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Rebkeh

Profile Information

Gender: Female
Home country: USA
Member since: Sat Oct 17, 2015, 10:59 AM
Number of posts: 2,450

About Me

Progressive in the Midwest, a transplant from both coasts, homesick for the eastern one. Traipsing the line between calling it like I see it and knowing when to keep my thoughts to myself. *note: I slip a lot.

Journal Archives

Got another heart

Thank you, whoever you are.

This is what should be dominating the headlines today

But, of course, it isn't.

Protesters storm press filing center
By GABRIEL DEBENEDETTI 02/11/16 08:08 PM EST
MILWAUKEE ó A group of protesters stormed the area right outside the press filing center ahead of tonight's Democratic debate, calling for a $15 minimum wage.
The demonstration echoed similar events in the early primary states in recent weeks.
The group was part of the Fight for $15 movement, which hasn't endorsed a candidate ó though the push is backed by the SEIU, which has endorsed Hillary Clinton.



Read more: http://www.politico.com/blogs/democratic-debate-milwaukee-2016/2016/02/protesters-storm-press-filing-center-219167#ixzz3zymAr6JA

An observation about these two camps that is quite puzzling to me

As a black Bernie supporter myself, I see black supporters on the other side basically saying, "Stop patronizing me with this idea that I should switch because of my race, that I'm on the wrong side because of race."

Meanwhile, as a woman I'm told I'm on the wrong side because of my gender and women Bernie supporters are having exactly none of that bullshit. Especially when some males are suggesting to females, "Hey, get with the program and fall in line behind the female candidate."



It's like watching a comedy skit with mirrors, only it's not that funny. Still, all I can do is laugh. I got nothing else.

***To be clear, I am not saying race and gender are equivalent here, they are not. I am talking about biases, blind spots and behavior. Nothing more. ***

About the elephant in the room (no, not that elephant) -

**
This is cross-posted from the Bernie Sanders group due to requests for me to share it more widely


White Bernsters, Occupy and Race

First, let me be clear about Bernieís so called POC problem. I donít think he has a problem, if anything, itís that many donít know who he is or what heís about, POC or otherwise. Most of the country is disengaged from politics in general. There are many black Bernie supporters, I am one of them, but I wonder if itís more perception than fact that POC donít like him. Not to mention that POC are not a monolithic bloc, we vary as much as any other group of people. So much is unclear about this.

What I do know is that due to the mediaís history of giving Bernie so little coverage, and when they do it is unfair and unbalanced, it is incumbent on us to get the word out. This is frustrating because many of Bernieís supporters do, yes, have a POC problem Ė because America has a POC problem. Failure to communicate and connect with POC is not unique to Bernie supporters, in fact, look at í08 to see who else had the same dilemma. Furthermore, Bernie hasnít made a full appeal to POC voters due to the electoral calendar, the primary elections in Nevada and South Carolina are coming along fast though. We will see what his campaign does, I am confident he will do well. But that is the campaign, the problem is with Bernie supporters and their racial disconnection.

By all reason and logic, and at first glance, the POC fight against the system, for fairness, equality and representation has become the aim of the white working class as well. The struggle is multi-faceted and economic interests overlap, there is so much potential for an alliance but it hasnít happened, it needs to happen now.

When Occupy came on the scene, it was clear to some of us that many of the occupiers wanted to restore the lost privilege they had had come to expect. It looked to me like white occupiers wanted the establishment to work for them again instead of working for everyone. The problem is, that privilege was gained on the backs of black Americans (our parents, grandparents and ancestors). While this is not the direct fault or responsibility of todayís young white folks, when they outright deny their privilege, they only confirm the initial impression that they are not standing shoulder to shoulder for equality or for democracy. Suddenly blacks and whites are supposed to be on the same side because more white people are struggling?

