You may recall that Bernie Sanders recently allowed his campaign to be essentially hijacked by the Black Lives Matter movement when a couple of agitators were able to seize his microphone from him and chase him from his own stage with his tail between his legs. Clearly this isn’t a situation which could be allowed to stand. The Donald chimed in with some helpful advice for Bernie, saying that if they tried that with him they could probably expect a poke in the nose. Now, as Buzzfeed reports, Sanders has decided to stand up to his captors and get matters back under control.
Naw… I’m just kidding. He folded like a cheap suit and is waving the white flag.
After protests twice derailed campaign events in recent weeks, the Bernie Sanders campaign has asked to meet with Black Lives Matter activists in Washington.
In an email obtained by BuzzFeed News, the campaign’s African-American outreach director, Marcus Ferrell, told a group of activists that Sanders wanted a more formal interaction. As a sitting U.S. senator, the meeting could be arranged as a means of “possibly introducing legislation and making a constitutional change. We would like to know what YOU would like to see happen.”
Campaigns are rushing to curry favor with Black Lives Matter activists, whose public actions confronting Sanders twice disrupted the campaign, forcing Sanders to more forcefully voice his support of the movement. He has also since announced Symone Sanders, who is a young black woman, as his national press secretary; she was hired after she met with the senator about the activism and criminal justice. Bernie Sanders has also released a comprehensive racial justice platform, referenced by Ferrell in the email.
The email from a senior Sanders staffer starts off by saying, “I apologize it took our campaign so long to officially reach out.” This is the path you’re choosing? Is Team Bernie absolutely sure that they don’t want to take a second look at what Donald Trump suggested as a solution? (Daily Mail)
Trump suggested that he would welcome a physical confrontation with the social justice warriors if he were put in the same position.
‘I don’t know if I’ll do the fighting myself, or if other people will, but that was a disgrace,’ Trump told reporters during a press conference before a Michigan campaign speech.
‘I felt badly for him, but it showed that he’s weak. You know what? He’s getting the biggest crowds, and I’m getting the biggest crowds. We’re the two getting the crowds. But believe me, that’s not gonna happen to Trump.’
‘I would never give up my microphone,’ the billionaire White House hopeful added. ‘I thought that was disgusting.’
‘That showed such weakness, the way he was taken away by two young women. The microphone! They just took the whole place over!’
Yes, it’s a given that every Democrat is trying to figure out how to catch lightning in a bottle and drive the same number of black voters to the polls that Barack Obama did during the last two cycles. Traditionally, turnout in the 80s, 90s and early 2000s among eligible black voters has run in the low to mid fifties. Barack Obama managed to peg that number at 65 and 66 percent in 2008 and 2012, with the latter figure representing the first time that black turnout actually exceeded that of white voters. With so many states which come in on tight margins these days, Democrats are playing with fire if they lose any significant ground on that front.
But is Bernie Sanders fighting the wrong political war here? I’m not sure how many voters of any demographic pigeonhole are going to respect somebody who allows themselves to be kicked around like the 98 pound weakling on the beach and then comes crawling back to apologize to the bully. Bernie may be exciting a lot of people in the Liz Warren wing of the party, but this is a lasting image which the Democrats don’t want following them into the general election when the nation faces so many challenges on the international front.
UPDATE: (Jazz) Sanders doesn’t deny that they apology went out, but he does deny authorizing it and says he didn’t owe anyone an apology. That’s a start, I suppose.