Speaking up

Woman explains why she interrupted Bernie Sanders at Seattle rally

Two black women made waves Saturday when they interrupted Senator and Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders to promote the Black Lives Matter movement at a rally in Seattle. The targeting of Sanders, a progressive who participated in the Civil Rights movement in the 1960s, prompted outrage, and the Seattle crowd reacted negatively to being called racist by one of the women, Marissa Johnson. Johnson elaborated on her motivations for the demonstration on the This Week in Blackness podcast. “I don’t have faith in politicians,” Johnson said. “I don’t have faith in the electoral process. It’s well documented that that doesn’t work for us … And so we hear people saying — Bernie supporters — ‘Well, he’s your best option.’ It’s like, if he’s our best option then I’m burning this down.” Johnson, the daughter of two Tea Partiers, identifies as a Christian extremist. “My religion says you lay down your life for other people and the most marginalized, and so that’s what I do.” When asked if she hated white people she said no and disagreed with the question. “The question is actually: Do you love black people? To the extent that you are literally willing to sacrifice your life?” Contrary to what many are saying, Johnson knew exactly who she was targeting and what she was saying that Saturday. Her purpose was to force a national conversation on race and politics, and to say she achieved it is an understatement.

Read the full story at The Stranger.

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