It doesn’t matter how “right” you think about everything…
It doesn’t matter that you think of yourself as a “loyal progressive” who will never compromise your “principles.”
It doesn’t matter that your “ideals” are upheld by the entire professional left media apparatus.
It doesn’t matter if your favorite candidate or candidates agree with you on every single issue and you think that candidate can save the world.
None of those things matters.
Do you know what does matter?
That’s it. if you are one of those people who has EVER thought, “Well, (my candidate) lost, but ONE DAY, we’ll get everything we want as progressives,” you are part of a delusional subset of the progressive movement that has been preventing us from actually “moving.” Perhaps you haven’t noticed, but we haven’t made any actual progress for about a half-century now. I mean, we have made some social progress, but when it comes to political and policy progress, we seem absolutely mired in the late 1960s. And while many Bernie Stans and unicorn progressives look back on the 1960s as a glorious time, being stuck in such an era is the opposite of the “progress” that makes up the heart of the word, “progressive.”
One would think the past 40-50 years of watching Republicans win most elections and watching all the progress we made during the progressive post-war era would become tiresome and perhaps give these types of “progressives” enough of an impetus to change. However, here we are in 2018, and a large swath of white so-called white “liberals” continue to do the same goddamn things that essentially entrenched an increasingly radical-right Republican Party and sat back as they have watched most of the social safety net dissipate before our eyes. They’re not fighting against the radical right’s attempt to screw the poor, the elderly and newcomers to this country, they’re actually fighting against Black people and the Democratic Party. What the hell is that about? I would ask, “when did left-wingers become racist,” but there has always been a strain of that among white liberals.
I know white liberals, by and large, think of themselves as “anti-racist,” but listen to the way they talk to and about People of Color, and you can see something different. I have been watching Twitter exchanges between Black women and white liberals over the past few months, especially when it comes to Bernie Sanders, and the racism inherent in many of the comments has been appalling. For example, the number of times white liberals have used the “not all white people…” defense, such as it is, has been nothing short of frightening. Look, folks, like it or not, white people keep the Republican Party in power. White people put Donald Trump in the White House. White liberals damaged Hillary Clinton by portraying her falsely for two solid years before grudgingly “voting for her” late in the game.
What does that have to do with race, you ask? Everything, and that’s the problem. There are two viable political parties in this system and only one of them is not absolutely batshit crazy. And whether you like it or not, white liberals, Black people – especially Black women – have been the heart and soul of the Democratic Party for more than 50 years. Also at the heart of the Democratic Party are Latinos, recent immigrants, LGBTQ folks, and non-whites of all types. No longer at the heart of the Democratic Party are white liberals. And before unicorn progressives and professional lefties do your thing and blame everyone else for that plight might I remind you that white liberals in the late 1960s made the conscious choice to abandon the party and go off on their own. No one else did that to us.
The important thing to remember is, when white liberals insult the hell out of Democrats, they are insulting the hell out of non-white people and what they have built, politically. And while most unicorn progressives don’t think that way, these non-white voters are just as progressive as we are on most things, if not more so. The reality, my white liberal friends, is that, while you speak of “the Democrats” as something separate and apart from the progressive movement, roughly 90-95 percent of all progressives are Democrats. Therefore, every time a white liberal demands that “the Democrats” acquiesce to their demands (which seems to be daily, at least), they are demanding that 95 percent of all progressives comport with their “progressive” vision. In other words, they demand the 95 percent join the five percent, which is not just arrogant, but illogical.
Consider; on March 1, 2016, during the Democratic nominating process, Hillary Clinton recorded a series of primary wins over Bernie Sanders that was absolutely stunning. In most of those primaries, Hillary received upward of 80 percent of the vote and she won by more than 50 points. The Bernie faithful dismissed those wins as irrelevant because they came in southern red states, which they referred to as “the former Confederacy.” There was seemingly no consideration of the reality that most of the Democrats in red states are People of Color; white liberal Bernie Stans had decided they should be in charge of the Democrats, and they refused to accept the fact that Bernie lost that day. From that day forward, Bernie would need nearly two-thirds of the Democratic vote to win the nomination, which means he effectively lost the nomination that day. And yet, unicorn progressive Bernie Stans made it seem as if Sanders not only had a chance but that it was essential that he beat the “establishment Democrat.” Keep in mind, Hillary Clinton received upwards of 93-94 percent of the Black vote during the primaries, but white progressives tried to effectively marginalize them.
This attempt to marginalize People of Color is apparent when you hear and read the nonsense about how important it is for the Democratic Party to reach out to the “white working class,” who supposedly voted for Donald Trump based on feelings of “economic anxiety.” White people have been voting for Republicans since before they caused the Great Depression. The Great Depression caused many of them “economic anxiety” and caused them to vote Democratic for a long time, but when Democrats embraced civil rights, they chose to head back to the GOP in droves. There is no “economic anxiety” to be found among any white demographic that isn’t doubled or tripled among People of Color or women. Trump is there because of racism, pure and simple.
A large and loud swath of white liberals have decided to dismiss the Democratic Party and claim it is no longer “the Party of the People.” What is that based on? The largest donor group to the party is labor unions, followed closely by trial lawyers, who represent those who have been wronged by large corporations, and academics, who want to use science to change the world and who want everyone to know real history, not the revisionist version preferred by the GOP. What “People” are Democrats not “the Party of” except white people? As noted, Blacks vote for Democrats more than 90% every election. A majority of Latinos/Hispanics vote for Democrats every election, with the notable exception of the Cuban American population in South Florida. First- and second-generation immigrants vote overwhelmingly for Democrats. Except for white people – especially white men – everyone else is happy with Democrats. It’s time white unicorn progressives and professional lefties pulled their heads out and realized the inherent racism in a lot of what they do, and they need to change.
Even if the racism isn’t intended as such, that’s how it comes across. And the progressive movement can’t move forward if we’re seen as racist. It’s time we thought more before we speak and that we listen to Black people more; especially Black women, who certainly know more than we do.
Also published on Medium.