Monday, April 11, 2016

Stop Telling Black People Who to Vote For

As election season continues and the fight for the Democratic nomination nears its climax, my enthusiasm for Bernie is being replaced with an annoyance at pretty much all white liberals right now. While Bernie fans continue to insist that BernieBros aren't a real thing, I'm increasingly seeing other Bernie fans bother black people on Twitter whenever they criticize him or express a general skepticism at an election that doesn't represent them at all.

The principle really goes for any marginalized group you have privilege over. Don't tell them who to vote for. Don't jump onto their Twitter accounts with links about the good things your candidate has done for them or the bad things the opposing candidate has done to them. It's very likely that they not only already know, but know more about that aspect of the candidate's record than you do.

The more I see of Bernie's record, the more I can see why black people aren't enthusiastic about him. He did vote for the same anti-black crime bill passed by Bill Clinton during his presidency and recently defended by Bill Clinton during an embarrassing rant/scolding session. And yes, Bernie does seem to be more willing to listen to and meet with black activists and leaders of the Black Lives Matter movement, but he's been far from perfect in responding to call outs. And it was a pretty big blunder to call Hillary Clinton unqualified. That was a deeply untrue statement with sexist undertones.

And honestly, his policy on bombing random Middle Eastern and Northern African countries isn't any better than what we have now. It's better than Hillary's plan to expand aggression and U.S. terrorism in the region, but meh. The point is that while Bernie is very progressive on issues of income inequality (progressive for this country anyway), he's not so progressive on policies relating to people of color. His current stance against mass incarceration sounds good, but his record doesn't inspire that much confidence that he'll follow through.

And let's be honest. No matter which Democratic candidate becomes president, we're going to have the same Republican obstructionism as before. Hillary fans like to say that Hillary's tougher or will be more likely to compromise (opposite statements but ok) but the fact is that Obama tried to compromise so much that he got criticism from liberals for giving Republicans too much ground, and they still refused to do hardly anything for him. Because they hated him on principle. You know who else they really, really hate? Hillary Clinton. Oh so much hate, so much. They'll never work with her.

This is why, though they tend to leave out those who will be most harmed for it, I sympathize with those who want real revolution. Including the BLM. And I sympathize with those who are cynical and don't care to support either candidate. I do not sympathize with those who react to this by flooding their Twitter mentions with white whining.

My fellow white people, please fucking stop. You're not helping. You're not making them want to vote for your candidate. You're just pushing them farther away. And you're being a bunch of assholes in general so just stop!


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