Repost from the Daily Beast -
Just to add -
It is a very big Ask to expect African Americans to believe that a primarily liberal white voting bloc is really, really, really in the truest sense of the word "really," going to throw away their white privilege to try out a social/economic/ political experiment of including blacks as equals. So, Joy is maybe a little techy that so many Bernie supporters chose disengagement while purporting solidarity with African Americans and other less enfranchised groups that as minorities, rely upon white voters, able voters, male voters, working voters, etc., to ally with them to get their choice for minority friendly leaning candidates elected, especially in these gerrymandered times.
For most black voters, Bernie didn't have a chance of succeeding because he didn't yet have a place at the white power table with the political infrastructure that takes years to build and their own circumstances were too dire should they throw away their vote and let Trump get elected. Their hopes rested with the Democrats winning.
Their political skeptism is pragmatic and painfully learned. The question of white willingness to do what is necessary to help lift up blacks in America is always a matter of degree - Right, Left, or Centrist, it is often waffly.
And, white privilege once tossed away by any one white person can always be picked back up by that individual, all implied powers restored to them instantly, given that the larger society is the one that awards such power anyway. So, what IS egalitarianism in a white dominated nation but a white far Left intellectual's dream anyway? It is, on the face of it, not to be trusted.
We need look no further than ALL of US history for that white rush away from the burdens and pains of creating social justice. So, for blacks, trusting in a meritocracy where one might be able to make gradual improvements as an individual and group, which is what Big Tent Democrats offer, seems much more rational than going in with a disaffected breakaway group of egalitarians who have as yet no country or party...and whose core tenet of equality rests largely on a selfless act they have yet to publicly perform - tossing away their not so egalitarian white privilege to create their just society. The irony is not lost on African Americans.
Deserved or not, the perspective for many is that those Sander supporters that did not help get the lesser of two evils elected, the lesser with a far better track record of supporting African American causes over her opponent with a track record of unbridled exploitation and open disparagement of blacks...took their tender egos and white privilege and went home, leaving their black brothers and sisters to fend for themselves yet again. Real politiks above purity. Blacks have that one down.
The Republicans and Supreme Court removed all manner of black voter protections ahead of the 2014 and 2016 elections. Whether intending it or just being racially myopic, the "disengagement" wing of the Bernie contingent acted as though they didn't care how blacks would suffer under Trump. Somehow, black cries of voter suppression went unheard. The calls for unity, including Bernie's own, ignored. Once again, blacks had to endure the ebb and flow of white support and requestion which white people were safe and which posed a threat by virtue of said white people making decisions from their position of privilege which allowed them to forget their black brothers and sisters, if just for the pull of the lever, when it came time to vote. This constant reassessment of safety is something that goes with NOT having privilege. It's hard to describe.
For me, voting IS real politiks. If i can't vote and win what i want, the very least i can do is vote on behalf of a disenfranchised person or group - be that race, ableness, sex, latest conservative target, whathaveyou - anyone who just may need more than i do right at the moment because whatever happens to me, i will ALWAYS be perceived as a white woman and given white privilege and that gives me a go-to-the-head-of one line or another that a black person may never be awarded.
There is a comfort such privilege bestows. A knowing that some lines in my life will not easily be crossed. The more privilege, the fewer lines one worries about. That i have that comfort while others don't was for me enough reason to try and make sure Trump did not win. There are many reasons to vote. Some to bring about change. Others to forego collapse. I opted for the latter this time round.
That's the best piece I've read on this subject.
Thx, kosher. It is a subject near and dear to my heart.
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