The White Progressive’s Real Race Problem. : ThyBlackMan

Tuesday, June 19, 2018

The White Progressive’s Real Race Problem.

August 16, 2017 by  
Filed under News, Opinion, Politics, Weekly Columns

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(ThyBlackMan.comWhite progressives do not yet seem to be ready to fall on their sword to win the Democratic primary. The near religious support of Bernie Sanders is admirable, but it is also implausible to victory. The DNC has pre-selected Kamala Harris aka Kamala Clinton to be their frontrunner for the 2020 General Election. This is a strategic race and gender based selection by the Clintonites who have already seized upon the opportunity to launch racist and sexist accusatory attacks against “Bernie Bros.”. It is as if they decided upon the attack strategy before deciding on their candidate. Unfortunately, my dear white brothers and sisters, this will work. It will serve its purpose in removing any chance that progressives have with black women voters, who are the strongest voting block that the party has to rely on. In selecting Kamala Clinton, they have their blackface corporatist avatar and black women will stand in solidarity with her.

White progressives are considering alternatives to Sanders, but more often than not, they support the extremely unknown Tulsi Gabbard. Tulsi Gabbard, who is also white and half-Samoan, will not attract black women Democrats to her ticket. Again, they will stand in solidarity with Kamala. Tulsi Gabbard doesn’t change the progressive strategic positioning one iota from the quandary that Bernie presents. I hesitate to say it, but this leaning toward Gabbard may be a form of white supremacy itself. It is obvious that the one person who can out black woman Kamala Clinton is Nina Turner, yet white progressives are extremely slow to arrive at that conclusion.

I understand that Gabbard is on the right side of the issues, but I also understand the white American’s racial blind spot. The left has a tendency to not admit that race and gender are strategic factors and will at times fall into a cumbaya mentality. It’s time to sober up from this supposed post-racialism. Donald Trump won on a platform of white nationalism.

If it were not for the Democratic Party’s willingness to attack progressives on racial and gender lines, I would completely support a Sanders/Turner ticket, but they have announced their intentions. The DNC has already given away their primary strategy some three years early and that very weakness must be taken advantage of. If the DNC was smart, they would have just prepared their horse and tried to appease us, but they are not smart. They told on themselves and they have allowed us the opportunity to pick a candidate who can short-circuit their attacks and that candidate is Nina Turner.

A Turner/Sanders ticket is the game winner. It ensures that black women are not insulted by Progressives placing a black woman in a secondary position as Vice-President. Black people in general will be very sensitive to that order. We were already offended at an all-white DNC nomination process and ticket in 2016. Black women are ready for and deserve to have real political power. A Turner/Sanders ticket ensures a black woman versus half-black woman battle as Kamala Clinton is half-Indian (South Asian Indian). A Turner/Sanders ticket disables criticism from the right that Democrats only represent the cultural elites. Nina Turner was born a poor girl in Cleveland, Ohio. Nina Turner is the antithesis of a coastal cultural elite. She was not ushered through the best schools in Northern California by educated parents of means. She started from the bottom, and now she’s here.

I make no apologies for recognizing a winning strategy and neither should you. White progressives have to get over the fact that identity plays a huge strategic role in American politics. Nina Turner’s identity as a black woman born poor in the Mid-West makes her incredibly relatable to many Americans of all stripes because her nomination and election would be a classic tale of the American Dream. It would represent democracy at its finest.

Staff Writer; Asani Akida


8 Responses to “The White Progressive’s Real Race Problem.”
  1. Walt says:

    I really don’t understand any of this. Bernie’s Father’s family was all murdered during the holocaust. Anti-Semitism is still a real thing. Tulsi is Indigenous Samoan…as in Native American. Colonizers didn’t enslave Native Americans, they just wiped most of them out…on purpose. “Educated” people still make comments that they are just a bunch of lazy drunks. Did you catch that whole North Dakota thing? It wasn’t really on MSNBC or CNN, but it was out there. Now why are African-Americans the only people of color or the only oppressed people that matter in elections? Calling white privilege or white supremacy on Bernie or Tulsi is just f’d up. I call shame on you.

  2. Justin says:

    Moderates viciously reject Nina Turner because she rejected the Queen <–Identity politics.