Had more white Occupiers acknowledged why they had that advantage, we may have a comfortable alliance now. For the most part, I havenít seen anything resembling that and now that Bernie is running for President, the same problems we had then are now going to be issues for Bernie. The fact is he needs more African American votes and since the media is trying to ignore him, Bernie is relying on us supporters to get the word out.

Bernie supporters are nervous because they need POC support for their candidate, which may be a new experience for some, while black people in particular are instinctively guarded in unique and specific ways about politicians already. So when white Bernie supporters, lacking context and understanding of POC perspective, try to sell a politician and do so with utter tone deafness and ignorance. What do you think is going to happen?

Incidentally, the exact same scenario played out when Occupy was on the front page. Politics is complicated, racial politics is a quagmire. It is messy and cannot be approached without nuanced understanding.

When Occupy first bubbled up, I was excited and ready to form alliances, I hoped we were finally going to get somewhere and make some political change. I remember thinking that Americans of all stripes might finally find common ground while embracing differences out of mutual interest and willingness to do the necessary work. I was wrong, the white Occupiers were mostly disconnected from POC perspective.

Here are some examples of the disconnection:
ē Colorblindness as an ideal
ē Defiance of authority/police without understanding the implications. We could very well be killed, not just unfairly arrested
ē Not realizing that the lost privilege of the middle class was gained on the backs of our grandparents and parents
ē Complaints about abuse of power and a rigged system and not understanding that communities of color have needed white courage for decades. (I asked myself repeatedly, ďAre they now here for themselves or for the principle? For justice for all, or to try to get back to the good old days? To restore the unfair advantage they feel slipping away or to create a better future?Ē)

These disconnections appear to be present still. To make matters worse, telling black people what their political interests should be is just bad form. Very bad.

As for the African Americans that have decided to go with Bernieís opposition, this is my take:
(note - It is strictly an observation on my part, I donít intend to speak for them here. I cannot but for the sake of building bridgesÖ)

Many black people have made some modest gains for equality and representation by navigating a rigged system, a rigged system that was literally designed to ensure their failure. The odds are virtually insurmountable yet some have succeeded beyond wildest expectations, such as Obama. That so many Bernie supporters fail to understand what it takes for a black person to navigate successfully in a world made for whites does not inspire some black people to stand with us.

When unconscious white Bernie supporters come barreling in threatening to disruptively upend the status quo, who wouldnít want to slam the brakes? Keep in mind that this status quo, toxic as it is, it is still one in which many African Americans have managed to make small gains, incrementally. Many blacks have completed incredible feats of accomplishment to get ahead in a corrupt system hostile to black people, by finesse, smart strategy and diligent care and after generations of blood, sweat and tears by our grandparents and parents, the instinct is to stay the course. But then Bernie comes in threatening the current order, it is unnerving to the risk averse Ė and justifiably so. So much is at stake.

Then Ö when Bernie supporters insult the President on a personal level!? A man that literally saved this country from dire straits as it was circling down the drain, dealing with unprecedented obstruction and hostility, judging his work as if he was a white man in the white house. This is a grave mistake if you want their votes, it only demonstrates lack of understanding what black life in America is about. Many African Americans are fiercely protective of the President for obvious reasons.

The President has made some mistakes for sure, I acknowledge that and he did not lead from as far to the left as many would have liked, but when people judge his accomplishments by the same standards you use for a white president Ė itís flatly wrong. Unfairly judging Obama does not engender confidence necessary for an alliance. The strategies he had to further develop in order to get anything done at all is unprecedented. He is a brilliant leader in spite of the areas where he could have done better and has been an amazing success in spite of the hostility. He plays the game exceptionally well Ė and he is not to be blamed for the game itself. He didnít invent it and he couldnít have changed it to the degree we wanted anyway. He has to play the cards he is dealt, and he plays them brilliantly. He was the right person for president at the time, now things are different. I believe, no, I know Bernie can get it done if we have his back. We cannot effectively have his back if we are divided and nothing divides Americans more effectively than race.

