to my knowledge.)

Although Team Bernie has released a fairly detailed platform on racial justice (I will study it shortly), frankly, I don’t expect the race-based harassment of him to stop. He was born while white, and so there’s nothing that he can do to gain the favor of the most hard-core black supremacists (whom I think of as an awful lot like white supremacists, just black). Just sayin’.

I have been woefully negligent in not mentioning until now that as a U.S. senator, Bernie Sanders scored 100 percent — one hundred percent — on the NAACP’s latest civil rights legislative report card. His vote on every piece of legislation that the NAACP found important was in line with the NAACP’s wishes on that legislation.

Some people like to claim that Sanders hasn’t done anything good on race-based civil rights lately, but the NAACP itself reports otherwise.

As I’ve noted, Sanders lives in and represents in Congress an overwhelmingly white state, but that doesn’t mean that his heart and mind aren’t in the right place. Those who judge his stance on civil rights primarily or solely based upon his race (and not upon his actual record) are — well, racist…

*If you’re even tempted to claim that the First Amendment’s guarantee of free speech allows public gatherings to be hijacked by a handful of terrorists to exercise their free-speech rights, I’d remind you that there are limits on the First Amendment, and that one’s own right to free speech ends where others’ rights begins.

I may not legally break into your home, for instance, in order to deliver you a soliloquy, claiming “free speech” as my defense.

There are time, place and manner restrictions on the right to free speech, which never has been absolute.

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Attacking their allies isn’t a winning strategy for black-rights activists

As dozens protesters shout, Tia Oso of the National Coordinator for Black Immigration Network, center, walks up on stage interrupting Democratic presidential candidate, former Maryland Gov. Martin O'Malley, right, as moderator Jose Vargas watches at left, during the Netroots Nation town hall meeting, Saturday, July 18, 2015, in Phoenix. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)

Associated Press photo

Black-rights activists commandeered a progressive forum in Phoenix on Saturday, even taking the microphone from the frustrated moderator, left, while Democratic presidential aspirant Martin O’Malley, right, who had been trying to speak, looks on. This was a bad political move. Those gathered at the event weren’t there to have an outside group take over the event, and those gathered at the progressive forum aren’t the enemy. It was a safe target for a hostile takeover, however, since the attendees at the progressive event didn’t really need the lesson.

So if I understand the “#BernieSoBlack” meme correctly, democratic socialist presidential candidate Bernie Sanders is to be derided because he isn’t black.

Wow.

Of the five-thus-far announced candidates for the Democratic Party presidential nomination (all of them white), a President Sanders probably would be the best booster of black Americans – probably even better than Barack Obama has been (which isn’t saying all that much, I know [I mean, Obama is great with the rhetoric…]) – but Sanders is to be derided because he isn’t of the “right” race. (Not that that’s racist or anything…)

As I’ve noted, yes, it would be nice if the most progressive presidential candidate weren’t another older white man, as we’ve had more than our fill of older white men in the White House and in other positions of power, but the bottom line with Bernie Sanders is that he is the most progressive presidential candidate that we have today.

It’s not Sanders’ fault that no black (or Latino or Asian or…) American is running for president on the Democratic Party ticket (but hey, black Americans have Ben Carson!), and the demographics of Sanders’ home state of Vermont aren’t exactly his fault, either. (Vermont was about 94 percent white, according to the U.S. Census Bureau’s 2013 estimate.)

Thus far there isn’t a “#BillarySoBlack” meme because, I suppose, Billary Clinton is seen as an extension of Bill Clinton, whom black American writer Toni Morrison in 1998 billed as “the first black president,” even though his “welfare reform,” his support of NAFTA, and his other right-wing, pro-plutocratic and pro-corporate policies harmed, not helped, black Americans as well as Americans in general.

The Clintons are great at saying that they’re on your side; actually acting in your best interests, however, is much more challenging for them (as it has been for Obama).

But, I believe, I get it: Barack Obama is in office for only another year and a half. Statistically speaking, while the door has been at least cracked opened, we probably won’t see another black president any decade soon. If the Repugnicans take back the White House in November 2016, of course Attorney General Loretta Lynch will be replaced, and if the Democrats keep the White House, she may or may not be kept on (I’d like to see her kept on).