    Progressives criticize Kamala because of her corporate ties and questionable behavior in the case of prosecutions, private prisons, etc <–Issues

    See the difference?

  3. M W Wykoff says:

    Anti-franklin articulates my preferences very well. Tulsi Gabbard may very well eventually become the first woman POTUS because of the calm manner in which she presents her admirable convictions. She is a true patriot who will represent white veterans as well as female and male minorities. She is presidential.

  4. Eruanion says:

    This perpetuates the myth that Bernie did not have Black support. A myth helped by the early primaries in many southern states. Nina Turner is a good choice, so is Tulsi. Why can’t we have both? Nina has her issues too, just look how the establishment dems treat her, locking her out when she is a member of the DNC. As for the myth that Bernie doesn’t get black support, and so, neither will Tulsi, that is a myth started during the campaign to keep African American voters from backing him. Unless you really want to be Kamela Clintons “Southern Firewall” like you were HRC’s

  5. anti-Franklin says:

    I have two main points. One is an objection to the article’s conclusion that Turber would fare better than Gabbard in the primaries, but the more important is an objection to the heinous and confused tone of the comment by Franklin.

    The author was not pushing a corporate shill. First of all, I voted for Bernie and campaigned for him in the primaries to the best of my ability because he was the best candidate both on policy, on his record, because he was not corrupted by campaign donations from billionaires, and because I was confident that he had the best chance to win the general election.

    That said the author was pushing Nina Turner, the Sanders supporter who was supposed to co-nominate Bernie on the floor of the convention with Tulsi Gabbard, but was barred by Hillary’s delegation because she refused to endorse Hillary Clinton. So attacking her as a corporate shill may or may not be racist or sexist, but it is certainly wrong both on the facts and from a moral perspective. Nina Turner sacraficed her chance to grow her political profile in the biggest speech of her life because she refused to sell out. Similarly Tulsi Gabbard sacraficed a position of power in the DNC in order to endorse Bernie (since DNC officials were obligated to stay neutral). Those sacrafices of political power are why Tulsi Gabbard and Nina Turner both have the overwhelming support of Sanders supporters, are why we know that we can trust them.

    The comments about the author crying on election night cross a line of a different kind. I have no idea whether Asani cried on election day or night, but I wept twice. The first time was at the polls open when I reluctantly cast my first vote in a general election for Hillary Clinton and the second time was when I realized late that night that a few too few people in the key states had made that painful choice. I can understand someone choosing not to vote for Clinton afraid of the pain I felt the first time I cried that day, but I cannot fathom how they would ridicule those of us who did for crying the second time.

    All of that said, let me move on to the reasons why I think that Tulsi Gabbard is more able to win the democratic primary against Kamela Harris than Nina Turner.

    Either Turner or Gabbard will be attacked not just based on the lines Bernie was, race, gender, and religion, but also experience.

    In my opinion, Turner would be a much stronger candidate in the primaries in terms of race and religion. She would be able to compete at least as well in terms of identity with Harris over African American primary voters if she were ever seen as viable. But, it is worth remembering that until Obama won Iowa in ’08 African American voters in South Carolina polled in favor of Clinton. It is my belief that African American voters probably because of the greater institutional influence of churches in voting in the south and in African American communities, but also due to their history with institutional racism are very pragmatic voters. They seem to vote for the viable candidate, who is percieved as electable, and finally consider whether they identify with the candidate or like their policies. If I’m right, Nina Turner, won’t make the cutoff. Even if she secures a decent finish in Iowa and New Hampshire, she will not be seen as a viable general election candidate because she will never have run for national office or been “seriously vetted.” She will contribute to this narrative of being insufficiently vetted by coming off as angry and slightly shrill at moments in press availabilities and debates. That attack will be sexist and racist so it won’t be made directly by the candidates running against her. Kamela Harris and Tulsi Gabbard may at times risk being seen as dispassionate, but never unhinged or shrill and that will matter to Turner’s percieved non-electability. Therefore, she will not perform significantly better in the south. Harris, who will be trumpeted by the national media as the front runner and the best candidate to beat Trump would beat Turner and someone other than Turner(likely the white male boring center left candidate who will take most of the heat for the sexist attack on Turner) would likely be second.

