For the best synopsis of Clintonian racist policies as opposed to Clintonian colorblind rhetoric, don't miss Michelle ("The New Jim Crow") Alexander's piece in The Nation. It is scathing in its historical completeness.
It is so scathing that over at the pro-Clinton New York Times, columnist Charles Blow attempted to mitigate the damage by denigrating a new faction called the Bernie-splainers. (They appear to be closely related to those annoying Bernie Bros I hear so much about, but have never seen in the flesh, not even in my own lefty rowdy party college town.)
I cannot tell you the number of people who have commented to me on social media that they don’t understand this support. “Don’t black folks understand that Bernie best represents their interests?” the argument generally goes. But from there, it can lead to a comparison between Sanders and the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.; to an assertion that Sanders is the Barack Obama that we really wanted and needed; to an exasperated “black people are voting against their interests” stance.
Blow then goes on to explain that Hillary-style "functional pragmatism" has always worked better for black people. I guess he forgot about Martin Luther King's fierce urgency of now, and his brave stance against incremental change, and his marches through Chicago, Washington and Memphis, and the poor people's encampment that continued as planned after he was murdered.
Then Blow pivots back into the stale establishment talking points about Bernie possessing a "whiff of fancifulness," and how it's always been safer to vote for politicians you know (Clinton) than politicians you don't know (Sanders.) He does not explain that many voters don't know about Sanders precisely because the newspaper which employs him has made it its duty to make sure they don't.
While I completely get Blow's pique about politicians pandering to different demographics for the sole purpose of garnering votes, I am pretty appalled that he has resorted to the same old straw man (sexist bigoted progressives) argument in order to passive-aggressively boost Hillary's candidacy.
My published comment: (lots of wonderful ones: read them all.)
You know what irks me? The epidemic of pundit-splaining about Bernie Sanders. Despite the best efforts of the mainstream press to alternately ignore, silence and ridicule him, Bernie isn't going away. And since he isn't going away, the corporate media are moving on to Plan B: pit liberal voters against one another. Gaslight them. Explain to the teeming masses that democracy is really just a theory, and not to be actually practiced outside of voting for approved candidates every two or four years.
We're told to vote by our gender, skin color or ethnicity -- or else risk offending the members of our endangered group. Madeleine Albright warns women about a special place in hell. Paul Krugman tells Bernie-supporters that our "happy dreams" are an invitation to a Trump presidency. And those ephemeral Bernie Bros are lurking in alleys, ready to pounce on American maidenhood.
I participated in a Latino conference call for Bernie a couple of weeks ago. Nevada state Rep. Lucy Flores, who is running for Congress, made the salient point that we are not members of some monolithic voting bloc, ripe for being scared into co-optation.. We vote on the issues. We have our own agency.
Don't fall for the same old divide and conquer techniques that keep struggling people down and out, and the plutocracy entrenched in power.
People are realizing that Identity politics is harmful to our health. We're showing a lot more solidarity these days.
And that is scaring the elites to death.No matter what happens in the primaries, what is imperative is that the enthusiasm prevails. No matter what the outcome, the word "socialism" has been fully accepted into the great American lexicon. No matter who wins and who loses, the country is moving in a decidedly leftward, anti-oligarchial direction.
I suspect, too, that the recent visit of Pope Francis and his popular message of inclusive social justice and solidarity went a long way in facilitating the rise of Bernie Sanders, who has openly expressed his own admiration for the Pope and Catholic social teaching in the vein of Dorothy Day and Thomas Merton.
Suggestions for further reading:
Rima Regas, regular Times commenter, also runs an excellent blog (listed on my "roll" under Blog # 42). Her latest entries, on Hillary and Israel, and the lack of ethics in media coverage of Bernie Sanders, are must-reads. Her graphic showing the lovable Paul Krugman at an elite Clinton rally is a hoot.
Black Agenda Report's Bruce Dixon reports that the best outcome of the Democratic primaries would be a permanent split in the party and an end to "the rich man's duopoly." He still believes that Bernie is "sheepdogging" young voters into the Democratic fold, and that he is probably as surprised as anybody that his democratic socialist message is catching fire. Dixon agrees with Blow's observation that even though black people have a long radical political tradition, they historically have not voted for radical candidates in national elections. They vote Democrat merely to seek protection from the agenda of the GOP -- which, let's face it, would just as soon they disappear. The Democratic Party, co-opting black churches, colleges, sororities, fraternities and civic groups, resembles nothing so much as a protection racket.
Best line from Dixon's piece: "The Democrats ooze like pus from every orifice of the Black body politic."