Oh that title is just making you scream with righteous rage isn’t it? Makes you want to share it all over Facebook and Twitter, doesn’t it? Please do! I love the page hits. You do know that’s why I write titles like that? You do know why EVERY FRAKKING BLOGSPAM site does the same. Cause you monkeys click on them so you can have a two minute rage while you click through a 20 page slide show that could have been summed up one page (but wouldn’t count for the ad hits).
Seriously though, this whole Bernie Sanders vs. The Seattle Black Lives Matter, um, affiliate station? Fellow traveller? Branch Office? Three day old organization??
What the fuck? Their Facebook page is like 8 hours older than their bold act of storming the stage at a Social Security Rally? Their first post was at like 4:45 in the morning. Were they up all night teaching themselves photoshop to make that logo, or is this the first recorded case of drunken late night internet activist organizing?
Look, there has been a lot of blogs, think-pieces, tweets, and I kid you not a carrier pidgeon with a note on its leg on my windowsill, written about this event. If you haven’t heard about it, just google “Bernie Sanders Black Lives Matter”, I’m not here to educate you! It’s oppressive to me to inform you about the issue I’m wanting to discuss in detail!
Ha! Just kidding, I think that whole thing is a bunch of intellectually lazy, entitled crap.
So lemme sum it up and hit you with a link: Bernie Sanders goes to Seattle to give some speeches, two black women proceed to interrupt him while yelling and pointing (yes, that is relevant) and threatening to shut down the rally that he was a guest at, said they were speaking for Black Lives Matter (now available in t-shirt form modeled by a white guy), and demanded to speak. They proceeded to speak over a crowd throwing out a mix of boos, cheers, and general murmuring. Of all unlikely outcomes, the rally organizer actually let them speak before Sanders. The girls proceed to call the crowd racists, have a moment of silence, and then begin to lecture the crowd. It’s actually pretty entertaining to watch. The best article I’ve seen so far is actually the one from the local Seattle paper that interviews people actually there. Including the emcee and host who specifically asked for the girls to not be arrested. The NAACP head who was conflicted about the event.
Whats interesting to me though is, in the video on the Seattle page, is that when apparently the chant of “Black Lives Matter” was lead by the head of the NAACP, the one on the microphone said, “You are full of bullshit with your Black Lives Matter.”
What can I say, I sat there laughing a bit. I love watching Liberals eat each other. It’s funny to me. Mostly because for as much as Liberals and Progressives talk about how they are open minded to other ideas and ideologies, they sure can be really fucking intolerant. It’s ironic, don’t you think? A little too ironic, yeah I really do think…
It’s ironic in that a guy who has a 97% rating with the NAACP for his voting record on civil rights, began his work back in the early 60’s, which despite a lot of “so what’s”, was actually a pretty ballsy thing to do in those days. It was actually kind of violent. Now of course this doesn’t give him a free pass. But when the guy has been speaking out against police violence since the first shooting in Ferguson (so, so shitty that actually is a thing now) and he has been advocating ending the “cradle to prison pipeline” for years now. Now, I’m not trying to defend the guy, but you know….educate yourself. Go google it. It’s not my job to educate you on the guys history.
The big problem has really been two things with Bernie:
1.) He is shitty at talking to blacks about black issues. You see, he’s on their side, has been his whole adult life. The man has a track record that would make some black politicians envious. His problem though, is that he’s from Vermont, which is like the whitest state in the Union. Like L.L. Bean, Pepperidge Farm, and “let’s go leaf peeping and antiquing this Saturday” white. Much of his activism has been as a white guy talking to other whites. He’s never been a White Bus Driver. You know what that is right? The white person who thinks its unfair that blacks have to ride in the back of the bus but still won’t let them drive the thing. He’s supported black people to be the leaders, he just rallies the troops. As such, when he talks about economic disparities, he frames it the way you would to a white Liberal. When he talks about violence, he does it like he’s talking to a bunch of white folks. He wants to help, he agrees that Black Lives Matter, he just can’t relate.
Meanwhile, Hillary Clinton has a small army of interns scouring the web and polling data to build perfect phrasing and image. If their data said in order to win the black vote she should wear a tophat and a clock around her neck, well…YEAAAH BOYEEE!
Oh, suck it up, bitches, you know damn well she’s a panderer.
2.) He’s the “wrong kind” of activist. This is the fucked up part. You see, at the Netroots Nation rally where they jeered him, they demanded he say Sandra Blands name. At the Seattle rally they demanded that he have a clear Civil Rights policy (as if his history, and comments up til that point hadn’t spelled it out) on his website. He caught hell because he hasn’t directly endorsed Black Lives Matter (Trademark 2014, All Rights Reserved, Patent Pending) or tweeted about it. Seriously, the pundits pointed out he hadn’t tweeted a fucking hashtag. He’s not saying the right things, tweeting the right hash tags…seriously, people were grouchy he wasn’t repeating rally memes and hashtags.
Look, just because he isn’t pandering doesn’t mean he’s not on your side. Any movement of any ideology that requires a litmus test by repeating and chanting a required phrase or mantra or swearing loyalty to an ideology in order to demonstrate “right thinking” is fucking frightening. I don’t care who you are, or your ideology, that’s some Big Brother shit. Just because you spend all your time hanging out in the same web forums, Facebook groups, blogs, and subreddits, where everyone agrees with you, doesn’t mean that everyone thinks like you. Congrats, you’ve entered the Echo Chamber. It’s also called tribalism, or more the more Orwellian Groupthink. I prefer the Borg-like Deindividuation. Summed up, “If you don’t think like me and conform to me, you are wrong and will be punished.” You can see this in the LGBT movement, Feminism, economic conflict, and of course Civil Rights.
Wow, I got heavy didn’t I? Look, nothing is won by the Black Lives Matter movement by attacking Sanders for not being perfectly in lock step with their ideology and methodology. Nothing is won by Progressives by fighting over the right way to obtain a goal, be it economic security, ending systemic racism and inequality, LGBT rights, or World Peace. Ideas and movements grow when they have diversity of views and methods. When demands for right thinking and orthodoxy of though, “The right kind of activist” start guiding the group or alienating members, it crumbles till only the radical core is left, which ends up destroying the movement, or creating a new absolutist and authoritarian system to replace itself.
You’re still really annoyed by that title aren’t you? I agree Black Lives Matter, I just don’t hold a hashtag with the reverence you would have for some tablets hauled down a mountainside.