When white Bernie supporters wonít do the basic work to cross the racial divide, such as seeing that race and class are not interchangeable, or admitting to and using white privilege for the better, or fighting for equality instead of an unfair advantage or ignorantly insist that colorblindness is the answer - we all lose.

With all of this considered, why would (some) African Americans feel the Bern?

The irony is Bernie appears to get it for the most part but many of his supporters donít. Bernie understands how race figures into the larger picture. Too many white Bernie supporters could hurt Bernieís chances of gaining more POC votes if they donít figure this out.

Bernie is still largely unknown and he has the potential to be our greatest ally to date, but since the media does not report on him, or when they do, they do so dishonestly, itís up to us to tell the world about him. Letís get race right this time.

The question remains, are white Bernie supporters fighting to restore privilege or are they fighting to restore democracy for all? Does their vision of change include POC, with the social and political complications that come with us? I ask you, white Bernsters, when you make gains, are you taking your prize and going home, or are you staying the course for everyone, POC included?

Keep in mind that a win for white people does not necessarily translate into a win for everyone else.

Because policy proposals and positions that help blacks tend to lose white voters and you can bet your butter the opposition will use race as a cudgel. White Bernie supporters need to break this pattern. Bernie, and America as a whole, needs us to break the pattern. We must do this work.


See my other posts for more about this subject:

In a fit of frustration, I posted a mini rant this morning. http://www.democraticunderground.com/10027589250

Also, something to think about, where the above mentioned overlap occurs
http://www.democraticunderground.com/1280105489

Finally, this long read is an important one. For Bernie 2016, take the time to read it.
http://www.thenation.com/article/how-populists-like-bernie-sanders-should-talk-about-racism/

Anyone know how many delegates they have right now? Nt

Thanks for the valentine, whoever you are

A pleasant surprise.

About that speech, which bothers you more? (Poll)

Giving a speech to appeal to big money is bad, but that's not quite how it works. They don't invite people that are neutral, they invite people that align. They don't invite the Bernie Sanders of the world, not on your life. No, they invite their allies.

My answer is B.
The issue here is the pack you run with and if you are to represent the majority of the American people, you should be running with us. The invitation list is simply a fairly good indication.

How Populists Like Bernie Should Talk About Racism

To mobilize a multiracial coalition, progressives need to demonstrate how racism hurts us all.

Source: The Atlantic
By Ian Haney-Lůpez and Heather McGhee

Bernie Sandersís remarkable popularity going into the Iowa caucus shows that economic populism is ascendant on the left. And yet the notable whiteness of his followers forces an uncomfortable question about this emerging progressive coalition. Itís been 50 years since a Democratic presidential candidate won a majority of the white vote in a general election, and many liberals are understandably excited over the prospect of bringing white Reagan Democrats back into the fold. But what about the Obama Democrats, the multiracial coalition that forms the partyís present and the countryís future? Whether we can combine these constituencies is a fundamental question for the left. Can progressives finally come together around a unifying message that resonates with whites on class, people of color on race, and the 99 percent on both?


:snip:

also:

This is the race story that Sanders and every progressive leader ought to be telling every time they step to a microphone. The reactionary economic agenda made possible by dog-whistle politics is responsible not just for the devaluing of black lives but for the declining fortunes of the majority of white families.


more: http://www.thenation.com/article/how-populists-like-bernie-sanders-should-talk-about-racism/

About the elephant in the room (no, not that elephant)

White Bernsters, Occupy and Race

First, let me be clear about Bernieís so called POC problem. I donít think he has a problem, if anything, itís that many donít know who he is or what heís about, POC or otherwise. Most of the country is disengaged from politics in general. There are many black Bernie supporters, I am one of them, but I wonder if itís more perception than fact that POC donít like him. Not to mention that POC are not a monolithic bloc, we vary as much as any other group of people. So much is unclear about this.

