Daily Archives: July 20, 2015

Give Martin O’Malley His Due

I have shortchanged Martin O’Malley in the controversy over the protesters at the Netroots Nation Convention. My previous post O’Malley and Sanders Heckled At Netroots Nation Convention has the full video of the session.

In my rush to get to the controversial part, I completely missed the beginning and the interview with Martin O’Malley. This occurs within the first 25 minutes of the video.

What Martin O’Malley had to say was quite good. In some ways, it actually answered some of the questions that were to come from the protesters.

I don’t know enough about Martin O’Malley’s record to be able to attest to the information he gave us. However, based on the words alone, it sounded quite good.

I think I am finally getting his offhanded reference to Michael Dukakis. It seems to me that the law-enforcement initiatives that Martin O’Malley took as Mayor of Baltimore and Governor of Maryland echo what Michael Dukakis did in his first term as Governor of Massachusetts. Dukakis and O’Malley both cracked down on the repeat offenders, as these were the people responsible for most of the crime. I wonder if the people of Maryland or his detractors there frequently compared him to Michael Dukakis as a form of putdown.

Martin O’Malley might make an excellent Vice Presidential running-mate for Bernie Sanders. We would have two people with very similar ideas, but O’Malley would bring some North/South balance and some age balance. If people are afraid that because of his age, Bernie Sanders might not complete his terms, they could feel reassured that a younger person was right behind him, ready to step into his shoes, if necessary.

White progressives get a taste of anger & frustration as #BlackLivesMatter activists upstage Bernie Sanders

Eclectablog has the post White progressives get a taste of anger & frustration as #BlackLivesMatter activists upstage Bernie Sanders.

Gov. O’Malley was the first to take the stage with Vargas who jumped right into it by asking questions related to the sharp rise in arrests of black youths under O’Malley’s administration. Not long into the conversation, however, black activists, most of whom were women, began singing/chanting in the back of the room, “What side are you on, my people? What side are you on?”
After Gov. O’Malley left the stage, Senator Sanders came out. He, too, was shouted down and interrupted repeatedly. Unlike Gov. O’Malley who allowed the protesters to be heard, Sanders was visibly irritated, saying things like, “If you don’t want me here, I will leave.” He even shushed them at one point.
Sitting in the middle of this maelstrom was a fascinating experience. I, like many of the others there, was initially irritated by the protestors. I was there to hear the candidates and was frustrated that they weren’t being heard. Even a bit angry, in fact. “These are your allies,” I thought. “Why on earth are you attacking them? Why are you disrupting an event where the people there are sympathetic to your cause?”

Frustration. Anger. Being silenced.




Talked over.


Every single one of these emotions that ran through my white privileged brain in the first few moments of the protest until I was slapped across the face with what I was being forced to confront. Every single one of these emotions are felt acutely and painfully every single day by racial minority groups in our country. But, instead of being inconvenienced by not being able to hear a politician speak, they face them in the context of being slaughtered in the streets by the police officers who are tasked to protect them, incarcerated in astonishingly disparate numbers, and blamed for not being able to escape from the prison of poverty that holds far too many of them in bondage.

I had missed the point (because I didn’t listen) about how the initial question to O’Malley played right into the planned protest. Good for the moderator.

I loved the way this blog post described the transition from anger and frustration at the protesters, to a sudden realization of the lesson they were teaching.

I hope other, privileged, white people like me get to read this blog post from Eclectablog.