Seattle “Black Lives Matter” protester Marissa Johnson ripped the left, saying, “Especially on the left, candidates have this liberal rhetoric and we really need them to match it with their words and with their actions.”
Appearing on MSNBC’s “News Nation” Tuesday, Johnson also blasted Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders, “He’s never had a strong analysis that there is racism and white supremacy that is separate than the economic things that everyone experiences.”
Tamron Hall: After this incident he [Bernie Sanders] addressed this a with new sweeping policy platform, he says to combat racial inequality. He points out a number of things as to how to reinvent how police in America operate and package his criminal justice plan with ones that preserve voting rights and protect against racial violence. And he went on to list a number of other things which includes the wearing of body cameras to a number of black lives matter protesters who have also pointed out were necessary especially after Mike Brown. With that said, and a lot of people are wondering, every politician deserves to be scrutinized, whether they’re liberal or conservative, but there seems to be far more, far more politicians, let’s say, on the far right who are less than sympathetic to your cause than a Bernie Sanders. Why attack Bernie Sanders in that way? Why not meet with Bernie Sanders? Why not attempt to find a common ground with someone who seems to be more willing to support a progressive agenda as it relates to focusing in on black lives?
Marissa Johnson: Absolutely, there’s really no point in confronting the GOP, at least I think during the primaries because GOP members will pretty much flatly tell you that they don’t care about black lives. So instead we really need to put pressure on people who claim that they care about black lives, claim that they’re closer. And what we saw actually with the first confrontation that Bernie Sanders had at Net Roots was that he was confronted, O’Malley was confronted, and even Hillary’s camp had to respond. And here, the thing is that, especially on the left, candidates have this liberal rhetoric and we really need them to match it with their words and with their actions. Um, so the thing is that Bernie Sanders is really grass roots and really there for the people, then he would make room for grassroots movements and not say to the grass roots movements you need to settle with what I give you. If you look at Bernie Sanders platform, look at what he said on racial equality, he’s basically a class reductionist. He’s never had a strong analysis that there is racism and white supremacy that is separate than the economic things that everyone experiences. So we want to continue to push him on that.