What I do know is that due to the mediaís history of giving Bernie so little coverage, and when they do it is unfair and unbalanced, it is incumbent on us to get the word out. This is frustrating because many of Bernieís supporters do, yes, have a POC problem Ė because America has a POC problem. Failure to communicate and connect with POC is not unique to Bernie supporters, in fact, look at í08 to see who else had the same dilemma. Furthermore, Bernie hasnít made a full appeal to POC voters due to the electoral calendar, the primary elections in Nevada and South Carolina are coming along fast though. We will see what his campaign does, I am confident he will do well. But that is the campaign, the problem is with Bernie supporters and their racial disconnection.

By all reason and logic, and at first glance, the POC fight against the system, for fairness, equality and representation has become the aim of the white working class as well. The struggle is multi-faceted and economic interests overlap, there is so much potential for an alliance but it hasnít happened, it needs to happen now.

When Occupy came on the scene, it was clear to some of us that many of the occupiers wanted to restore the lost privilege they had had come to expect. It looked to me like white occupiers wanted the establishment to work for them again instead of working for everyone. The problem is, that privilege was gained on the backs of black Americans (our parents, grandparents and ancestors). While this is not the direct fault or responsibility of todayís young white folks, when they outright deny their privilege, they only confirm the initial impression that they are not standing shoulder to shoulder for equality or for democracy. Suddenly blacks and whites are supposed to be on the same side because more white people are struggling?

Had more white Occupiers acknowledged why they had that advantage, we may have a comfortable alliance now. For the most part, I havenít seen anything resembling that and now that Bernie is running for President, the same problems we had then are now going to be issues for Bernie. The fact is he needs more African American votes and since the media is trying to ignore him, Bernie is relying on us supporters to get the word out.

Bernie supporters are nervous because they need POC support for their candidate, which may be a new experience for some, while black people in particular are instinctively guarded in unique and specific ways about politicians already. So when white Bernie supporters, lacking context and understanding of POC perspective, try to sell a politician and do so with utter tone deafness and ignorance. What do you think is going to happen?

Incidentally, the exact same scenario played out when Occupy was on the front page. Politics is complicated, racial politics is a quagmire. It is messy and cannot be approached without nuanced understanding.

When Occupy first bubbled up, I was excited and ready to form alliances, I hoped we were finally going to get somewhere and make some political change. I remember thinking that Americans of all stripes might finally find common ground while embracing differences out of mutual interest and willingness to do the necessary work. I was wrong, the white Occupiers were mostly disconnected from POC perspective.

Here are some examples of the disconnection:
ē Colorblindness as an ideal
ē Defiance of authority/police without understanding the implications. We could very well be killed, not just unfairly arrested
ē Not realizing that the lost privilege of the middle class was gained on the backs of our grandparents and parents
ē Complaints about abuse of power and a rigged system and not understanding that communities of color have needed white courage for decades. (I asked myself repeatedly, ďAre they now here for themselves or for the principle? For justice for all, or to try to get back to the good old days? To restore the unfair advantage they feel slipping away or to create a better future?Ē)

These disconnections appear to be present still. To make matters worse, telling black people what their political interests should be is just bad form. Very bad.

As for the African Americans that have decided to go with Bernieís opposition, this is my take:
(note - It is strictly an observation on my part, I donít intend to speak for them here. I cannot but for the sake of building bridgesÖ)

Many black people have made some modest gains for equality and representation by navigating a rigged system, a rigged system that was literally designed to ensure their failure. The odds are virtually insurmountable yet some have succeeded beyond wildest expectations, such as Obama. That so many Bernie supporters fail to understand what it takes for a black person to navigate successfully in a world made for whites does not inspire some black people to stand with us.

When unconscious white Bernie supporters come barreling in threatening to disruptively upend the status quo, who wouldnít want to slam the brakes? Keep in mind that this status quo, toxic as it is, it is still one in which many African Americans have managed to make small gains, incrementally. Many blacks have completed incredible feats of accomplishment to get ahead in a corrupt system hostile to black people, by finesse, smart strategy and diligent care and after generations of blood, sweat and tears by our grandparents and parents, the instinct is to stay the course. But then Bernie comes in threatening the current order, it is unnerving to the risk averse Ė and justifiably so. So much is at stake.

