Bernie Sanders was set to speak about Social Security and Medicare in front of a crowd of 15,000 in Seattle. His plans didn’t work out as members of the Black Lives Matter movement stormed the stage and chased the Democratic challenger off.
The crowd was packed and chanted for the Independent senator to take the stage, as his populist message has energized millions around the country. The one area where Sanders seems to be struggling is with the Black Lives Matter movement, despite 40 years of fighting for civil rights justice and minority communities. Marissa Johnson then approached Sanders on stage, chanting “black lives matter” and shutting down the rally. Reports circulated throughout social media that Johnson was actually a Sarah Palin and Tea Party supporter, but she clarified these allegation on the August 10 edition of “This Week in Blackness.”
When asked whether or not she was a Sarah Palin supporter, Johnson said that her interracial parents were Tea Party members and supporters of the former half term governor of Alaska, but that she no longer holds those views. “Clearly that’s not where I am, because people leave high school and go to college ,” Johnson said, but did acknowledged that she was “a Christian extremist.” “So, yes, I did run up there and confront Bernie Sanders because of my religious conviction, absolutely. Are they right-wing religious convictions? No.”
Johnson then continued, claiming that Sanders and his “white, liberal Democrat leftist contingent” has not supported the Black Lives Matter movement, and that it was “super important” to take a stand. A strong supporter of Black Lives Matter, Johnson criticized Sanders’ supporters for enabling a “white supremacist society.”
“We have hordes and hordes of white liberals and white progressives and yet we still have all the same racial problems. So for us locally in our context, confronting Sanders was the equivalent of confronting the large, white, liberal Democrat leftist contingent that we have here in Seattle who not only has not supported BLM in measurable ways but is often very harmful and is upholding the white supremacist society that we live in.”
While Johnson is far from a Tea Party or Sarah Palin supporter, her rage is as real as the conservative movements were following the election of President Obama. The anger displayed by some within the Black Lives Matter movement appears to be formed out of a racial divide, and an apparent ignorance by those who feel like are being suppressed, even by those who would normally take their side.