Black Lives Matter: The Bernie Sanders Movement

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Presidential hopeful Bernie Sanders was interrupted by Black Lives Matter protesters for the second time in Seattle, Washington on August 8th, 2015; the incident involved heated confrontation and was largely reported on as an attack on Bernie Sanders’ campaign. Two African-American women stormed the stage, demanding to be allowed time to speak and threatening to shut down Sanders’ event. The two were members of Black Lives Matter, a social activist group fighting violence towards African Americans. Unfortunately, due primarily to the negative reactions of the crowd, many news outlets reported on the effects of Black Lives Matter on Sanders’ campaign rather than on the message that was pushed by the protesters. This lack of focus on the critical…show more content…
While more attention has been placed on restructuring the American law enforcement system, it seems that the only reason these politicians are now addressing the concerns of the black community is that they are counting on African American votes for the Primary and General Elections. Had the two women not stormed the stage and forced their message out into the rally, the media, and the nation, it would have been easy for politicians to continue marginalizing Black Lives Matter. For this reason, taking control of the Sanders rally forcefully was not a mistake, despite what some may think. The social progress of African Americans lies in the hands of those in charge, and it seems that the only way for activist groups like Black Lives Matter to inspire change is by turning negative media coverage into an…show more content…
It seems reasonable to suggest that the crowd in Seattle, Washington booed the two Black Lives Matter protesters because they wanted to hear Bernie Sanders speak. Some may even suggest that the two women were out of line and should not have been allowed to speak. These claims stem from the negative sentiment towards the way the two women took control: by force. However, we should be cautious of how quickly we dismiss their protest; clearly the two protesters inconvenienced the crowd, which was looking forward to hearing Bernie Sanders speak. In reality, though, how much of an inconvenience was it to stand and listen to a community that feels it has been wronged by society and ignored by its representatives? Obviously, seeing these two women forcibly take control was frustrating, but it could not have been more frustrating than seeing one’s community be systematically murdered by law enforcement officials with no form of justice imposed on the perpetrators. Black Lives Matter has organized many demonstrations, but most have failed to receive adequate media coverage that explains their cause. This lack of attention to a life or death situation must have pushed these women to act, regardless of whether people wanted to

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