Kamala Harris Was Rudely Interrupted By A White Man At A Presidential Forum And I’m Disgusted

June 2, 2019  |  

MoveOn Big Ideas Presidential Forum

Source: Kimberly White / Getty

At MoveOn’s Big Ideas forum this weekend, 2020 presidential candidates were given the platform to discuss how they would turn this country around if they won the election. While candidate Kamala Harris was on stage discussing her agenda to help close the pay gap between men and women, an unknown man crashed the stage. It turns out the man that snatched the microphone from Harris is an animal rights activist named Aidan Cook. He rudely interrupted Harris’ speech about the gender pay gap in hopes of raising awareness about the mass extinction of animals. His attempt was unsuccessful as many hopped on stage to escort him off.

“We sincerely regret that a protestor was able to gain access to the stage at our forum today & we apologize to Sen. [Kamala Harris.] The protester was removed & the program resumed. MoveOn members were excited to hear Harris continue to discuss her Big Idea to achieve pay equity,” MoveOn said via Twitter.

Cook told a reporter from The Guardian that he was well aware of how terrible it looked for him to rush the stage and snatch a microphone from a black woman.

“I did,” he said. “I tried to show my profound respect for each of the people onstage.”

What Cook did was blatantly disrespectful and also symbolizes how devalued the voice of black women is in this country. The fact that Cook thought it was appropriate to bombard the stage and disrupt a noteworthy and necessary conversation between two black women shows the audacity of white privilege and the problematics of it. The point of the Big Ideas forum was to give presidential candidates the stage, so this was not the place or time for him to speak up for animals.

Cook’s efforts were unsuccessful anyway because what is most memorable about his actions is how insolent they were to Harris and the entire forum. People will remember that a white man continued the narrative that it is acceptable to take a platform that was not his from a black woman and disregard her and whatever she was saying. Next time, Cook needs to save his speech for the next animal rights rally, not for when it is time to figure out who we want to run our country.

Take a look at what happened below.

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