Why Hillary Clinton and her rivals are struggling to grasp Black Lives Matter
Strained interactions and attempts to appease the burgeoning activist group demonstrate how a new force on the left has disrupted traditional politics and created challenges for Democrats.

The rise of Black Lives Matter has presented opportunities for Clinton and her opponents, who are seeking to energize black voters to build on the multiethnic coalitions that twice elected Barack Obama. But the candidates have struggled to tap into a movement that has proven itself to be unpredictable and fiercely independent. It is a largely organic web of young African American activists — many of them unbound by partisan allegiances and largely unaffiliated with establishment groups such as the NAACP that typically forge close ties with Democrats.

At Netroots Nation, the two candidates, who are attempting to challenge Clinton from the left, might have expected to receive a warm welcome. Instead, they seemed to wilt under the questions of protesters, who stormed the space around the stage and recited the names of blacks killed during confrontations with police.

The episode has been seen by many liberal activists as an embarrassment for the two candidates, who appeared surprisingly ill-prepared to respond to questions many thought they should have expected.

Sanders threatened to leave the stage as protesters demanded that he repeat the name of Sandra Bland, a black woman who died in a Texas jail cell earlier this month. Then he canceled a series of meetings he had scheduled with some of the activists following his appearance — something they found out only when campaign manager Jeff Weaver showed up in Sanders’s stead.

O’Malley responded by telling the protesters, “Black lives matter. White lives matter. All lives matter” — a statement that struck the demonstrators as dismissive of their movement and the unique discrimination endured by African Americans at the hands of the police.

Bernie Sanders

Bernie Sanders is a self-described socialist who has been fighting for social justice since before the Internet was a thing. He was an organizer for the Congress of Racial Equality (CORE) and the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC) while in college, where, Wikipedia tells us, “one of the actions he took was the coordination of sit-in protests against segregated campus housing.” 

Needless to say, he’s extremely problematic.

Yesterday at Netroots Nation, Sanders had the temerity to suggest that he has been fighting for racial equality his whole life and that his program for social justice that would actually have a remarkably large impact on the financial wellbeing of those who make up the lower classes—a disproportionate number of whom are minorities—was better than mindlessly uttering identity politics pleasantries. 

Obviously, this challenge to the mob could not go unanswered.

"Black people are dying in this country because we have a criminal justice system which is out of control, a system in which over 50 percent of young African-American kids are unemployed,” he said. “It is estimated that a black baby born today has a one in four chance of ending up in the criminal justice system.”

But it did little to quell the protesters. And when the Twitterverse later caught wind of Sanders’ fumble, they decided to take some jabs at him, using the hashtag #BernieSoBlack.

And my did Twitter let him have it. That’ll show this veteran of the civil rights movement!


FINALLY. I’m glad someone had the guts to say it. Did you know he’s not a knee-jerk opponent of gun rights, too? AYFKM?

ikr; his supporters need to learn to stfu:

Internet. Hero.

Whitesplaining has been known to cause headaches. AND OPPRESSION.

Bernie needs to understand his role right now is not to lecture us about economics or to “offer a plan that would actually help poor people.” Nope. He needs to sit down, shut up, and listen. The people spoke yesterday. I hope he took notice.

I give the transgression of a civil rights movement participant thinking he understands civil rights problems well enough to discuss them on a national stage (i.e., whitesplain) three problematics.

Remember how everyone was disappointed with Bernie for not taking a strong stance on Black Lives Matter at the Netroots Nation conference a few weeks ago? Well, he listened to what the activists had to say and has recently added some content to his usual spiel. I can not stress enough how important it is to have politicians that listen to the concerns of grassroots movements. It is the foundation of democracy that politicians represent the people. Bernie gives me hope that we the people do have a voice.
Send Cognitive Dissonance to Netroots Nation!

Folks, I was nominated for a Netroots Nation scholarship to attend this year’s conference in Providence, Rhode Island. The competition is stiff and I need your vote.  

So what’s Netroots Nation?

The big picture: We amplify progressive voices by providing an online and in-person campus for exchanging ideas and learning how to be more effective in using technology to influence the public debate. Through our annual convention and other events, we strengthen the community, inspire action and serve as an incubator for ideas that challenge the status quo and ultimately affect change in the public sphere.

The big event: The seventh annual gathering of the Netroots will be held June 7–10 in Providence, RI. Netroots Nation 2012 will include 70 panels, 30 training sessions, inspiring keynotes (Keith Olbermann is our first confirmed speaker), film screenings and other engaging sessions designed to educate, stimulate and inspire the nation’s next generation of progressive leaders.

Each year, thousands of bloggers, newsmakers, social justice advocates, labor and organizational leaders, grassroots organizers and online activists come together to make new connections, hone their organizing skills, share best practices and build stronger relationships with others working on the issues they care most about. And each year, some of the brightest minds in progressive politics come to Netroots Nation to speak with—and hear from—our community.

I’ve wanted to attend this event since it started. I would appreciate your vote. There’s others who have hundreds of votes already. As of 11:25 PM MST, I had over 8600 followers. If just 10% of folks following me vote, I would be incredibly grateful. If you enjoy what you read here, please, I ask you cast a vote for me.

Click on the link above to vote, or click here.

Thank you again, and please pass this along to your readers!



Have you voted for me yet?

Because you should. Netroots Nation is holding a scholarship contest to pay for registration for the conference in Detroit this summer. Being able to go to conferences and network with other activists is incredibly important to talking about fat politics outside of fat community. Sadly, since my work isn’t paid and I do all of this on a volunteer basis I’m unable to afford the $350 registration fee.

You can help get me there by voting for me. <-Click the link and vote.

If you are outside of the US use the zipcode 48202 or google to find another one!

