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Chitown Kev

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Member since: Thu Aug 20, 2015, 08:59 PM
Number of posts: 2,197

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Please remember...

That on November 7, 2000, Al Gore won 90% of the black vote in the presidential election.


I say that in order to remind those of you that may have forgotten that Joe Lieberman was Al Gore's running mate...

..and in case you were wondering...


Of course, the fact that Lamont was the Democratic nominee had more to do with Lamont getting a higher percentage of African American votes than anything else.

I can read between some of the lines here w/r/t theories as to why African Americans may not be supporting Bernie Sanders...

Please...why don't you try telling some of those theories to the Congressional Representative of Tennessee's 9th Congressional District...Steve Cohen will probably laugh in your face

Why do y'all think I (as a black man) care all that much about what Bernie did over 50 years ago?

I (as a black man) get to make a determination of my own as to how much Bernie's civil rights activities in Chicago mean to me...


Bernie Sanders civil rights activities in the 1960’s were never a very significant criteria for me in predicting whether and how President Sanders might approach the problems that African Americans face.

The relationship of Sanders with his African American constituents (and they have been his constituents for over 25 years) is hundreds of times more significant than whether he marched with King or not.

Because Sanders’ constituents “know him” and his work far better than I do; they are better judges than you or I.

And the answer from Sanders’ African American constituents to the question of Sanders’ concern for blacks: Meh.

Sanders isn't an innocent victim of his state's demographics, suggests Brattleboro-based Reed. "He's from Brooklyn and grew up with black and brown folks," he notes. Sanders' record of largely avoiding the topic of race "is simply a choice on his part that invalidates the presence of black and brown people," contends the African American activist. "Sen. Sanders suffers from a disease called color blindness."

Colston adds, "If his career had emanated from Brooklyn, he'd have a completely different perspective" on race.

Clarence Davis, a black Shelburne resident* who worked for Sanders in the House, adds that he would like to see "more discussion of race" in which his former boss would participate. It's wrong to regard the country as having achieved a post-racial consciousness, Davis suggests. "We don't live in a color-blind society and never have," he says.

The national campaign will likely push Sanders to be more forthcoming on race. Up until now, however, it has been "as if he's running again for office in Vermont rather than for national office," says Rafael Rodriguez, a Puerto Rican from the Bronx who works as a student services administrator at the University of Vermont. "He's not explicit about racism."

Sanders had a poor record as mayor in appointing minority-group members — as well as women — to high-level positions, says Hines, who has lived in Burlington since 1963. The core of his progressive entourage has been entirely white and almost exclusively male, Hines adds.

"I have a great amount of respect for Bernie," she says, "except I wouldn't vote for him." Hines is supporting Clinton, whom she regards as preferable on issues of concern to women and African Americans.

In the SevenDaysVT (a publication that I’ve come to love!) there’s at least two stories that noted that Sanders had no people of color that worked for him.

I do know that since African immigration to Vermont has become a bit of an issue, Sanders has stepped up to the plate a bit: I don’t feel like hunting down those links right now but that was a point in his favor.

And the conversation continues:

MONTPELIER, Vermont — Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders may be about to hit a "black firewall" in South Carolina, as one Vermont activist on race issues put it Friday, but support for him appears to run deep in Vermont's tiny black community.

While progressive politics and home-state loyalty appeared to boost support for the state's U.S. senator at a Black Lives Matter event at the Statehouse on Friday, some observers said he could have done more during his time in the U.S. House and Senate to cement relations with residents of color and thereby keep more current on race relations in America.

Dozens of activists gathered Friday to call for a racial justice agenda in Vermont, including more hiring of black teachers and school administrators and having more accountability for state agency hiring practices.


Mark Hughes, leader of the group Justice For All-Vermont, said he understood why many blacks in South Carolina, site of the next Democratic primary, and members of the Congressional Black Caucus were taking an approach to Sanders that might be summed up with the phrase, "Hello, who are you?"

