Democratic presidential hopeful Martin O’Malley will meet with black leaders in South Carolina next Tuesday morning -- his first official campaign appearance in the early primary state since he entered the race in May. CNN reported the news on Monday.
O’Malley, who served as governor of Maryland from 2007 to 2015 and previously as mayor of Baltimore, will attend a “listening session” hosted by Steve Benjamin, the first black mayor of Columbia, and Councilman Brian Newman. The event is to be the first in a series offered by 20/20 Leaders of America, a bipartisan black leadership group.
The event comes on the heels of comments O’Malley made earlier in July in which he said “all lives matter” while discussing black protests against police brutality. Demonstrators had been chanting the slogan “black lives matter” to bring attention to mistreatment of African-Americans.
“Black lives matter. White lives matter. All lives matter,” O’Malley said at Netroots Nation, a conference of liberal activitsts in Phoenix. His comments were poorly received. Upon hearing his remarks, many attendees booed and shouted down the former governor.
O’Malley later went on the digital show “This Week in Blackness” to apologize for his words. "That was a mistake on my part and I meant no disrespect. I did not mean to be insensitive in any way or communicate that I did not understand the tremendous passion, commitment and feeling and depth of feeling that all of us should be attaching to this issue,” he said.
This will be the first campaign event in South Carolina for O’Malley. He briefly visited the state to pay respects at the funeral of minister and state Sen. Clementa Pinckney after he was gunned down at a historic black church in Charleston in June.