Thursday, March 03, 2016

Ponderings After Supper Tuesday,2016

As I watched Supper Tuesday results come in and followed reactions to the results in my social media feeds there was much chatter about Sanders and Clinton, and Black people and people of Color. Sanders did well in North East, and won in Oklahoma, states with small minority populations.

  1. There’s talk about what is good for Black people and whether Black people voting for Hilary Clinton (as they seem to be doing especially in the South) is against their interests. I agree with those who see this line of questioning as patronizing. It is clear that Bernie Sanders has not been able to convince large numbers of Black voters. Bernie Sanders appeals to certain white voters, though I’m not sure what exactly can be said or not said for white voters. 
  2. Among some of Bernie Sanders supporters there does seem to be subtle misogyny and racism and that for some  is enough to discredit Sanders as a candidate. For those who see Sanders discredited by the subtle misogyny and racism of some of his supporters, also see Sanders as primarily a candidate for White males.
  3.  I follow on social media a number of People of Color who are Sanders supporters so it doesn’t exactly seem accurate to me to say that Sanders only has appeal among whites. Though Sanders certainly failed to draw Black voters in the South.
  4. I don’t need to understand Clinton's appeal among Black voters. Yet There voices like Michelle Alexander"s who in her piece for the Nation said that she doesn’t believe that Hilary Clinton deserves that loyalty. This isn’t the same as saying that somehow Black voters are working against their own interests. However, Alexander also doesn’t give a ringing endorsement for Bernie Sanders either.
  5.  Thus far Sanders has been unable to make his case with those who suffer under the continuing effects of a racist white supremacist system. It matters little if I as a White male understand all the reasons why. But I have a sense of it: Sanders most generally ties race into class, and insists that his focus on class would remedy the issues of race. I do think Bernie Sanders is wrong in this assessment (at one time I would have agreed). My guess is that this is at least part of why he is floundering with people of color. It’s likely that Sanders plans to alleviate class inequality (aside from whether or not he could get them through congress), wouldn’t automatically eliminate and alleviate inequalities based upon race, nor would they address the way our system remains racist and white supremacist.
  6.  It would appear that Sanders has a blind spot for the degree to which racism persists because the system is still racist and white supremacist. Also, he has been clear he isn't going to seek to address this directly but believes racial inequality can be addressed by not addressing it, that is by addressing issues of economy and class. He clearly racism as an important issue but one that can be addressed by focusing on other things. 
  7.  With Hilary Clinton we will not get change, but, in limited ways, race will be addressed. If Michelle Alexander is correct it won’t bring about racial justice, but it probably will keep us aware that issues of race won’t be addressed simply by addressing issue of class. Clinton admits that she and the Democratic Party needs the black voter. It is likely then that issues important to Black folks and people of color will at least get some attention. 
  8. Of course Republicans at the moment want to pretend there are no issues of class or race, while White separatists are gaining a foothold again and a fascist who has spouted various bigoted rants is well on his way to win the nomination. 
  9. A possible positive outcome of all this is that the curtain is being pulled back and we are able to see how, in differing degrees and differing ways, the global power structures that were created to facilitate the slave trade for the benefit of Whites still is the system under which we function. Our government and our politics also perpetuate that system. 
  10.  What is happening right now is that we are arguing over what aspect of this system we want remodeled or kept the same or accentuated.