Friday, March 6, 2020

Why Aren't Black People Voting For Bernie? Listen To Them.

There's been a lot of speculation thrown around about why Black Americans are voting in such large numbers for Joe Biden in the primaries. There's also been a lot of racism thrown around by my fellow white people on the left because they just got mad at said Black Americans for voting that way instead of asking the essential questions.

What can we do to better appeal to this group?

How can we help them and their families so that they'll trust us?

What is it about our message and our actions that is keeping them from voting for more progressive candidates?

I do not like this attitude that anyone owes politicians anything. Yes, Bernie is for Medicare for All and plenty of other good ideas, but that doesn't mean Black individuals or anyone else owes him their vote. The same goes for moderate candidates and the Democratic party, of course.

And yes, there is a question about the morality of one's vote. I think it's important for each individual to consider how their vote affects all of society, not just oneself.

Where the racism comes in is when my fellow white people assume that Black people haven't thought of this or anything else when it comes to U.S. politics.

We white leftists would be a whole lot more successful in courting the Black vote if we stopped treating them like they're "uninformed" or whatever and started actually listening to them. This Twitter thread was very eye-opening for me:

It's a long thread so I recommend this thread reader if you want to easily view the full text.

I believe that the top Democratic leadership is entrenched in privilege, including a lot of white privilege, and will therefore never actually allow the people to do anything that threatens that power. That doesn't mean nothing good has ever been done under the party or in its name. Many Black Democrats have done a whole lot of amazing shit for this country and the people who live in it.

And the question of whether Bernie's progressive policy ideas could ever be implemented in this country when we're up against opposition from not just the Republicans but also moderate Democrats is a valid one. As is the question of who is more likely to defeat Trump. Yes, there are a lot of good reasons to believe Bernie is that person, but there are good reasons to believe otherwise. Those Red Scare tactics are very effective in this country.

I've lost faith in the reform path and the Democrats in general, but I have a different experience than Black Americans. I'm not involved in the party like many of them are and I never have been.

We white people need to remember our privilege over Black individuals. It's on us to figure out how we can serve them, treat them better, and convince them that leftist policy can and will work for them. To do that, we need to listen to them. Both Black Democrats and the Black leftists already among us who are doing amazing work and probably not getting enough credit.

And just stop being fucking racist, shit.

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