White Bernie is the New Black Jesus
Black People: We are fucking ourselves by not backing Bernie! And when I say we are fucking ourselves, I don’t mean in the exciting, fulfilling, way fucking ourselves could be. I mean we are setting ourselves back and undermining our liberation goals as Sunkissed people. It’s time to take stock of our place and our actions in the “movement” that is growing ever the more important by the nanosecond: the Progressive Movement — the only thing that can save our lives. And we need to reconcile our behaviors as it relates to Bernie Sanders — the most important leader ever seen in the U.S.
Preceding even the founding of this “Great Nation” is the struggle and oppression of Black people (and of course, not solely Black people, but this is written as an address to Black people). We have endured enslavement, sharecropping, Jim Crow, lynching, overseers, overseers’ dogs, police, police dogs, mass incarceration, water hoses, integration, the Klan, Aryan nation groups, skinheads, and Vanilla Ice. The only time we had a real nice bump up in our situation was after the Civil Rights movement of the 60’s, and you know what made that difference? Bernie Sanders, with some assistance from a few of his friends.
I have, in my possession, a picture of Bernie Sanders, in his glasses, his Socialist features in a frown of solidarity and resistance as he fights against police who inflict no scars and injuries on him — in spite of their normal aggression against those freedom fighters that keep company with the greatness of Bernie Sanders, such as Fred Hampton, Assata Shakur, and Malcolm X. Why did they not harm him? You might think it was because he was in the protected space of his college campus and his white presenting jewishness, that he was not making a real threat to the status quo but instead participating in what had become a popular protest activity that was already being watered down by the white liberals who were showing Black folk how to protest correctly. But that wasn’t it. He went unscathed because they couldn’t penetrate his cape.
He wears that same cape today, as he soars in with the solutions to all our Black problems. It’s true, he never mentions most of them, such as the aggressive militarization of police in communities like ours, or the central role race plays in climate injustice. But his silence on such issues isn’t significant because when he flies in and secures Medicare for all, a $15 minimum wage, and free college for everyone, the violence in and against our communities will be summarily resolved as a result. We needn’t worry about how a $15 minimum hourly wage won’t help us if we can’t get hired because of our Blackness. We needn’t be concerned that Black people are more often turned away from medical care because of suspicions of drug abuse and assumptions of our super human strength — because, after all, we are the daughters and sons of Jo El. We need not even attend to the reality that educational resources decrease in public schools directly in proportion to how the number of Sunkissed students increases — certainly we needn’t worry about how this is most extreme in Vermont, the Savior’s place of operations — his own fortress of “progressive” solitude. We needn’t think about these nuances at all, because Bernie is clearly aware of them already and he has a secret solution. He isn’t talking about any of this, but we can be sure he’s got us covered. Look at how he stood up for his former colleague Kiah Morris in Vermont when she left her position as the only Black women in Vermont’s House of Representatives after being attacked by white terrorism. Determined not to let racism win, he levied a powerful strike against it with a fiery two-paragraph statement. Now, it’s true that he did not actually stand with her or defend her as she was facing the racist attacks, or even say anything until after the racism had won. And it hurts, the added insult of that racism culminating in Morris being replaced by a white man. But we don’t need action or even words to demonstrate Bernie’s understanding of the nuances and trauma of these kinds of events. He indubitably understands. Because he’s Bernie.
It may seem like he refuses to comment on Black issues as a practice because he is more concerned with the white Trump, or, err…mythological working-class voter. But that’s not why he argues that race isn’t the issue, and that it’s class. The truth is that Trump voters are not any more a focus of his than we the Black people are, he just doesn’t talk to us directly because he’s not used to doing it anymore. He hasn’t really done it in 60 years, and we all know that non-racist white people need to be accustomed to Black people before they can do things like articulate any acknowledgement of the injustices Black people endure, or like vote for them.
He is our savior, and his movement is our way. We’ve got a slew of white progressives, including Lauren Steiner and Claudia what’s her name, who understand the place of Black people in this movement better than we do, and that’s a shame. We need to do better. Especially those of us, like Marcus Ferrell, Anthony Rogers-Wright, Anoa Changa, and myself, who got our whole rise and platform as a result of our previous brilliant and important vocal and organizational support of Bernie Sanders in the first place. We need to recognize that our role in the liberation of Black folk is to show how diverse the support for Bernie really is, so that he can get into position to have finally “made us white” permanently. Our job is to gather with our progressive leaders and hail the name of our savior, proselytizing so that he might be elevated to the position of his purpose and give us free. We need to then go back into our communities as the disciples of Bernie-Jesus we were born to be and educate our uninformed people who voted for Hillary simply because, “they didn’t know who Bernie was,” which is crazy since, as the Civil Rights icon of all time, he has been fighting for our people well before Soul Train and Good Times even aired on television.
We are fucking up.
Anthony and Anoa especially keep calling Bernie and other progressives out for being racist. What will that solve? We all know that they will never be less racist! We just need to help them get what they want for themselves and have faith in spite of what history tells us that when their needs and wants are satisfied they will not forget us. Once their white women get their whole damned dollar, they will immediately address the pay discrepancy between white women and Black men and women (and so many other Sunkissed people), and they will finally have time to make protest signs about our children getting murdered by their police, (the very same police who were established by their great-grandparents to protect their precious white women from our salacious black men).
There used to be a crew of Black progressives using our voices to be the wing beneath Bernie’s angel wings. Now there’s only two. How will he save us if we don’t do our job and worship him with all our breath?