Because Vermont is 93.5 percent non-Hispanic white, the second-whitest state after Maine, and because Sanders has not done a lot to reach out to people of color during his time in the U.S. House and Senate, "I think there's a lot of folks from his home state where they might be having the same discussion," he said.

"We don't have a lot of interaction with our congressional delegation," Hughes said.

FTR, I think that Hillary Clinton is “meh” on this topic as well.

UPDATE: A POC supporter of Bernie Sanders, J17, "gets it."


(Some) so-called white progressives sure don't like it when

African Americans and African American leaders take the initiative and vet Bernie Sanders, asking our own questions and judging by our own (quite varied) standards.

Some of them feel that they did the vetting job already and that it is good enough.

Black Kos-Tuesday's Chile (Yes, I'm still around)

Hi, everyone, I'm still around even though I don't peek in as often as I should...life, more writing assignments, etc., etc..

Anyway, I just wanted to share my commentary over at Black Kos today and...I miss y'all. I've noticed that DU is as insane as DK nowadays.


Talking to the Hand.

Commentary by Chitown Kev

First, I would like to congratulate former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton on her hard fought razor-thin victory in the Iowa Caucuses last night (the first woman to ever win the Iowa Caucuses!). I would also like to congratulate Senator Bernie Sanders for being far far more competitive than anyone ever thought that a self-proclaimed “democratic socialist” would be. Both of the remaining Democratic candidates for the 2016 Democratic presidential candidate would be a great nominee for the Democratic Party for different and varied reasons.

Either Democratic nominee would be far more preferable to any nominee that Republican Party voters will offer in 2016; there can be no doubt about that.

There can also be no doubt that either President Sanders or President Clinton will have to pick, choose and prioritize what they get done from many varied items on their campaign agendas.

And history clearly shows that, inevitably, for black people (and all people of color, really), all of the various campaign promises and rhetoric that we hear now will give way to the harsh electoral and political realities.

As it relates to the electoral and political aspirations of American presidents (even, at times, the current occupant of the Oval Office, Barack Obama), black people are every bit as much of “a problem” as Dr. W.E.B. Dubois eloquently stated over a hundred years ago.

Inevitably, I begin to think of the picture that headlines this commentary which I first saw within a Democratic Underground thread almost three months ago.

This picture of then-Milwaukee Councilwoman Velvalea “Vel” Rodgers Phillips and future president John Kennedy was taken during civil rights demonstrations at the 1960 Democratic Convention in Los Angeles at the Shrine Auditorium. According to the LATimes, then-Senator Kennedy respectfully told the photographer, “No pictures, please.”

To be fair, the LATimes link does not speculate on why Senator Kennedy asked for the picture not to be taken. Given the political realities of the Democratic Party in 1960, we can probably make some educated guesses as to why the Democratic nominee would not want his picture taken with a black politician and committed civil rights activist during civil rights demonstrations at the 1960 Democratic Convention.

Of course, nowadays, a Democratic presidential nominee would wave for the photographer to come closer; in fact he or she would be on the lookout to get more blacks and POC in the picture, given the contemporary demographics of any given Democratic electorate.

Heck, even the Republicans/Dixiecrats do that at their convention, FWIW.

So as the New Hampshire primaries come and go and the 2016 primary calendar shifts to states with more people of color, trust me, black people can hear the lofty affirming sound and fury of Democratic campaign rhetoric coming from a loooooooong way.

We know that pretty much every fifth word that comes out of Secretary Clinton’s mouth will be “Barack Obama” and why (FYI, Secretary Clinton, it gets really irritating hearing it over and over and over...we heard you the first time).

(To be fair, I suppose that’s an improvement over hearing words and phrases like “super-predator” and “working, hard-working Americans, white Americans”...among other things.)

We know that Bernie “marched with King” and got arrested in civil rights demonstrations in 1960’s and has a “100 rating” on voting for all of the essential things (And I doubt that we’ll hear much about the differences between rural guns in Vermont and urban guns in Chicago...among other things).

