At the Progressive Netroots Nation conference, Democratic presidential candidate Martin O’Malley made the “gaffe” of claiming “all lives matter.” After being the target of outrage from activists, O’Malley has since apologized for his statement.
While speaking to the Netroots attendees, O’Malley was interrupted by “black lives matter” activists chanting, “What side are you on?”
During the commotion, Tia Oso, one the “black lives matter” activists, joined O’Malley on stage to discuss the creation of the “black lives matter” movement.
Oso asked O’Malley what he would do as president to make sure “black lives matter” and to “dismantle racism within the United States.”
Before letting O’Malley answer the question posed to him, activists shouted out the names of black women who died in police custody and then shouted about “if I died in police custody…”
More activists then joined the stage until they were instructed to “hear the governor’s response.”
O’Malley eventually answered, “Let me say a couple of things. First of all, I think that 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 of police, whether that’s violence at the hands of civilians.”
Finding the answer insufficient, the audience continued shouting “black lives matter” and the discussion became a chaotic back and forth.
Eventually, O’Malley began providing specific details of his proposed criminal justice reform package.
While talking about how Maryland eventually repealed the death penalty, O’Malley stated, “Every life matters and that is why this issue is so important. Black lives matter. White lives matter. All lives matter.” As soon as O’Malley said, “white lives matter,” the audience erupted into another commotion.
O’Malley then repeated himself, “Black lives matter. White lives matter. All lives matter.”
Soon after his speech, O’Malley went on “This Week in Black” to apologize for saying “all lives matter.” O’Malley was asked if he understood that when people talk about “black death,” they explicitly do not mean to be all-inclusive.
O'Malley replied, “I certainly do. And in fact, what I believe what I first said was ‘black lives matter’ before those other two phrases. And when I said those other two phrases, I meant no disrespect to the point, which I understand, and that black lives matter is making.”
This is not the first time O’Malley has been the subject of the fury of “black lives matter” activists. During his presidential campaign announcement, “black lives matter” protesters attempted to disrupt O’Malley’s speech.
This is also not the first time “black lives matter” activists have gone after a Democrat for stating “all lives matter.” Fellow presidential candidate Hillary Clinton was also the subject of scorn for daring to state “all lives matter.”