The Seattle PI’s Joel Connelly has a rather surprising response to Democrats defending the Black Lives Matter (BLM) protesters who blocked socialist U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders from speaking at a rally in Seattle last Saturday. More and more, voices on the Left are scrambling to label the booing of the BLM protesters as an example of liberal “racism.”
Connelly responds to the growing trend by writing, “[The Left’s] echo chamber, removed from reality, has resorted to rationalizing tactics neither rational nor civil. Most of all, the movement to change police tactics, to restore economic justice, must appeal to Americans’ basic sense of justice and fairness. Black Lives Matter sure didn’t do that on Saturday.”
Connelly starts by pointing out a Facebook post by 34th District Democratic activist, union official (and former Seattle Times copy editor) Ivan Weiss on the subject. The post reads,
“You don’t believe that Black Lives Matter is your fight also, there’s a name or what you are: It’s called Republican. And if you don’t like BLM’s tactics, f*** you. I mean serious, f*** you. Winning this election is more important than maintaining your personal comfort zone.”
As Connelly quips, the post is “inviting a Republican-recruiting drive.”
Connelly goes on to criticize local density activist Roger Valdez who declared, “The moment Marissa Johnson took the microphone away from presidential candidate Bernie Sanders may well mark the moment when change became possible in Seattle.” Connelly responds,
“He may be right, but do we want the change that radicals want to impose? It’s change that laces our political dialogue with profanity, shouts down anyone that secular priests of inclusiveness do not want heard and supplants democratic process with the pressure of the mob. The city’s very progressive (compared to years past) business community gets demonized. Defenders of single-family neighborhoods get demonized.
“The result: Instead of a national model for reform, Seattle will be in danger of becoming a national laughingstock . . . a northern version of the California city nicknamed ‘Berserkly’ after radicals took over the City Council. After the protests at the World Trade Organization meeting — which blew away peaceful expression of legitimate causes — violent disrupters worldwide were christened with the name ‘Seattle people.’
“A message should go out from the majority to those having their ‘WTO moment’: We have a liberal city to defend against radicals.”
Connelly provides an interesting perspective from a concerned media leftist point-of-view. Where he goes wrong is in assuming that there is still time to defend the city against radicals.
For evidence, one has only to take a look at the response of top Seattle leaders—both elected officials and known labor activists—to the BLM disruption.
Democrat State Sen. Pramila Jayapal of Seattle, who had spoken right before Sanders’ scheduled talk, stated that the “reaction by the crowd of mostly white progressives showed the ‘fairly thin veneer in terms of what it means to support true progress in the black-lives movement.’”
Robby Stern, a longtime local labor leader who emceed and helped organize the rally, refused to criticize the protesters. Instead he said, “There is good reason for their anger.”
The fact that just two protesters could hijack a rally and take away the microphone from a major presidential candidate reveals Democrats’ willingness to bend to the will of radicals. Indeed, the very fact that a liberal presidential candidate identifies himself as a socialist – and refuses the Democrat label even while seeking the party’s nomination – reveals the Democrat’s willingness to bend to the will of radicals. By every indication, the battle has been fought and radicals have won.