Black Americans very apparently are concerned, and rightfully so, that the work that Obama’s Justice Department has started on civil rights won’t be continued after he leaves office. If the Repugnicans regain the White House, of course that work will stop. If the Democrats keep the White House, black Americans want to ensure that they don’t drop the ball.

It’s a big ball to drop. Unarmed black Americans are more than twice as likely to be slaughtered by a cop than are unarmed white Americans, and in 2009 almost 5 percent of black Americans were incarcerated, compared to fewer than 1 percent of white Americans. Black Americans have the lowest median household income of all of the races in the U.S. (Latinos have the second-lowest, while Asian Americans have the highest and white Americans have the second-highest).

I could give many more such statistics. Black Americans, by almost every measure, indeed struggle more than the members of any other racial group, and of course institutionalized racism is the largest factor in that. And of course symbolic actions alone, like banning the Confederate flag (while that’s a necessary step), aren’t going to reverse these grim statistics.

As much as these statistics capture the real suffering of real human beings, it disturbs me that mindless, knee-jerk political correctness has driven us to the point that it widely is considered to be quite unseemly to assert these days that all lives matter. Billary Clinton and Martin O’Malley now know this after both of them made the political mistake of recently publicly asserting that “all lives matter,” which very apparently is interpreted by many if not most within the black American community and the black American community’s uber-politically correct supporters to mean that black Americans’ concerns are being minimized by the blithe pronouncement that “all lives matter.”

All lives do matter, of course, but of course it’s critically important to note that not all Americans have it the same, that the average white American and the average Asian American, for instance, have it much better than do the average black American and the average Latino American.

I know – I’m not supposed to mention Latinos and Asians, because so many of us are addicted to the binary view of race relations, the view that race relations really are only black and white (and black vs. white and vice-versa).

But that’s just not the reality of the United States of America.

The U.S. Census Bureau’s estimates for 2013 are that 62.6 percent of Americans were white only, 17.1 percent were Latino only, 13.2 percent black only, and 5.3 percent Asian only, with the rest being of another race (such as Native American) or of more than one race. The pie graph looks like this:

(The lettering of this pie graph, which I found online, is small, so, if it helps, the blue area represents whites, the reddish-pinkish area represents Latinos, the green area represents blacks, the purplish area represents Asians, the turquoise represents those of more than one race, and the orange-ish represents Native Americans.)

Seeing it graphically helps to give us some perspective, I think. We are a diverse nation, but we also are supposed to be (in my book) a fairly proportionately representative democracy, albeit one that still protects minorities’ equal human and civil rights.

To those who think it’s just awful that Bernie Sanders was born white (as a Jewish American, however, he is a minority [Wikipedia notes that Sanders’ “father was a Jewish immigrant from Poland whose family was killed in the Holocaust, while his mother was born to Jewish parents in New York”]), I’d point out that a solid majority of Americans are white. (And, of course, Jewish Americans weren’t always considered to be white in the United States. And we’ve yet to have a Jewish U.S. president.)

I state this obvious fact (that most Americans still are white) because “Black Lives Matter” so often off-puttingly, offensively comes off as “Only Black Lives Matter” – especially since you get into trouble for asserting that “all lives matter” or even that “black and all lives matter.” Again, black Americans inarguably have it worse, as a racial group, than does any other racial group in the U.S., but black Americans, at 13 percent of the U.S. population, don’t comprise even one in five of all Americans (Latinos, whose numbers in the U.S. overtook blacks’ around 2000, are reaching that point, however).

For such a relatively small piece of the American pie to be demanding political power that is much greater than its actual numbers – such as the apparent demand that Barack Obama be followed only by another black president (even though the only black American who is running for president right now is the unelectable wingnut Ben Carson) – is not only unseemly and undemocratic, but it’s a shitty political tactic.

I can think of no better way to sink your own minority cause than to act like your minority cause is the only cause, or at least, the most important cause.

As a gay man, I’ve long recognized that without the help of our heterosexual allies, we of the non-heterosexual minority never would have achieved same-sex marriage (we still have a long way to go toward full equality, of course).* I’ve never advocated that we non-heterosexuals kiss heterosexual ass or beg for crumbs from the heterosexuals’ table, but at the same time, some political tactics that alienate one’s supporters or would-be supporters – such, as, oh, say, interrupting presidential candidates who are trying to speak to the members of a progressive group, even commandeering the microphonearen’t smart.

