This surreal event at the Nutroots Nation gathering is a perfect distillation of where the Democratic Party (and our culture as a whole) is right now. The inmates are running the asylum:
PHOENIX — When Martin O’Malley and Bernie Sanders took the stage at Saturday’s Netroots Nation forum here in Arizona, things didn’t go exactly as planned.
Both Democratic presidential candidates were supposed to sit down with [gay illegal immigrant – Ed.] activist and journalist Jose Antonio Vargas to talk about immigration. Instead, they got shouted down.
O’Malley, the former Maryland governor, was up first, and his forum was hijacked by protesters who said they were from the “Black Lives Matter” movement. They moved toward the stage, chanting, “What side are you on? Black people! What side are you on?”
Two of the activists climbed onto the stage and seized the microphones as O’Malley and Vargas stood by patiently.
“It’s not like we like shutting shit down but we have to,” activist Patrisse Cullors said. “We are tired of being interrupted.”…
Right on cue, O’Malley (an old, heterosexual, white guy who is part of the partriarchically and racially oppressive ruling class) immediately goes into Capitulation Mode:
“I believe every police department in America should have to report in an open and transparent way all police-involved shootings, all discourtesy complaints, all brutality complaints,” O’Malley, a former Baltimore mayor, said. Asked by Vargas about civilian review boards, O’Malley added, “all departments should have civilian review boards.”
Did that work to calm the feverish crowd down?
That was roughly as specific as the protesters allowed O’Malley to get. He went on to say, awkwardly, “black lives matter, white lives matter, all lives matter,” sparking loud boos.
O’Malley repeated the phrase and the audience kept booing. Vargas tried to quiet the crowd down, but time was up anyway.
It’s not entirely clear if the crowd was booing the phrase “white lives matter” or “all lives matter”. In either case, it’s equally detestable… but not entirely surprising in 2015 America.
Today, O’Malley’s concept of ‘damage control’ on the matter was to apologize — to actually apologize — for saying “all lives matter”. I’m sure he wasn’t keen on apologizing for “white lives matter”, as this would highlight a salient facet of this kerfuffle he’s just as soon forget about. From the Washington Times:
Former Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley apologized after he was interrupted by protesters when the 2016 Democratic presidential candidate said “all lives matter” at the Netroots Nation conference in Phoenix over the weekend.
“That was a mistake on my part, and I meant no disrespect,” Mr. O’Malley said in an interview on “This Week in Blackness,” a digital show. “I did not mean to be insensitive in any way or to communicate that I did not understand the tremendous passion, commitment and feeling and depth of feeling that all of us should be attaching to this issue.”