The saddest part of racism is how it is used by blacks in the comfortable classes to silence the voices of blacks in the lower classes. Allegations of racism thrown at Sanders didn’t just dismiss white Bernie Bros but throws the entire cross-racial support under the bus. And it tramples on one of Martin Luther King’s greatest dreams, to join blacks and whites in a common cause of class war against an oppressive capitalist class.
“Last spring, a Harvard-Harris poll found Sanders to be the most popular active politician in the country. African Americans gave the senator the highest favorables at 73 percent — vs. 68 percent among Latinos, 62 percent among Asian Americans and 52 percent among white voters.
It wasn’t a fluke: This August, black voters again reported a 73 percent favorability rating for Sanders. Critics, such as Starr, continue to point to the senator’s 2016 primary numbers among older African American voters to claim that his message somehow doesn’t resonate with people of color as a whole — and continue to ignore that, according to GenForward, Sanders won the black millennial vote in the primaries.
“So why does the myth that black voters don’t like Sanders persist? It certainly isn’t because black voters can’t relate to his focus on the working class. According to the Economic Policy Institute, people of color will form the majority of the American working class by 2032. In other words, the white working class does not have a monopoly on economic marginalization.
“Folks in McDowell County, W.Va., and inner-city St. Louis are encountering many of the same challenges. So, an economic message that includes advancing policies that will close the wage gap, raise the minimum wage, ensure equal pay for equal work, create jobs, make education affordable, and ensure health care as a human right is a message that cuts across demographics.
“Thus Democrats should be careful not to continue the false association of working class issues strictly with the white working class — a major fixation after last year’s election and an assumption of many criticisms of Sanders’ message. As someone who traveled across the country with Sanders during his campaign, I know firsthand the narrative of working-class politics as exclusively white erases the stories of so many of the people who believed in and fought for a political revolution — and a government that works for all of us, not just a wealthy or connected few.”
The eminently electable Bernie Sanders enjoys strong support from African-Americans and young people
by Cory Doctorow Boing Boing Mar 11, 2019
Sanders favors all of these policies, and more, and so it’s no surprise that his critics are grasping at (evidence-free) straws to neg him in the public sphere, but of course, reality has a well-known left-wing bias, so it’s no surprise that they’re (very, very) wrong.
For example, Sanders is beating Kamala Harris 2-to-1 in polls of African American voters (possibly because Harris supported the preservation of forced prison labor, joked about her actions to jail parents whose kids were truant, and let Steve Mnuchin walk away from grotesque financial crimesthat victimized poor people and stole their homes).
And 18- and 19-year-old first-time voters are big on Sanders because his policies matter more to them than his age, especially his support for immediate, meaningful action on climate change — even though Sanders will be dead before climate change makes most of the USA uninhabitable, these kids won’t be, and they know it.
Facts matter: Sanders’s base is young and diverse, and the “Bernie Bro” is a myth. Sanders is more popular with racialized people than white people, as popular with women as he is with men, and is especially popular with young people.
Sanders’ critics don’t want to engage with the substance of his policies, which are, foundationally, anti-capitalist, seeing markets as a tool to be deployed to solve some problems, not as the natural order or the arbiter of moral worthiness. This is a challenge to post-Reagan, Ayn-Rand-derived orthodoxy and it definitely makes some people deeply uncomfortable — but not black and brown people, and not young people.
I am a Sanders primary campaign donor, a member of the Democratic Socialists of America, and I donated to his 2016 campaign (I’m also a donor to Elizabeth Warren’s primary campaign).
Meanwhile, Freya Buhr, 19, of Clermont, Iowa, is so dedicated to Sanders, she didn’t let the fact Friday was her birthday deter her from attending the Vermont senator’s rally in Iowa City.
“Bernie is great and he’s always been on the right side of history,” Buhr said when asked why she stands behind Sanders. She pointed to his work on civil rights as well as the senator’s stance on LGBTQ rights and issues.
“He’s a strong leader,” Buhr added. “He’s the kind of person we need with the current political discourse in America.”
When asked if she agreed with critics who’ve suggested Sanders will struggle to win over women voters, Buhr referred to him as a “feminist” and said “Bernie’s platform is always in support of women.”