Did you read Micheal Eric Dyson in the NY Times today? If not, please read it. And sorry, no links, you can find it on your own.

Here is a tidbit:

"From the start of his 2016 presidential campaign, Bernie Sanders was prickly about race, uncomfortable with an outspoken, demanding blackness, resistant to letting go of his preference for discussing class over race. He made efforts to improve the way he spoke about the realities of racial discrimination. But Mr. Sanders seemed to remain at heart a man of the people, especially if those people were the white working class.

Since the election, Mr. Sanders has sounded an increasingly familiar theme among liberals that they should “go beyond identity politics.” He warned that “to think of diversity purely in racial and gender terms is not sufficient,” and that we need candidates “to be fighters for the working class and stand up to the corporate powers who have so much power over our economic lives.”

His point here (he made many points in a rambling essay) was to say that efforts at pushing diversity don’t hurt America.

But Bernie did not say that they did!

During the primary campaign, I remember a brief flurry of articles about both Bernie and Elizabeth Warren citing their indifference to the needs of black Americans. Then we had protests from Black Lives Matter at Bernie’s rallies.

Bernie and Liz Warren were 2 strong voices who spoke on economic issues, and both were told in essence that in the progressive world, you must always add something about race.

Such ideas may work in Salon or Huffington Post, but they don’t work in the small towns across America where the reaction to Black Lives Matter has been to place a blue stripe between the parallel yellow lines mark the center of many local roads.

Black Lives Matter has an important agenda - but not one that was an easy sell to the very voters the Democrats had to win over to win the presidency. Remember, most whites live in largely white towns, and when they hear of a black man killed fleeing from cops they invariably ask, “why did he run.” There may be good reasons why the man ran, and as anyone who has been to traffic court can tell you, white folks flee too. But for now, whites still don’t accept that police are often in the wrong.

Hillary was a lousy candidate, and the Comey nonsense didn’t help. But when we learned that white counties in swing states switched to Trump this year, we cannot discount the influence of the Black Lives Matter protest. Let’s remember that outside of cities and the old “black belt” blacks are a distinct minority. And even when we count urban blacks, African Americans are but 13% of all Americans.

At our workplaces, we may have black Americans in senior positions, but never a majority of them. Thus when “black lives matters” brought the race issue up at Bernie’s rallies - to many, it sounded like an off key note. As if they were saying that you must talk about race all the time. But many don’t want to speak about race. Period.

It is ok for any interest group to force the agenda. But it is also prudent to recognize the need to win in a nation that has Alabama and Mississippi as well and California and Massachusetts. There are lots of problems in governing a nation so vast as our nation is. A successful presidential candidate must win the hearts and minds of Coloradans, Californians, New Englanders and even Alabamians.

So for Dyson and anyone else who wants to present to us an argument that Black Lives Matter did not gum up the works, sorry to tell you this, but maybe we can never agree on this issue, difficult as it may be for you to hear. Yes, keep working on reducing police abuse of blacks, but please don’t interrupt the next Democrat who gets cheers talking to white voters. White voters, it turns out, DO hold the key.

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Comment by Safe Bet's Amy on December 18, 2016 at 4:51pm

Hillary was a lousy candidate, and the Comey nonsense didn’t help. But when we learned that white counties in swing states switched to Trump this year, we cannot discount the influence of the Black Lives Matter protest.

Jesus, McKenna!  You done found yourself a candidate for the next Saint Oreo!  If Micheal Eric Dyson wanted to be any more condecinding to both blacks AND whites I don't know how he'd do it!

I mean this is a jackass who once stated that he understands ordinary people, because “I preach to them every Sunday.”  (which is close to the NE neo-liberal version of "Some of my best friends are black...").  He is as totally out of touch as every one else who tried to sell the DNC BS. 

That he was/is a rabid Clinton supporter who is ONCE AGAIN making excuses for backing the wrong horse's ass, by blaming people who stood up and TRIED to make a change, is about par for the course.  

