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intheflow

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Gender: Do not display
Hometown: Springfield
Home country: Planet Earth
Member since: Mon Aug 9, 2004, 01:39 PM
Number of posts: 25,358

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White ally here asking for an opinion on the BLM/Sanders protests.

Really, asking for opinions, insights, reflections, or whatever you have to say on the matter. You can't see color on DU unless someone self-identifies, but I'd guess the majority of people in this forum are black Americans. Since I can't see a poster's color, I want to try to hear what some DUers of color think about the protest in Seattle more clearly than sifting through the majority of white voices on DU. I understand your opinions/thoughts/insights are your own, you don't speak for your whole race any more than I speak for mine. But here are my questions; answer what you want, any or all of them.

  • Why do you think protesters targeting Sanders and not Clinton or any Republican?

  • Is there a central organizing force behind the BLM movement, or are chapters (for lack of a better word) being formed locally and acting independently under the rubric of BLM because it's a nationally recognized phrase/movement? I ask this because I've read more than once that the "real" BLM organizers don't support protesting Sanders, but I can't find any posts from any group claiming to be BLM actually saying this.

  • If these are local movements, are they spontaneous, or are they off-shoots of local racial justice organizations? I think what I'm trying to figure out is, are they being lead by seasoned/trained community organizers or by people/young people new to the struggle? I ask this because I've worked as a community organizer and given Sanders' history of working for fair housing and socialist views, it seems like he should be the frontrunner for people seeking more equity, at least economically - which is such a huge component of the social construction of racism in the US.

  • In your opinion, are these protests primarily unfocused and born out of anger, or do you think the protesters believe one candidate should be held accountable for solving 500 years of socially constructed racism? My apologies for the word "unfocused" in my question, because I know the anger is real, but as one who studies histories, I understand there are movements born out of reactionary anger from societal repression (the Stonewall riots, and of course, the initial BLM organizing around Trayvon Martin's killing) and those born out of intentional planning (Nat Turner, NAACP, and the Black Panthers). So I guess what I'm asking is, do you think there's a targeted strategy behind the protests?

I ask these questions in all sincerity, as a 50-something white woman who has worked in black communities and is well-versed in US racial history, but who is still really freakin' white and privileged day-to-day. The crux is, I'm trying to wrap my head around the historical and contemporary context of what's happening but am probably too deeply mired in my own racist white baggage to have a clue about what's really happening in black communities.

My intention is to listen, because I know that black voices matter as much as black lives, so unless asked a direct question, I will limit my participation in the rest of this thread.

What are you thoughts on all of this, in light of a second Sanders protest today?

Thanks,
itf

Full disclosure: I am a Sanders supporter, but I listened to him in Denver just a few days after Charlestown and walked away feeling cold because I so desperately wanted him to talk about racism, and particularly, the massacre. I think he's the best candidate because he's the only candidate who seems to have a clue what the real economy is like for millions of Americans, but it was a sore disappointment not to hear him say anything at all about Charlestown. He did talk a bit about police profiling and killing young black men, which was at least some acknowledgement of racial reality. But it didn't go deep enough by a long shot.

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