Black people know what presidential candidates say.

And we know what elected Presidents do, in varying degrees.

I can’t think of a president that the history books label as a “friend of the Negro” that is an exception to that rule. Not one.

Black people don’t need to be reminded of this by “nice white progressives” or anyone else. We have lived it.

And we still are.

H/T commenter “KIndofBlue” at Democratic Underground

WTF did Hillary Clinton have to gain from this?

She’s raised more money than Sanders, she’s leading in all of the polls, she has a good sized lead in the Iowa polls, she’s within the MOE in New Hampshire, she has a huge lead in South Carolina, she already HAD institutional support among Democrats, she has a LOT of endorsements, etc, etc, etc.

Why would she need to collude with DNC chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz on anything like Datagate? (and, yes, there are hundreds of allegations of collusion between DWS and the DNC and the Clinton campaign on this issue)

Bernie Sanders’ staffers improperly accessed proprietary data of the Clinton campaign.

Debbie Wasserman Schultz, I believe, overreacted and should really be fired, IMO...but I fail to see why Hillary Clinton would be any kind of participant in Datagate when she had NOTHING to gain from it and everything to lose.

Look, I am aware of many the Clintons' political sins of the past. Bernie’s supporters never fail to remind us of that.That’s not the issue here (and it’s also the reason I don’t support Hillary Clinton at this time but that's not the issue here, either).

When I was a kid, very often I would get caught doing something and I would excuse it by reminding my parents of what my brother had done the day before...or two days before...or two years before.

I assume that you know how my parents responded to that...Because your parents probably responded the same way.

Please read the outstanding article of David Atkins in the Washington Monthly ​on Datagate.


Yes, what 4 Sanders’ campaign staffers did was serious...as were DWS’s actions.

And would any Sanders' supporters be willing to admit that what tht Sanders' campaign did was wrong?

(This is a diary that I modified somewhat from an earlier diary at DK)

Now that THAT'S over and done with...

1) It was the Sanders' campaign staffers that breached and, at the very least, observed info in the voter database that they weren't supposed to see. That's on Sanders and his campaign 100%...to blame Hillary for the breach is straight up bullshit.

2) The vendor should have posted something that they were "under maintenance" or something while these barriers were let down to upload info.

3) Schultz is a tool and the sooner that she is let go, the better. She handled this (and many other things) extremely poorly.

4) The ratings for tomorrow's debate will go through the roof. If I were a cynic, I would even say....you can complete that sentence.

JUST...BEWARE...of everything and everyone

That is all.

"If you're so tired of people mistaking you for a Hillary supporter..."

'... then consider changing your avatar."

This was the reason given by a juror in a post that I alerted where someone accused me of being a Hillary supporter in spite of explicitly stating in that very thread that I am not.

and all this time, I thought that black voters had dropped Clinton for Bernie Sanders

I guess that's supposed to win my vote?

Just had to let a little steam off...

Believe it or not I'm glad to see this: Sanders courting black voters in mostly white Iowa

Sanders courting black voters in mostly white Iowa
by Kevin Hardy
Des Moines Register


7:11 p.m. CST December 14, 2015

WATERLOO, Ia. — Sitting in a throne-like chair next to the pastor of Mount Carmel Missionary Baptist Church on Sunday morning, it was clear Bernie Sanders wasn't headlining any old Iowa campaign event.

The Vermont senator, who is Jewish, bobbed his head as the congregation sang along with the choir's organ, electric guitar and tambourines. Female ushers, donning white gloves and skirt suits, clapped and swayed in the aisles.

After being introduced as "the next president of the United States of America" by the Rev. Frantz Whitfield, Sanders gave an abbreviated stump speech in front of a mural depicting Jesus Christ's baptism by John the Baptist.

“I don’t have to tell anybody in this room that our great country today faces many serious problems,” he said.

While Iowa and New Hampshire are home to some of the smallest black populations in the country, the African-American vote will become crucial as the Democratic nominating contest moves to other states. Polling in other early state contests, particularly South Carolina, show Hillary Clinton holding a commanding lead among black voters.