Comment by Terry McKenna on December 18, 2016 at 5:12pm

Sorry, ain't looking for a candidate. I voted for Nixon once so I don't see that my guesses are worth much. But bottom line for me, if you want to win, you are better off looking for a few white votes.

Comment by Myriad on December 18, 2016 at 5:44pm

Well, catering to disgruntled whites who don't give a shit about their fellow citizens and denigrating black concerns certainly works.  There was that Demo operative who yelled at some Repub op (the ghastly Kellyanne) that she was happy to lose rather than win the way THEY did.  I can sympathize.  But I guess to defeat evil, you gotta do some evil - ends justify the means, or something...

Whites may far outnumber blacks, but whites may not for long outnumber All The Others.  I'm waiting for the Indians (aka Mexicans) to take back America.  Asians are making some inroads too.

Comment by koshersalaami on December 18, 2016 at 7:05pm

Yeah, Bernie went beyond identity politics and lost the Democratic nomination. What wins nominations and what wins general elections are different. What happens if you don't energize the Black base while going for the Democratic nomination? You don't even get to go after the lion's share of White voters. Bernie aimed at the general election. Even his Second Amendment stand was custom made for the general election but not the primaries. But it didn't work. 

Comment by nerd cred on December 18, 2016 at 7:46pm

kosh, Bernie's long been a 2nd amendment protector because Vermont.

I can't access the piece because the NYT paywall has outsmarted me. Though would it kill you to link it, Terry? Is it really that much trouble.

Since I know for sure that MED knows at least 10x more than either one of his disputers here and he puts so much into a piece because of that, whatever he said.

Our next great president will be the one who can transcend this truth, expressed by LBJ,:

"If you can convince the lowest white man he's better than the best colored man, he won't notice you're picking his pocket. Hell, give him somebody to look down on, and he'll empty his pockets for you."

and bring the groups together. That will take some exceptional communication skills. It would be nice if it was Cory Booker but I fear it's not.

And, just as an aside:

At our workplaces, we may have black Americans in senior positions, but never a majority of them.

in my long temp career I worked a job where everyone at the top and everyone above me was black. (There was no one below me.) I'm still in touch with some of them.

Comment by koshersalaami on December 18, 2016 at 8:14pm


I know his 2nd Amendment stuff is genuine, but it didn't play well in the primaries and it would have played great in the general election. However, he couldn't get there. The thing about Black Lives Matter is it's effective for part of the process but less so for the general election unless it really mobilizes Black voters. 

Just to be clear in case this comes up: This is a tactical discussion, not a moral/ethical discussion. The question on the table is what works. 

Comment by nerd cred on December 18, 2016 at 10:33pm

kosh - it is? did I break rules? But that's why I say - it's all about the communication and who can bring the disparate groups together. This can be expressed with the campaign required brevity, it's a matter of the person to do it.

Comment by koshersalaami on December 18, 2016 at 11:47pm

No, nc, I'm just being preemptive. I've seen too many examples of analysis that are mistaken for advocacy. 

Comment by Terry McKenna on December 19, 2016 at 3:09am

Kosh  - Bernie was clearly an outlier.  A self avowed socialist and frankly almost a stock character (like a bit player in an acting troupe).  Despite that he gave Hillary a real run for her money.  I see no reason why a younger more magnetic figure could not take the same tack as Bernie.  So I don't see why what you draw as a lesson is at all a genuine lesson for all.  The "front runner" rarely has it as locked up as Hillary did.  

Comment by Terry McKenna on December 19, 2016 at 5:31am

Angry: even though HRC lost, let's be serious here, she got more votes nation wide even as she was going against the headwind (trying to win a third term for a party).  And then HRC decided to speak to issues, but Trump simply said whatever he thought the voter wanted to hear.  So while I agree she was flawed, to say that "they" didn't know WTF is to go too far.  After all, in probability theory, implausible events still happen. 


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