The Far Left Is Still Out Of Touch With Black Voters
Marcus H. Johnson

“Instead, we are seeing a doubling down on a focus of the white working class and hostility to identity politics.”

There’s no “focus on the white working class.” That’s a deliberate race-baiting misrepresentation of Sanders’ socialistic calls for working-class solidarity and a working-class politics. That line of attack isn’t “identity politics”; it’s weaponized race-baiting and sexist-baiting and it’s toxic. Not only divisive but utterly needlessly divisive, attacking one’s strongest allies and typically on behalf of goddamn “neoliberal” pols looking to sell the country down the river to the Big Money interests. You can’t sell that kind of agenda to the public, so this shit is dragged out. And note, please, the complete lack of substantive policy discussion every time it is. What was Clinton doing on these race- and gender-related matters that was so great and that Sanders wasn’t doing (and far better)? That discussion is always avoided because it reveals the sham of the entire attack. I just published a piece today that went into a lot of this, including material from this article:

“In order to properly talk about the disconnect between people of color and the far left, we have to talk a bit about why Sanders lost in the primary. His message primarily targeted the white working class and focused on ‘economic’ issues versus ‘racial’ ones. He rejected identity politics and had virtually no political capital with minorities even after decades in Congress.”

Sanders insistence on raising the minimum wage, it would seem, would only help white men. No black folks need jobs, so the many that would be created by, say, Sanders’ proposed massive infrastructure spending wouldn’t help them a bit. Likewise, the Trans Pacific Partnership, which Sanders opposes, would only destroy the jobs and drive down the wages of white people, so why should black folks be concerned about it? I suppose black folks never get an education, so making public universities tuition-free wouldn’t do one thing to help them. Communities of color are immune from damage to the environment. Brown people never need healthcare either. They never get sick — that’s all white-guy stuff. No one of color is ever poor, is ever sent off in disproportionate numbers to prison or to fight wars abroad or requires Social Security in old age. Sanders’ opposition to nationwide Republican efforts to disenfranchise minorities only helps… well, I’m sure there’s some way in which it only helps white folks. The benefits of Sanders’ path to citizenship for undocumented immigrants would accrue to blue-eyed blondes from Scandinavia. The law enforcement and drug-war reform favored by Sanders echo the goals of the special All-Caucasian faction of Black Lives Matter. These, you see, are all just “economic” issues, not “racial” ones.

How about we cut the bullshit, eh? When Bernie Sanders was a teenager in the 1950s, he ran for class president of his high-school on a platform of creating scholarships for Korean orphans. He’s been fighting for the rights of minorities and women for a lot longer than most of the people reading my words today have been alive and certainly has a far better record than Clinton, whose terminal political opportunism and lack of principle have led her down some very ugly roads with these issues, as with so many others.