Dear Bernie Sanders, Racism is NOT Poverty and Poor Whites are NOT Like Blacks Living Under Apartheid
Ok, I’m not trying to be judgmental, but, does Bernie Sanders know anything about racism?
I only ask because it seems like daily we find another one of his old interviews where he says the most batshit things about Black People in relation to White People, and I am at the point where I have started wondering if he is stupid, racist, evil, crazy, or some combination thereof. When I am faced with making a judgement call about the character of a person, I usually find myself left with the most basic dilemma we face in those situations: Stupid or Evil? This is usually after I have ruled out “Crazy” as a factor, although, I reserve the right to bring crazy back into the mix at any point, because as you know, crazy can sneak up on you.
Which brings me to Bernie Sanders. I’m sure you’ve all heard by now that Bernie equated White Vermont Workers with Black Slaves, and how he praised George Wallace’s sensitivity. That was last week.
THIS week, we find out that Bernie Sanders “once likened poor whites to blacks living under Apartheid.”
Yippie! Finally, we are hearing something International! Yay!
Let me explain the tiny bit I know about Apartheid.
Remember Apartheid? If you were a Black Child born in the 50’s, 60’s, 70’s, or 80’s, you probably made a sign and attended a protest against South African Apartheid at some point in your childhood. Some of us who lived in predominately Black neighborhoods made signs at school and learned HOW to protest BECAUSE OF South African Apartheid. If you know a bit of history, you know that defacto segregation and racial discrimination were already a way of life for South African Blacks before Apartheid was enacted, and they already had many oppressive race laws on the books. They should have felt secure. But in 1948 WWII was over, Hitler was dead, racism was starting to be frowned upon in Europe, and DE-Colonization was beginning to gain steam. So, naturally South African Whites were paranoid. Whites were privileged minorities, completely controlled government, and they wanted things to remain in their favor; so they needed even MORE laws to maintain that privilege. Apartheid Acts were used to further abuse Black South Africans, oppress them, limit their travels, separate them, and hopefully drive Blacks into relinquishing their citizenship. Apartheid is often compared to Jim Crow, yet, Apartheid was it’s own hell, perhaps even worse than our Jim Crow, with a uniquely evil set of laws governing racial policy. Or maybe they were equally terrible as we were, and I am just naive.
At a 1986 public forum, Sanders said poor Vermonters “are the equivalent of blacks in South Africa. They don’t vote, they aren’t involved, they don’t care about the issues,” according to the Bennington Banner in Vermont. Sanders amended his statement after one observer on stage commented about his “pretty fiery oratory.”
“Obviously the analogy is not true,” Sanders then responded, “because in South Africa the blacks are not invisible — they are beginning to stand up.”
Is he trying to say poor whites are invisible and therefore have it worse than Blacks under Apartheid? OMG, yes. He tried it.
Let’s see if poor white Americans and black South Africans were dealing with similar levels of oppression and burdens, so we can figure out where the fuck Bernie was getting his ideas from way back in 1986. Here are links to some of the more “Important” Apartheid Laws.
No, poor Whites were NOT prohibited from marrying Blacks in 1986.
No, poor Whites were NOT prohibited from FUCKING Blacks in 1986.
No, poor Whites were NOT removed from the Voter Rolls.
No, poor Whites were NOT required to carry a “dompas” or passbook to be allowed to leave their hometown and travel around the state or nation.
No, poor Whites were NOT segregated out and forced to use “Separate but Equal” public accommodations.
No, poor Whites were NOT prohibited by law from resisting oppression.
No, poor Whites were NOT limited in what they were allowed to study.
No, poor Whites were not subject to having their domestic farm animals slaughtered if other Whites felt they had too many.
No, poor Whites were not prohibited in any way from fighting for social justice, economic equality, political change, and were not imprisoned for attempting to do so.
How the fuck is living Black under Apartheid like being a poor white person, Senator Sanders?
I cannot find ONE similarity between how Blacks were oppressed in South Africa and how poor Whites were treated here at home. Not one law was put on the books to single out poor Whites for punishments, burdens, segregation or anything else, so why the fuck would you say this bullshit then or at any time?
Why does Bernie Sanders continually minimize the suffering of Black humans in relation to poor Whites?
Because, if he admits we, as Black People, have unique problems that were not caused by money, but were instead caused by White People, including POOR White People, he will have to admit his solutions will not help Black People equally to White People. And since his Revolution depends on White People joining, he cannot be seen giving Black People “extra help” or relief targeted specifically towards our community. Every single program has to be “for Everybody” or his White supporters will resent it, blame us, and drop-kick his movement into the dustbin of history.
In 1978, according to the Rutland Daily Herald, Sanders compared the plight of many across the planet to slavery, saying that “I believe that the vast majority of the people of the world and of this country are living in a slave-like condition not terribly different from what existed in this country before the Civil War.”
Well, you believe entirely stupid shit that you made up, because it’s pretty obvious we’d all notice the change if we became slaves tomorrow. The average slave before the Civil War lived a fucked up and wretched life.
