Saturday, August 1, 2015

Democrats Versus Black Lives

The New York Times has compiled a video of just over three minutes of some of the police murders of Black folks over the past year.
Antonio Zambrano-Montes as he falls to the ground
The compilation includes citizen cell phone videos and dash cam videos the police have been forced to release. The Times claims they are causing changes in the way police conduct themselves.

Well, at least they've caused the media to start saying they're causing changes in the way police conduct themselves, because the slaughter of Black people by police continues unabated.

What has changed is the rhetoric of Democratic presidential candidates.

The change began two weeks ago following a protest by young Black women involved in the #BlackLivesMatter movement at the Netroots convention in Phoenix during a town hall meeting attended by Bernie Sanders and Martin O'Malley, both of whom were silenced and forced off the stage in turn.

Many white Progressives at the conference, and many more who weighed in on social media, were incensed, but the next day Sanders' and O'Malley's messaging included rhetoric about the ongoing carnage and other issues being raised by young Black people. Hillary Clinton already had on her staff young Black women advisers who can tell her how to talk to Black people, but her rhetoric about police violence and other issues affecting Black people has also been stepped up. The change was reflected in her address to the Urban League conference in Miami yesterday.

Democrats rely on a heavy Black voter turnout in presidential elections. Young Black people are well aware of this and are using it to force Democrats' hands. The Democratic rank and file, even so-called Progressives, aren't as enlightened. As I say, as news of the Netroots Nation protest rocketed around social media it caused a lot of heated debate between white Progressives and young Black people. Many white Progressives thought it was a bad strategic move, or rude, or showing a lack of gratitude. They argued that Democrats have a much better record on civil rights than Republicans. 

Young Black people hear this as being told to shut up and vote Democratic and aren't buying it. They're saying, "Stop killing us." And, "If you want our vote, you'll have to earn it."


  1. Perhaps I'm way off base here, but it seems that sometimes we focus our ire and criticism on those who's opinions and ideas vary from ours in a matter of degrees rather than those who are 180 opposed.

    I think it's entirely appropriate that the black voters hold the dem's feet to the fire. It, coupled with pols like Sanders, might help move the party back to what is should be. I'm reminded of the dictum used in macro science 'small moves'.....blacks have been told this so long and so often that were I them I'd be sick of it.

  2. I can't argue with you. Thanks for the comment.