Maryland Rep. Elijah Cummings says he thinks liberal supporters of Bernie Sanders who chanted an anti-trade slogan during his speech to the Democratic National Convention were "disrespectful."
But Cummings says he is not upset about it because he is a veteran of civil rights protests and understands the passions that drove the mostly young delegates to shout over him on Monday. More than 100 people have since apologized for the outbursts, Cummings said.
"The optics were not pretty," Cummings said of the impromptu protest, "but I couldn't be upset with them. Two or three years ago, they would have been outside politics" and likely protesting in the streets. "I am so glad these people are under our tent."
The sight of a 65-year-old black man — and veteran congressional leader — being shouted over by mostly young, white liberals was jarring to many.
Kweisi Mfume, a former Maryland congressman and head of the NAACP, said the treatment of Cummings was "a low point" of the four-day convention.
"It was downright disrespectful," said Mfume, a Clinton delegate. "I think it does not necessarily help the relations that Bernie's people may have with the larger African-American community."