He may have been the liberal mayor of a liberal city, then eventually the liberal governor of a liberal state with an always reliable black demographic he could count on to cast their numerous votes for him. Yet now the decidedly liberal Martin O’Malley is publicly apologizing for saying “all lives matter” and also that “white lives matter” at a political gathering in the Grand Canyon State that was attended predominantly by liberal Democrat activists.
As reported by both CNN (updated) and Yahoo! News, both on July 19, 2015, the hopeful Democratic nominee for president appeared on-stage at the Netroots Nation conference Phoenix, Ariz. where he found himself soundly booed after addressing the question of supposed cases of police brutality. While speaking on his take of various social issues, “several dozen” activists in the audience shouted him down with the chant “Black lives matter!”
O’Malley ostensibly believed the correct response to the activists was retorting: “Black lives matter. White lives matter. All lives matter.” However, his all-encompassing compassion comment failed to garner the hoped for response.
As CNN reporter Jeremy Moorhead noted, “The demonstrators, who were mostly black, responded by booing him and shouting him down.” Within hours, O’Malley took to the internet talk show This Week in Blackness (TWiB) to backtrack and apologize because some voters may have believed what he actually meant was that the candidate purposefully minimized the lives of blacks by stating that the lives of all human beings matter.
Appearing with TWiB hostess L. Joy Williams, O’Malley specifically clarified his “Black lives matter. White lives matter. All lives matter” comments, apologizing for being disrespectful and insensitive. As the presidential wannabe clarified;
That was a mistake on my part and I meant no disrespect. I did not mean to be insensitive in any way or 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.
In an attempt to explain why O’Malley’s “all lives matter” caused such a hostile response, Yahoo! News reporter Dylan Stableford quoted Judith Butler, a comparative literature professor at the University of California, Berkeley. According to the professor, “It is true that all lives matter, but it is equally true that not all lives are understood to matter, which is precisely why it is most important to name the lives that have not mattered and are struggling to matter in the way they deserve.
Butler added, “Claiming that ‘all lives matter’ does not immediately mark or enable black lives, only because they have not been fully recognized as having lives that matter.”
The usually left-leaning Politico.com news portal cites on July 20, 2015 that the latest CNN/ORC International Democratic Presidential Primary 2016 poll shows O’Malley on the political version of life support. According to the pollsters, the former Maryland governor and Baltimore mayor is pulling in a microscopic 1 percent. “Someone Else” garnered 4 percent, while “None/No One” is polling at 5 percent.