These tactics make you feel good about yourself – you rebel, you! – but they run counter to your own stated objectives. People who already are on your side or who could (have) be(en) on your side now have less respect for you; you have shown that you have no concerns outside of your own immediate concerns for yourself and your own group, and those toxically narrow identity politics don’t work anymore (if they ever did).

And when justifiably aggrieved blacks attack a progressive like Bernie Sanders, isn’t that just because they know that he won’t respond in a vicious, violent way? I mean, are these same people going to even try to similarly crash right-wing events? I much doubt it. So why attack those who already are on your side? Just because you can?

I hope that the “Black Lives Matter” movement continues. It’s vital to keep the issue of police brutality against blacks in the national spotlight. If it’s not, the deaths – the (negligent) homicides and the murders – of black Americans at the hands of the police will continue unabated.

But if the “Black Lives Matter” movement wants to succeed in the long term, it’s going to have to stop attacking allies (because they probably won’t fight back, being allies), and it’s going to have to realize that blacks comprise a minority of Americans, and that there are other oppressed minorities of Americans – and that yes, all lives do matter.

To acknowledge that simple fact is not to dismiss the living hell that the United States of America is for so many of its denizens, a disproportionate number of them black and Latino (and otherwise non-white). To acknowledge that fact is to gain and to keep allies on your side, because as powerful as you think you are, you can’t do it alone. You do need allies in this fight, and that means taking an interest in others’ interests and concerns, too.

Echo chambers are an awful lot of fun, but they don’t bring about a lot of lasting political change.

P.S. I see that long-time Billary Clinton stooge Joan Walsh of Salon.com predictably used the Phoenix incident to try to bash Bernie Sanders and boost Billary (even though Billary, like her hubby, always has been all words and promises but little action), as though Sanders needs a lecture from the DINO-loving Walsh, but vox.com notes that “Hillary Clinton was invited [to speak to the progressive group (Netroots Nation) in Phoenix on Saturday], but declined the invitation.”

At least Bernie showed up. You can’t fuck something up if you can’t even be bothered to be there, can you? No, Queen Billary prefers much more controlled, stage-managed “events.”

And of course Walsh won’t point out that it’s pretty shitty to interrupt and commandeer someone else’s event, no matter how just your cause might be, and that it’s pretty pointless to attack those who already support you — um, how about crashing a police officers’ convention when your main grievance is police brutality? — because that doesn’t fit in with her little narrative.

Some have posited that Billary was behind the crashing of the Netroots Nation in order to try to make her challengers look bad. That doesn’t strike me as impossible.

But after Bill Clinton’s record, anyone who believes that Billary Clinton would be “the first female black president” needs his or her head examined.

Finally, I note that not to be outdone by “Black Lives Matter” in alienating allies based upon toxic identity politics, Joan Walsh gleefully indirectly but surely calls Bernie Sanders’ white-male supporters “bro-cialists” and “bro-gressives” — because to be a white male by definition is shameful and bad, you see — even though about a third of Americans are white males, a group that’s too large for progressives to be able to afford to alienate entirely.

All white males should support Walsh’s DINO candidate, Billary Clinton, you see, simply because Billary is a woman who calls herself a Democrat, or they’re — we’re — to be demeaned as “bro-cialists” and “bro-gressives.” (Har har!)

You know, some might call Joan Walsh a “femi-Nazi.” Not I, of course, but some!

*On that note, on the day that I cast my vote for Barack Obama for president in November 2008 – happy to be able to vote for the first non-white president in U.S. history – 70 percent of California’s black voters voted for Proposition H8, which banned same-sex marriage (which the U.S. Supreme Court just last month ruled is unconstitutional).

It was, to put it mildly, a slap in the face to have had the black community’s back but to be betrayed by the black community like that.

Barack Obama didn’t come on board with same-sex marriage until 2012; he had to “evolve,” he said. Bernie Sanders already had publicly “evolved” on same-sex marriage before both Obama and Billary Clinton finally did, and arguably, Sanders publicly was supporting same-sex marriage way back in the 1970s.

There are plenty of pseudo-progressives — DINOs like Billary Clinton and Barack Obama — whom one can attack as being pseudo-progressives, as not really having oppressed minorities’ interests in mind or at heart.

Bernie Sanders isn’t one of them.

If all that matters is that our next president is black, then by all means, let’s elect Ben Carson, right-wing lunatic that he is.

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