Political differences seem to have kicked off a bit of a scrape over the weekend at a Colorado rally for 2020 Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders.
Two attendees were forcibly separated Sunday at the far-left Vermont senator’s event at the Colorado Convention Center in Denver after a physical fight that knocked over a barricade, transitioning from general attendance into the media section, KCNC-TV reported.
According to the outlet, the altercation began shortly after a verbal argument between the two stemming from alleged aggressor Tyler’s displeasure with an anonymous fellow rallygoer’s attire, which included a T-shirt the aggressor suggested was “racist.”
The wearer of the shirt, however, was African-American.
— The Daily News ? (@newzthatmatters) February 18, 2020
“Black Guns Matter,” the rallygoer’s shirt reportedly read — a tongue-in-cheek slogan meant to play on the social-justice phrase “Black Lives Matter,” popularized in 2013 following the shooting of black Florida teen Trayvon Martin by local community watchman George Zimmerman.
Video of the Sanders event captured on the alleged victim’s phone seems to show the initial argument starting as he and a few others in the vicinity jeer at a statement made by Sanders just prior to the recording.
It was then that Tyler, a Sanders supporter, walked up to the other attendee and remarked on the shirt.
“He had a problem with the shirt I was wearing,” the man told KCNC. “I was recording the event, he walks up and calls me a racist.”
“‘Black Guns Matter’ equates to racism?” the man can be heard saying in the video.
“Yes, that’s what you’re equating them to,” Tyler responded. “You’re equating black guns to black people, black lives. That’s exactly what you’re doing.
“I hope those guns are as important to you as other people’s lives,” Tyler added over profanity from the other attendee.
According to the man, the argument was surprising and, on Tyler’s part, indicated a serious misunderstanding of the racist origins of gun control.
Here’s the reason for the brawl: White guy called Black guy a racist at a Bernie rally. pic.twitter.com/cJouk3Kvri
— Deirdra Lichtenberge (@diamondsoul317) February 18, 2020
According to legal studies experts on both sides of the aisle, from Nicholas Johnson of Fordham University to David Kopel and Joseph Greenlee at the libertarian Cato Institute and Firearms Policy Coalition, respectively, much of the modern gun-control literature and common law began with the Southern Democratic strategy of black disarmament during Reconstruction.
And such discriminatory policy, which left freed slaves at higher risk of attack from the Ku Klux Klan, has carried on into the current day, with modern gun control largely serving only to disarm black America.
“I thought, ‘What’s he know about black lives, about discrimination, or, for that matter, the representation of the shirt,'” the man at the rally told KCNC.
“Black people and their ability to own firearms has historically been very restricted,” he added. “The shirt I got from a conceal-carry class.”
He later told the outlet that, though he disagrees with Sanders on firearm policy, he supports the candidate and was excited to attend the rally.
“I think it’s really a sad thing at a Bernie rally, when someone has a difference of opinion, that someone would be treated like that. I thought it really would be a lot more inclusive than that. It’s not a safe place to express differences. I would expect that sort of thing at a Trump rally.”
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