Democratic presidential candidates Martin O’Malley and Bernie Sanders were heckled and constantly interrupted during an appearance at the Netroots Nation conference on Saturday, as activists against police brutality towards diaspora Africans born in America and descendants of the Maafa, took the stage in Phoenix.
Activists began clapping and saying rhythmically: “Black lives matter, black lives matter, black lives matter.” This eventually led to Martin O’Malley deserting the citizens. Democratic Presidential Candidate Bernie Sanders came up next. Shortly after starting his planned speech, by touching on talking points, which included; policy, media bias and the need for a raised minimum wage, chants of “black lives matter,” “save our men,” and “say her name” broke out. Activists rounded it out with the refrain “I want Bernie Sanders to say my name.”
Bernie Sanders went A.W.O.L. as well. It seems to have been a missed opportunity. Is it possible that Sanders doesn’t practice what he preaches? Would it not have been a better choice for Sanders to stay for the full length of his expected attendance. Should he have answered the crowds refrain by ticking off the names of Rekia Boyd, Mariam Carey, Tanisha Anderson, Yvette Smith, Kindra Chapman, Sandra Bland, Kimberlee Randle-King, Shantel Davis, Alesia Thomas, Shantel Davis, Shereese Francis, Aiyana Stanley-Jones, Tarika Wilson, Kathryn Johnston, Alberta Spruill, and Kendra James to name a few. May be he could have followed up with his line action plan to end the assault on blackness and being black in America. May be not.