In the never ending saga of the left eating its young, a Progressive conference hosting Bernie Sanders was interrupted by activists under the aegis of #BlackLivesMatter, Seattle chapter. They were peeved with Bernie for the way he handled #BlackLivesMatter activists last month at Netroots' conference in Phoenix.
Their point is that, although pursuing economic justice is a worthy goal, black folks are worrying about more basic things - the safety of themselves and their children in a culture of systemic racism, the consequences of which are meted out by those blessed with white privilege.
It's not an easy thing to consider, especially if you, as I, have thought we've been on a path toward a post-racial America. We have an African-American POTUS. Religion, race, country of origin don't seem to figure into the descriptions my children provide of their friends and acquaintances, at least in the same way that they did in my day. Ben Carson's race was never mentioned.
And that, perhaps, is the point.
Without recognizing this as the central issue facing our country today, #BlackLivesMatter says that all other conversations are irrelevant.
Perhaps you would like to argue the point. It's America, so feel free. But let me offer you a bit of reading material before you form an opinion. Sue Monk Kidd wrote The Invention of Wings, telling the story of Sarah and Angelina Grimke. Three quarters of the book brings them from children in a slave holding family to nationally touring spokeswomen for the Abolitionists.... until the men in charge decide that it's unfeminine and unseemly and detrimental to The Cause for females to speak in large, public arenas.
Step aside, girls.
Uh, no, I don't think we will.
The Grimkes said it in the 1800's - freedom is only freedom if it's freedom for everyone. They linked racial and gender equality.
It's an argument worthy of attention.