Tuesday, August 11, 2015

EYE was a #BernieSanders supporter before EYE met some of his supporters and #FeltTheBern

The Black Lives Matter movement is being persecuted by some (not to be confused with all) Bernie Sanders supporters and the media is happy to help them.  Yes, he is drawing huge crowds...of white people. Now don't get me wrong, there is nothing wrong with huge crowds of white people per say, but doesn't it strike you as odd (for lack of a better word)  a campaign that says it's bringing people together is well.......not?
I see these protests as less about the individual candidates themselves and more about how their White base refuses to center Black lives and Black issues. It’s notable that White Bernie supporters, who consider themselves the most progressive of us all, shouted down and booed Black women who dared to force Blackness into the center of White space.
Because let’s be honest, every Bernie rally is White space.
And no, hiring a new black public face and reminding black people Sanders marched with Martin Luther King Jr. is not going to score any Brownie (pun intended) points.  As a matter of fact, it illustrates how clueless, at best, condescending at worst,  the Sanders campaign is.   Heck, lots of people  can say they "marched with King".
And that is commendable, but we are talking about people who are dying right now. And we want what is happening today to be addressed by those in power. Consistently bringing that up in defense for lack of action on fighting racial inequality and police brutality as a senator just makes you sound like you’re asking for a free pass to inaction today. If you want to be in power now, you need to be addressing what is happening now.
But I digress, let's get back to the subject at hand.  Prior to the Black Lives Matter Protest I was leaning toward Sanders because I honestly believed he was a populist, progressive, fair, honest, candidate with bonafide Civil Rights credentials, or as they call it in my neighborhood "Street Cred". But the reaction of some of his supporters to the Black Lives Matter Movement scare me.  I've heard some of the most hateful, sexist, racist language and unfounded accusations leveled at the Black Lives Matter Movement, and towards myself for defending them, that has me questioning the entire Bernie Sanders campaign.  And before you start screaming Bernie shouldn't be judged by his supporters let me say this,  you can tell a lot about a candidate by who their supporters are.

Bernie Sanders has a Black Lives Matter Problem and a White Privilege Problem.
I find it hard to give much credence to white folks like these who are telling black people fighting for racial justice, “You’re doing it wrong.”
After centuries of discrimination, terror, and suppression, to suggest that they be nicer about things and to stop making white people uncomfortable strikes me as the epitome of white privilege.
Sanders needs to, as the young people say, get some of his supporters in check, before they drive more supporters like me away.

Stop acting like black people are stupid. We are politically savvy. And black women especially have a higher voter turnout than anyone else. No candidate can win without black women, yet a bunch of black women stood up and expressed their feelings on an issue that is literally killing our people and white progressives are acting like they were a bunch of uppity Negroes who didn’t know their place… These are young people who are learning as they go. Every movement has growing pains. I’ve seen too many people who are writing off their efforts because they don’t think the effort is being organized in the right way. That is not helpful. White allies need to give these young people space to grow, space to fail, space to learn. And they need to amplify their voices.
– Imani Gandy, senior legal analyst for RH Reality Check and co-host of This Week in Blackness Prime

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