Life on the fields meant working sunup to sundown six days a week and having food sometimes not suitable for an animal to eat. Plantation slaves lived in small shacks with a dirt floor and little or no furniture. Life on large plantations with a cruel overseer was oftentimes the worst. However, work for a small farm owner who was not doing well could mean not being fed….A slave was not permitted to keep a gun. If caught carrying a gun, the slave received 39 lashes and forfeited the gun. Blacks were held incompetent as witnesses in legal cases involving whites. The education of slaves was prohibited. Anyone operating a school or teaching reading and writing to any African-American in Missouri could be punished by a fine of not less than $500 and up to six months in jail. Slaves could not assemble without a white person present.
Let’s see how that compares to the harsh plight of poor Northern whites.
“What about the 800 workers?” Sanders asked, according to the Brattleboro Reformer. “They were informed about the sale four days before it was publicly announced. They were sold to the Swiss. No one asked them how they felt about it. They weren’t treated very differently from the way black people in this country were treated when there was slavery.”
Um. How about you shut the fuck up and keep Black People’s name out cho mouth? They were treated very fucking differently, what the fuck kind of crack smoke was blowing around Brattleboro back in the day? Looks like Bernie got a contact high and numbed his brain, because this is the absolute hottest of hot takes I have ever seen. But don’t you worry! Brie Brie is here to smooth things over like she always does so that nobody thinks Bernie is just a racist old white man who needs to retire so he can knit and walk in the woods with his grand-babies all day forever and have a million seats.
“We expect to see these desperate last-minute attacks continue as long as this movement thrives, but Americans trust Bernie Sanders, and they can identify a cynical, politically motivated ploy when they see one,” Sanders’ national press secretary, Briahna Joy Gray, said in a written statement. Sanders, the statement added, has rising support from black voters, a diverse coalition of backers, policies that help minorities, and a “long record of commitment to racial equality.”
TRASH. Rather than admit that he said some problematic shit and explain how he corrected his thinking, Brie Brie decides to dismiss the whole shebang and use the never ending “Bernie is a VICTIM!” defense, just like we knew she would. I’m kind of left wondering if Bernie still believes this same ass stupid shit or has he finally realized how insane he was?
I’m not the only Black person who thinks Bernie has some serious issues when it comes to his racial views, but everyone else is much nicer than me in how they deliver the message. Lucky for Bernie, because I just see him as completely hopeless, kinda racist, and so attached to whiteness, he will never be able to fully see me as a black woman or care enough to understand how America interacts with blackness.
“I’m not sure if he’s recognized that he is severely limited in his analysis as a white male of privilege. I know he’s a Jewish man, but a white male of privilege,” said LaTosha Brown, co-founder of Black Voters Matter. “He leads from believing that class is the greatest sin of America and not race, that is his weakness to me. It’s a false equivalency around race and class — he just has a blind spot.”
It’s not “just” a blind spot. It’s like his eyes were surgically removed and the last thing he saw was Deliverance.
Quentin James, executive director of The Collective, a political committee that aids African-American candidates, said that Sanders’ biggest liability with black voters is that he never attempted to build meaningful relationships with black lawmakers and community figures until he ran for president.
He’s a opportunistic little shit, you mean?
“He’s been in office for decades, but now that he needs black people he’s here,” said James, whose group is neutral in the race.
Go away, Bernie. This is one of my main problems with Bernie Sanders. He spent decades largely ignoring Black People after his “White Flight” to Vermont, then suddenly one day he turned up waving Black and White Civil Rights photos from 57 years ago, and takes full credit for fighting for Black people the entire 56 years he was gone. Yet, we have no evidence of any of his fights for Black Liberation after 1963.
“Every white candidate in the nomination process has a problem with race,” James said, “Biden answered for it and was held accountable. Now it’s Sanders’ turn.”
This. I’m sure Bernie is super dooper oppressed by the Super-delegates, Hillary’s opinions, Bloomberg getting to debate, and all that private jet travel, but guess what? He still needs to be held just as accountable on race as Joe Biden or Pete Buttigieg or Amy Kloubuchar. It’s telling how Bernie always dismisses racial concerns and concerns about his shitty views on race while everyone else has to try to answer like they actually give a shit. And it’s not cute how the media continues to prop him up by going hard after his opponents while leaving him to coast along without any explanations whatsoever.
Bernie Sanders is the whole entire buffoon, and his non-stop attempts to equate the sufferings of poor white in poverty to the sufferings of poor blacks (or any blacks) under Jim Crow, Slavery, and now, Apartheid, need to be called the hell out right the hell now. And NOT just by me. The media needs to do their jobs. I get that Sanders seems to have decided at some point after 1963 that the unique experience of Blacks under White Supremacy needed to be reduced down to class issues for him to understand them. It’s mighty fucked up that he apparently needed to make the sufferings of whites seem just as bad as the sufferings of blacks. I guess this was necessary in order for his “one size fits all” “economic solutions for everything plan” to make sense, even to himself. This would be fine, if it were at all true, but since it’s not, it just amounts to a Whitewashed view of the culture we live in, and racist erasure of the lived experience of Black People for the entire time we have existed in America.