In Politics, Here’s Why Racism Doesn’t Stop Along Party Lines
"Much of the democratic party may stick to ideas of liberalism, but that liberalism is only, in fact, for other white liberals."
June 16, 2018 at 6:06 am
The left holds an unknown history. Until now, their feelings and practices towards the oppressed within this country have never been in question. Historically, liberal whites have been appalled by the treatment of different ethnic groups within this country. There is often a high level of empathy which has been espoused and held. However, this empathy is not without its setbacks. This empathy is often times very patronizing, condescending and/or harmful to the communities which it is applied to. For example, many white abolitionist and northerners of the past were by all instances very racist. They did not want the atrocity of slavery within their backyards. However, this did not mean that they were comfortable with African Americans as their neighbors and/or coworkers.
Many of these abolitionist, including Abraham Lincoln, touted that African Americans should be sent back to “the country of Africa,” not because they thought it would be best for America’s enslaved African population, but rather because they looked at the enslaved African as a problem which they no longer wanted to deal with. In fact, the same liberals in the north who were opposed to de jure segregation in the south, were opposed to the de facto integration of their neighborhoods and schools in the north. Hence, Chicago is one of the most segregated cities in the country. It is an ideology of we are better than those other people who are oppressing you, and we know what’s best for you. However, we don’t want to hear your voice in determining the best solution.
The Women’s March was co-founded by an African American woman (Tamika Mallory), a Latina woman (Carmen Perez) and a Muslim woman (Linda Sarsour). However, as steam from the women’s march filled the lungs of the broader majority of women within this country, many of the issues covered by this movement failed to illustrate the problems of women who look like the founders of the movement.
The #MeToo movement and the appending hashtag was founded by an African American woman by the name of Tarana Burke. However, most of the women who have been legitimized by this movement have not in fact come from the community represented by people like Burke. One of the most beautiful women in Hollywood, Lupita Nyong'o, highlighted that she, too, had in fact been sexually harassed by Harvey Weinstein. Up until this point, dozens of women had accused Weinstein of heinous sexual misconduct, yet he did not reply. But when Nyong'o accused him, he was sure to say that he did not engage in such philanderous acts, so as to say in so many words, that he would never be attracted to a black woman.
It should be noted that in politics racism doesn’t stop along party lines. The implicit bias, the benefits held and the ideologies practiced still exist within the left, liberals and the democratic party. One only has to look at the political trajectory of Stacy Abrams. Abrams is an African American attorney who graduated from Yale Law School, has natural hair and is unwed. Abrams decided to run for governor of Georgia. Even after she registered hundreds of thousands of Georgia’s citizens, some of whom were formerly convicted felons, who lost their right to vote due to archaic and racist penal laws, the democratic party still felt this woman was UNELECTABLE. Subsequently, many democrats in the state began to stand behind another Stacy in the democratic primary, so as to try and confuse the voter. However, the people spoke, and Stacy Abrams now holds the democratic party nomination for Governor of Georgia.
This happens all over the country in congressional, senate, judge and mayoral races. The democratic party may be the party which purports to be for African Americans and Latinos, but that doesn’t mean that the party as a whole wants to see African Americans holding power and leadership. John F. Kennedy was, at best, ambivalent to the Civil Rights movement. He artfully played on both sides of the fence while pushing forth no real gains for African Americans. On the other hand, Lyndon B Johnson, a conservative, pushed things through when the times necessitated such action. Much of the democratic party may stick to ideas of liberalism, but that liberalism is only, in fact, for other white liberals. The same tropes, stereotypes, beliefs and practices which are held and engaged in by those on the right are practiced by those on the left.
The solution to this leftist racism is simple. The left must stop pandering to working class white voters who refuse to vote with their pocket, but rather with their fears. In a recent interview, Abrams stated that “democrats can’t win by trying to be republican.” The left is falling into the southern strategy in which republican administrations, starting with President Richard Nixon, subsumed power by playing into the racial fears of the white southern voter. Ronald Reagan was the culmination of the southern strategy, and Donald Trump is its evolution. If the left really wants to be for the people, then it must open the gates, so as to hold the hands of Latino and African American voters. Rather than simply talking down to these CITIZENS, a real conversation must be had.
There is no way that in places like North Carolina that radical conservative ideals should helm supreme when this state has a high African American population, a high Latino population, which was born here, a highly educated population in metropolitan areas and a high student population. When the democratic party loses in places like Georgia, Virginia and North Carolina, it is because they are playing the wrong game.
The democratic party will continue tread a path of constant losses if party leadership continues with the practices of patronizing care and progressive racism. Subsequently, those on the left must ask themselves this: Do you want to be uncomfortable sharing a seat at the table and cutting the cake with your black and brown brothers, or would you rather be uncomfortable without power, but sitting squarely in the comfort of your whiteness? The choice is yours, but that choice will have to be made very soon.