November 24, 2016

Conventional liberals attack Sanders for telling the truth

 The Review has been making Sanders's point since the 1980s and more recently has argued that one of the best things progressives can do is for black, latino and labor leaders to come together and project a common agenda.

Alternet - Liberals have begun scolding Bernie Sanders for challenging identity politics in a speech at the Berklee Performance Center in Boston on Sunday night.

When an audience member asked him how she could become the second Latina senator in U.S. history, Sanders said her gender and ethnicity don’t entitle her to votes.

“I have to know whether that Latina is going to stand up with the working class of this country and is going to take on big money interests,” Sanders said. “It is not good enough for somebody to say, I’m a woman, vote for me. No, that’s not good enough. What we need is a woman who has the guts to stand up to Wall Street, to the insurance companies, to the drug companies, to the fossil fuel industry.”

“In other words, one of the struggles that you’re going to be seeing in the Democratic Party is whether we go beyond identity politics,” he continued. “I think it’s a step forward in America if you have an African-American CEO of some major corporation. But you know what, if that guy is going to be shipping jobs out of this country, and exploiting his workers, it doesn’t mean a whole hell of a lot whether he’s black or white or Latino.”

Talking Points Memo published a report under the misleading headline, “Sanders Urges Supporters: Ditch Identity Politics and Embrace the Working Class.”

In the context of his response, Sanders wasn’t suggesting Democrats “ditch” identity politics or separate class from race, but rather that class and race concerns are linked.

As The New Republic’s Clio Chang noted in her criticism of TPM’s piece, “Post-election, there have been attempts to divide the left between those who support identity politics and those who support class politics. But the two are often inextricable, given the large percentage of minorities in the working class.”

1 comment:

Kevin Carson said...

He didn't "challenge identity politics." He said that race and gender politics weren't sufficient, not that they weren't necessary. The framing that "identity politics" exists in some sort of zero-sum relation to class issues, rather than properly being complementary to it, is bullshit.