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Monday, August 17, 2015


"When the young activists from Black Lives Matter took over the stage and microphone from Bernie Sanders, I was inexplicably on stage...Yeah, I was that big-ass Native dude on stage.

A Forrest Gump moment, a Kramer moment—damn, I wasn’t trying to be there. But it was not a coincidence. KL and I understood that, whether we agreed with the young ladies’ actions or not, there were two brown-skinned females on stage and a crowd of angry white folks, and history tells us that it’s not unreasonable to expect the worst in these situations.
Horrible things have happened historically to brown-skinned people in these situations. We had an obligation to protect these sisters from any of that. We also had an obligation to protect the integrity of the situation."
Gyassi Ross 

for TheStranger . com

I was more than a little disappointed in this article. I thought Ross was going to talk about the "calling in" of Bernie Sanders after having been called out by two small women from Black Lives Matter. Instead this wound up being a weak "white folks, including Sanders, should be uncomfortable" from time to time when the subject is race.

My thoughts on this are different. My thought is that white folks, especially a white man who would be president, should get off the "a rising tide" lifts all boats" song and dance forever. It's not true when Sanders implies it. And it's not true when President Obama actually says it out loud either. So, Bernie Sanders resting on his overt racism fighting days of The Civil Rights Movement isn't going to cut any time soon. Black Americans moved out from under Jim Crow. We all moved from being fourth class citizens under Jim Crow to second class citizens who have to move very slowly, keep our hands on the steering wheel, and put out cigarettes at a traffic stop in order to not get shot or hauled off to jail by cops. Bernie Sanders should know that the issues are different from the days of The Civil Rights Movement. More than that, our expectations of white people are different. We fully expect them to clean up their own mess after they listen to us tell them what the mess looks like and where it is. White people hate talking about race so much that they are really, really ignorant about their own race-based behaviors.

Ross is right and wrong about white liberal crowd. On stage he couldn't hear what we heard on the video. But of course, some of the mostly white crowd was mad at the bait and switch of topics. However, just like he said at the end of his own article, most white people don't EVER want to talk about race. And that refusal to talk about race was evident in the white crowd when those two women from Black Lives Matter got on stage.

There weren't just boos, hisses, and calls to get off the stage from the mostly white crowd. The comments from the white crowd WERE racial in content. There were words and phrases used. And some of those words were familiar 'How dare they imply I'm a racist' is just one of the comments I heard. And if Bernie Sanders represents "those people" then that's a problem.

IF BERNIE SANDERS was prepared to take the Black Lives Movement seriously, he would already have sound-bitey type statements ready any time anybody asks him something. He should have taken special care to be ready for questions on Black Lives Matter since he's already lent his mouth to that "All Lives Matter" crap. Sanders unwillingness to speak on Black Lives Matters for even five minutes before he going on to regularly scheduled programming was very, very telling.

I'm glad this man, Ross, had sense enough to know those young ladies might be in danger. But he kinds up doubles back on himself when he said the crowd's anger wasn't race based. If he truly believed the crowds anger wasn't race based, then what was he protecting them from? And if the editors of this online blog aren't predominantly white Bernie Sanders fans panting to find somebody not-white to say that white crowd wasn't white fragility suffering and making negative race-based comments, I just might have to eat my hat. Bernie Sanders needs to be called out until he's worthy of being called in - no matter who he hires to help him run his campaign.