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Response to EffieBlack (Original post)

Sun Feb 28, 2016, 11:35 PM

178. I think white Bernie supporters, and I'm one, should just shut up and listen.

We are both a movement and a campaign. Movements last a much longer time than a campaign. There's not a lot of time during a campaign to make oneself familiar and to make supporters comfortable, especially with groups who are rightly suspicious of strangers promising good things. I think many Bernie supporters expected it would be easy to attract AA's and Latinx and that's clearly not the case and never should have been thought the case. It does smack of taking AA's and Latinx's support for granted - something the Left bristles at when looking at the DNC.

It a movement and it needs to build coalitions. This takes time to develop the trust needed to work together. It's a good question to ask what Bernie has risked and, I hope, it would also be asked of Hillary, but I don't think white Bernie supporters gain much by pointing out Hillary's deficiencies. In some respects Bernie has less to risk. His seat in Congress is one of the safer ones. He doesn't try to be all things to all people. He can take sympathetic positions, honest positions, and not really have to pay much political cost. I think he could be bolder, but most of all he needs a team of AA and Latinx advisors who can help him dialog with AA voters and together develop strategies to meet shared goals. Right now he has a national stage. He might use that stage to hold a dialog about race. Instead of always offering answers, he could be asking what the questions should be and then what possible answers might be. And his white supporters would do well to do the same.

As far as whether or not AA are voting against their own interests, that's really not a question for whites to enter the discussion. It's arrogant to assume as outsiders what a group's or individual's interests are. We can listen. We can offer what we stand for. We can offer to work together. But we can't argue.

One of Bernie's strengths in this campaign is that I don't think he sees losing the primary as defeat because the movement will continue. There's freedom in that position and I think you can tell that by comparing how the candidates conduct their campaigns. Bernie's supporters would do well to remember that we are playing a long game that doesn't end with the primary or the November elections. Saturday's results just means we have more work to do.

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LineReply I think white Bernie supporters, and I'm one, should just shut up and listen.
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