    In terms of gender, I think both Harris and Gabbard evade most sources of pushback against female candidates. I have not seen Harris speak all that much, but she seemed measured, and is a former prosecutor. That sounds tough and is hard to portray as weak until you get into being bought off by donors. There is one woman I would definitely rather watch Trump try to frame as weak and that person is Tulsi Gabbard. Any soldier would be hard for him to attack given his questionable medical deferral. But Gabbard in particular radiates an unassailable calm that cannot be shaken. I believe that regardless of whether she chooses to run for the Presidency she will be one of the strongest voices for peace in our time. Gabbard’s time in the millitary lets her relate to the whole swath of the human poplation regardless of income or race.

    And Gabbard will basically be on par with Harris in terms of legislative experience having served for longer in the slightly less prestigious (slightly for Hawaii) of the two national bodies. She has also been a national figure for a comparable ammount of time.

    Gabbard should fair better as a woman of color than Bernie did with African American women especially since she will be running against a former prosecutor, albeit an African American women. I bet both will be percieved as slightly distant, west coast types, but that Gabbard has the better excuse for being slightly distant (the cost of war) than Harris (the cost of deciding not to prosecute Steve Mnuchin). The wild card is how Gabbard’s religion will play. I’m not sure, given not much has been written or studied about how Sanders’ religion played.

    So my main point is that Nina Turner better win national office soon and look polished or Gabbard will certainly be the left’s best non Bernie Sanders himself candidate.

    As far as announcing a ticket instead of just a candidate, I believe Sanders should announce his candidacy with Gabbard as his planned VP running mate. It would make him far less vulnerable on foreign policy. It would ward off critiques of his age. It would add a woman to the ticket as well as making it a historic ticket in many senses (first Jewish president, oldest President, one of the youngest vice presidents, first female vice president, first Hindu president, first part Samoan president, ect.). It would show a willingness to reward people who stick up for him politically (he doesn’t like to play politics, but doing it once in a while might win him more supporters). She is young enough that regardless of whether he served one or two terms, she could easilly run to succeed him. Additionally, it makes sense for a VP to be even stronger than the President in terms of foreign policy expertise in case his or her assassination prompts a war.

    I don’t think it goes the other way. Either Gabbard or Turner might be better off picking the other or someone else entirely as a running mate than Sanders. He would automatically overshadow them. You can’t go from being the potential frontrunner in the race for the democratic nomination for the Presidency to a candidate for the Vice Presidency. We don’t want the Presidential candidate to look like the puppet, the lesser version, or the more electable update of the true source of the ideas. Additionally, it would deprive them of their most prominent ally in the Senate. They might consider him once they were the nominee, but probably not even then. They should secure his endorsement and try to get him to campaign for them, but probably should not offer the Vice Presidency. It might be an insult anyway. Who wields more political power right now, Sanders, Biden, or Pence?

    Just some thoughts. It was an interesting article, but I think the conclusion was wrong. We do need progressives to come to some sort of consensus on the issue before the primaries though.

  6. Devon says:


    I’ll start with this: Kamala is black? I didn’t even know her ethnicity, and it’s not possible to tell by looking at her. She’s certainly no darker than Tulsi, so they’ll have to shout it from the rooftops, and that’s only going to come across as crass and clumsy.

    Second, it doesn’t matter who you put on that that ticket with Sanders, if Kamala is the DNC’s pick and is black (which still boggles my mind and I supposed explains why they picked her), the DNC supporters, and most particularly the superdelegates, are not going to change. They will bend over backwards to come up with any reason to vote for the establishment choice because that’s what they’ve been told to do.

    Third, and this is EXTREMELY important: most white people didn’t vote for Trump because they were racist, they did it because they felt ignored and attacked. We’ve spent years telling white people, and especially white men, that they’re privileged, so privileged that they’re responsible for all of the world’s problems. So when one candidate focused on minorities and ignored them as the Dems have done for years, and the other specifically spoke to them about their issues, they listened. Ignoring the white vote (the majority) is the quickest way to lose the election.

    Finally, Bernie Sanders is the most popular politician in America, and Tulsi is his padawan, as it were. Not Nina Turner, and not anyone else. If you want the progressive vote or the independent vote, you need to recognize that.

  7. franklin says:

    I can’t wait to see idiots like the author of this garbage choking on their tears again when we abandon them for pushing a corporate shill on us again. Call it racism all you want. We see what you’re up too.

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