Former Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley had an opportunity to have a “Sister Souljah moment” over the weekend, but failed to take advantage of the opportunity when it presented itself.
A Sister Souljah moment in U.S. politics is defined as “a key moment when the candidate takes what at least appears to be a bold stand against certain extremes in their party.” It was instituted by Bill Clinton in 1992 when he — at no small risk to his presidential hopes — repudiated popular hip-hop MC and political activist Sister Souljah.
Souljah had proposed in a speech that “if black people kill black people every day, why not have a week and kill white people?”
Speaking to Jesse Jackson Sr.’s Rainbow Coalition in June 1992, Clinton responded by saying that “if you took the words ‘white’ and ‘black,’ and you reversed them, you might think David Duke was giving that speech.”
That was obviously the right thing to say — and voters went on to reward him for it that fall.
O’Malley proved he’s not ready for prime time at a conference for left-wing activists Saturday, when the event was interrupted by dozens of “Black Lives Matter” protesters. After correctly noting that “all lives matter,” O’Malley later backed down and apologized for his “mistake.”
If a candidate for president of the United States really thinks he needs to apologize for saying “all lives matter” in the country he wants to lead, he has essentially disqualified himself from that position.
O’Malley and and Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders sat down for interviews with illegal immigration activist Jose Antonio Vargas at the annual Netroots Nation confab, but the protesters flooded through a side door and disrupted their interviews.
“What side are you on my people?” they sang in unison as they approached.
Tia Oso of the Black Alliance for Just Immigration, who represented the demonstrators, climbed onto the stage, secured a microphone, and delivered a speech while O’Malley looked on.
O’Malley initially took the politically savvy tack of supporting of all sides of the issue.
“I think all of us as Americans have a responsibility to recognize the pain and the grief throughout our country from all of the lives that have been lost to violence, whether that’s violence at the hands at the police or whether that’s violence at the hands of civilians,” O’Malley said, before being interrupted again.
“Don’t generalize this s***!” one person shouted back.
He began pandering as only a Democrat politician can pander…
O’Malley said he wanted to require police departments to report all police-involved shootings and brutality complaints and he called on departments to implement civilian review boards. He vowed to release a wide-ranging plan on criminal justice reform.
He should have stopped there, but O’Malley perhaps did not have a correct sense of how far left this Jacobin mob was: “Black lives matter. White lives matter. All lives matter,” he said perfectly reasonably.
But that only further inflamed the mob.
If only he had left it at that, he would have had his Sister Souljah moment.
Unfortunately, O’Malley later apologized for making the “mistake” of saying all lives matter. He told a black digital news site that he “meant no disrespect” to the black community.
“That was a mistake on my part and I meant no disrespect,” O’Malley told the outlet. “I did not understand the tremendous passion, commitment and feeling and depth of feeling that all of us should be attaching to this issue.”
The only thing possibly more disheartening and mortifying than O’Malley’s grovelling over the weekend was Hillary Clinton’s ongoing efforts to appear hip and “with it” in Iowa.
Although she showed uncharacteristic good judgement by avoiding the Nutroots confab, she managed to “horrify” untold numbers on social media by hawking her “Chillary” coozies on Snapchat.
Take 27 was finally the magic one: https://t.co/XHDbMIw8XH
— Guy Benson (@guypbenson) July 20, 2015