The Sanders campaign is hoping a strong showing among African-Americans in Iowa will convince minorities in other states to give him a second look. Even with just 101,000 black Iowans, or 3.3 percent of the population, any political move here easily turns into national news in the lead-up to the Feb. 1 first-in-the-nation caucuses.

Waterloo, Des Moines, and Davenport are three of the centers of the black population in Iowa.

Remember that Obama won 72% of the black vote in Iowa in the 2008 caucuses. Given the closeness of that vote, the black vote was a part of a significant coalition of votes that gave Obama a win in Iowa.

If the race in Iowa further tightens then the black vote in Iowa, small as it is in terms of percentages (in 2008, black voters were 4% of the total Democratic caucus voters in Iowa), this type of outreach might be crucial (and I'm trying not to throw shade at all of those white faces in a historicaly black church).

This is critical for Sanders...from Hardy's story

Miriam Tyson, a longtime political activist in Waterloo, said much of Clinton's cachet with African-Americans comes from name recognition and the work of her husband, former president Bill Clinton. Tyson, a registered Democrat who hasn't decided who she is caucusing for, said after Saturday's Waterloo rally that she's drawn to Sanders' focus on the working and middle classes.

But Sanders needs to ramp up old-fashioned politicking with black communities if he wants to win them over, she said.

"He needs to go immerse himself in a culture," she said. "He needs to go to the churches. He needs to stop by the barbershops."

Tyson, who is black, said Democrats of color, like all voters, need to research all candidates and not rely on name recognition when it comes time to vote.

"Yes, you have an affinity or love or passion for Secretary Clinton," Tyson said, "but I think you should also look at what Bernie Sanders is talking about and what Martin O'Malley is talking about."

Wayne Steger, a political science professor at DePaul University, said both Hillary and Bill Clinton have spent decades building strong relationships with influential black politicians, activists and ministers.

"That kind of familiarity is hard to beat as a newbie on the national scene.," he said.

And while Iowa isn't nearly as diverse as other states, Steger said it still makes sense for Sanders to reach out to minority populations here, where so many reporters and cameras are camped out for coverage.

"Bernie isn't doing well enough nationally to get large numbers of media to follow him around the country, so he can stage events where the media are — which is in Iowa more than anywhere else at this point in the race," he said.

Dispossesed in the Land of Dreams by Monica Potts

The New Republic by Monica Potts

Dispossesed in the Land of Dreams:
Those left behind by Silicon Valley’s technology boom struggle to stay in the place they call home.
December 13, 2015

A majority of the homeless population in Palo Alto—93 percent—ends up sleeping outside or in their cars. In part, that’s because Palo Alto, a technology boomtown that boasts a per capita income well over twice the average for California, has almost no shelter space: For the city’s homeless population, estimated to be at least 157, there are just 15 beds that rotate among city churches through a shelter program called Hotel de Zink; a charity organizes a loose network of 130 spare rooms, regular people motivated to offer up their homes only by neighborly goodwill. The lack of shelter space in Palo Alto—and more broadly in Santa Clara and San Mateo counties, which comprise the peninsula south of San Francisco and around San Jose—is unusual for an area of its size and population. A 2013 census showed Santa Clara County having more than 7,000 homeless people, the fifth-highest homeless population per capita in the country and among the highest populations sleeping outside or in unsuitable shelters like vehicles.

San Francisco and the rest of the Bay Area are gentrifying rapidly—especially with the most recent Silicon Valley surge in social media companies, though the trend stretches back decades—leading to a cascade of displacement of the region’s poor, working class, and ethnic and racial minorities. In San Francisco itself, currently the city with the most expensive housing market in the country, rents increased 13.5 percent in 2014 from the year before, leading more people to the middle-class suburbs. As real estate prices rise in places like Palo Alto, the middle class has begun to buy homes in the exurbs of the Central Valley, displacing farmworkers there.

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