If you won’t do it for me do it for my mom’s puppy Snickers.
They Are Not Trolls. They Are Men.

Trigger warning for discussion of the various types of abuse perpetrated by those humans known as “trolls” incuding rape and death threats and suicide.Back in July, during Netroots Nation 2014, Zer…

“… By calling these people “trolls,” we are basically letting them off the hook. It’s a lot like the “boys will be boys” mentality that helps to keep rape culture thriving, but it’s also different, because boys are expected to be human. By calling these people “trolls,” we relegate them to non-human status, and we make it clear that we don’t expect them to live up to the same behavioral standards as human beings.”

Honestly, we should all reblog this article once a week, at the very least.

Water Is a Human Right: Call for End to Detroit Water Shutoffs

Despite being surrounded by the largest collection of freshwater lakes in the world, thousands of Detroit residents—most of them low-income people of color—are finding themselves without access to fresh water because of actions by the city’s water department that advocates say are in violation of Detroiters’ human rights.

In March, the Detroit Water and Sewerage Department (DWSD)announced an effortto collect more than $119 million in delinquent payments from more than 150,000 customers in an effort to reduce the department’s $5.7 billion debt load—which it acquired after the city, and then its water and sewage bonds,were downgradedby multiple major credit agencies. As part of that plan, in April and May the department shut off water service at a total of 7,556 locations. In June, the department redoubled those efforts, shutting off service at 7,210 locations in one month alone.

Community advocates have spoken out against these tactics, and have organized to protest policies that they say are denying residents a basic human right to water.

Read the rest of my report for rhrealitycheck

Photo: Eric Seals/Detroit Free Press

Black Lives Matter

Economic Justice is an overdue and a much needed political agenda in America. On the other hand, Black Americans are concerned with our literal survival today. Black people are being murdered by the state at alarming rates, and what the Black community is experiencing is the text-book definition of a real crisis and an existential one. 

The job of Black radicals on the left is NOT to “be reasonable” for all eternity so that White allies get to play the paternalistic Great White Savior. The political right is being dragged ever further to the extreme right. One of the duties of the radical left is to ensure that liberals—the political left—aren’t dragged along with them in a cloud of “reasonable” acquiescence. It is not the duty of White progressives to excoriate Black progressives when they think the AngryBlackPeople™ have “stepped out of line.”   

The Black Lives Matter movement is urgent. We have to be alive in November 2016 to cast a ballot, so perhaps you can see how our agendas aren’t nearly as aligned as they need to be.

It’s not all about you, White liberals: Why attacks on radical people of color are so misguided.

I won a scholarship to Netroots Nation!

Thank you to all who voted for me, and a huge thank you to Michael Shay of hummingbirdminds for nominating me!

The scholarship will cover everything but travel. If you’d like to donate to offset my costs in traveling to Rhode Island, please use the widget on the sidebar. It’s much appreciated. 

However, I wouldn’t have won this scholarship without your votes, nor would I be attending. So…..

I’m stoked to attend this year’s conference. If you’d like to go, here’s the info!

Thanks again!

– Meg

What's up CSpan?

Slept in this morning for some much needed extra rest.  Got up, poured a cup of coffee and then turned on the TV, hoping to catch some of NetRoots Nation while making out my weekend to do list. 

But no Netroots Nation coverage on CSpan or CSpan2?  Hours and hours of coverage of the Republican Leadership Conference, but nothing for liberals/progressives, though CSpan has covered it in the past.  I may have missed some coverage during the past two days - but can’t believe that even in the late night or early hours CSpan is showing none of it.  I guess it could be on CSpan3, which I don’t get.

Luckily I do get Free Speech TV and they are covering it, so I set the machine up to record all their coverage.  But still more evidence that the media is not liberal.

Now I need to spend a little time trying to get CurrentTV added back to my package - for some reason Direct TV is no longer giving it to me, though I have not changed my package.  Now that Keith Olbermann will be there, I need to get it back.

Bernie Sanders’ disgusting new campaign policy

I’ve talked a lot about Bernie Sanders this weekend and how I feel he hasn’t been taking the black liberation movement seriously enough. 

A lot of people have disagree with me. Some of them have mentioned that he just hired a black woman (Symone Sanders) to be his National Press Secretary. 

So after the disruption at Netroots Nation and Saturday’s disruption in Seattle and his new hire, what has Bernie learned?


At the start of his rally in Portland tonight, Symone Sanders spoke to the crowd and warned them that protesters might cause another disruption. She said that if this happened, the new policy of the Sanders campaign is that she wanted the crowd to drown out what the protesters were saying by chanting, “We stand together!” over and over until the protesters stopped talking. 


Not only has he chosen to not listen to these voices, he has chosen to patronize them. 

This is NOT what a partner in struggle does. This is insulting and offensive. How dare he?!

It’s like he’s patting a child on the head and saying, “What’re you crying for?” 

I am so glad that I did not give in to the criticism I was getting before for not accepting that Bernie was already a proven partner in liberation work. Fuck that! Actions speak louder than words and louder that policy platforms. This shows Bernie’s true feelings, and I am disappointed. 

The protests must continue! He is clearly not hearing the message!

“Welcome to arizone where the Martin Luther King holiday was repealed by our republican governor. We had to take initiative to put a ballot referendum to honor the legacy of black people. If we’re going to call this a progressive space, we must always, & unapologetically, & equivocally, center black leadership that has made every single name of progress in this country.”

~ Tia Oso

At the Netroots Nation Presidential Town Hall in Phoenix, Arizona on July 18, 2015, Tia Oso took to the stage to disrupt the planned speakers. In her own words, she did this to “focus the attention [on] the death of Sandra Bland and other black women killed while in police custody, because the most important and urgent issue of our day is structural violence and systemic racism that is oppressing and killing black women, men and children.” (read more here)