Martin O’Malley does not get #BlackLivesMatter vs #WhiteLivesMatter nuance
#BlackLivesMatter protesters marched into Netroots Nation 2015. They were protesting about all the women that have been killed by police officers. Martin O’Malley said he believes police departments should have to report in a timely way all police shootings, all discourtesy complaints, and all brutality complaints.
One of the protesters shouted out about his thoughts on a civilian review board. He said all police departments should have civilian review boards. He said it is not enough to have a board though. They need to be staffed and funded.
Protesters in the audience asked him if he will do that. He said he would. He then said he will be rolling out a criminal justice reform package as a candidate for president. He then admonished the audience to ask the same of every other candidate.
Martin O’Malley then said that some of the most important things he has accomplished required persistence. He pointed out that repeal of the death penalty in Maryland required three tries.
The crowd then started shouting Black Lives Matter. He responded as follows.
“Black lives matter,” said Martin O’Malley. “White lives matter.” After he said ‘white lives matter’ the protesters black, white, and other exploded. O’Malley continued, “Black lives matter. White lives matter. All lives matter.”
A protester shouted, “If all lives matter would we be here?”
Martin O’Malley seemed unaware that the #BlackLivesMatter concept is a direct result of the fact that in the entire country it is a given that white lives matter. The moniker is a demand to ensure black lives matter just as much. To the protesters his statement was indeed a reason the problem of police indiscriminately killing people of color persists.
Martin O’Malley should fire his research staff. It is malpractice this deep into the #BlackLivesMatter movement he was unaware. According to Al Jazeera,
He later told MSNBC’s Krystal Ball he had not been aware of the connotations behind the phrase, “all lives matter,” which has been adopted by many opponents of the Black Lives Matter movement.