Then Ö when Bernie supporters insult the President on a personal level!? A man that literally saved this country from dire straits as it was circling down the drain, dealing with unprecedented obstruction and hostility, judging his work as if he was a white man in the white house. This is a grave mistake if you want their votes, it only demonstrates lack of understanding what black life in America is about. Many African Americans are fiercely protective of the President for obvious reasons.

The President has made some mistakes for sure, I acknowledge that and he did not lead from as far to the left as many would have liked, but when people judge his accomplishments by the same standards you use for a white president Ė itís flatly wrong. Unfairly judging Obama does not engender confidence necessary for an alliance. The strategies he had to further develop in order to get anything done at all is unprecedented. He is a brilliant leader in spite of the areas where he could have done better and has been an amazing success in spite of the hostility. He plays the game exceptionally well Ė and he is not to be blamed for the game itself. He didnít invent it and he couldnít have changed it to the degree we wanted anyway. He has to play the cards he is dealt, and he plays them brilliantly. He was the right person for president at the time, now things are different. I believe, no, I know Bernie can get it done if we have his back. We cannot effectively have his back if we are divided and nothing divides Americans more effectively than race.

When white Bernie supporters wonít do the basic work to cross the racial divide, such as seeing that race and class are not interchangeable, or admitting to and using white privilege for the better, or fighting for equality instead of an unfair advantage or ignorantly insist that colorblindness is the answer - we all lose.

With all of this considered, why would (some) African Americans feel the Bern?

The irony is Bernie appears to get it for the most part but many of his supporters donít. Bernie understands how race figures into the larger picture. Too many white Bernie supporters could hurt Bernieís chances of gaining more POC votes if they donít figure this out.

Bernie is still largely unknown and he has the potential to be our greatest ally to date, but since the media does not report on him, or when they do, they do so dishonestly, itís up to us to tell the world about him. Letís get race right this time.

The question remains, are white Bernie supporters fighting to restore privilege or are they fighting to restore democracy for all? Does their vision of change include POC, with the social and political complications that come with us? I ask you, white Bernsters, when you make gains, are you taking your prize and going home, or are you staying the course for everyone, POC included?

Keep in mind that a win for white people does not necessarily translate into a win for everyone else.

Because policy proposals and positions that help blacks tend to lose white voters and you can bet your butter the opposition will use race as a cudgel. White Bernie supporters need to break this pattern. Bernie, and America as a whole, needs us to break the pattern. We must do this work.

See my other posts for more about this subject:

In a fit of frustration, I posted a mini rant this morning. http://www.democraticunderground.com/10027589250

Also, something to think about, where the above mentioned overlap occurs
http://www.democraticunderground.com/1280105489

Finally, this long read is an important one. For Bernie 2016, take the time to read it.
http://www.democraticunderground.com/index.php

Is America a "melting pot?"

NO ... People mean well but it doesn't help. It goes something like this:

Blur differences between people (the appearance of "unity/coming together" --->

Perpetuate the myth that because all people have equal value (true), therefore all lives are the same (not true)--->

Privilege becomes a non issue ---> perpetuates myth that privilege doesn't exist

----> elevates yet another myth that we have arrived and the playing field is level

---> Inequality continues and the privileged not only feel better (whew! We dodged that one, who wants to work that hard?) but they get what they need and the rest of us go right on with the racist status quo. Again. And again. So on and so forth.


Intentions are nice, but they are only met when the results are legitimate.

I am ALL FOR coming together but not if it means I will be erased.

Think salad or quilt, not melting pot. We can come together as equals while embracing differences and acknowledging privilege, and be willing to be uncomfortable. This is work, guys. Hard work. We don't get to sit back and restore the "good ol days."

It's long past time for a new normal.

That is all.





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