A couple of white guys once had a conversation, within earshot of many, e.g. more than a few, black guys. We were part of a class at an unconventional school, and in some ways, the teachers were not the very best. It was the Midwest, we were young, and all of us rather detested them. On this day these guys said so, but using a regrettable phrase. There are many variants of the colloquial expression they employed. The convicts are running the jail, the inmates are running the asylum. Yet a third goes, The monkeys are running the zoo. Our Caucasian subjects chose the latter, a choice they would soon live to regret.
No sooner had these words been spoken, which I do believe the white guys did not mean in the context in which it was taken, then began a great hullabaloo. Suddenly, a vast and angry crowd, a Million Man March cast in miniature, surrounded these two hapless white guys, whose attitudes were challenged roughly. Their receptiveness was not an issue, though experts might have sworn they were terrified.
There was no violence, nor direct verbal threat of violence, but white and whiteness quickly became the dialogical focus. As a white guy present in the place, I was able neither to grab the popcorn nor escape to outer space, and edifying conversation made mincemeat of my freedom of choice. My awareness had been raised like the scrubbing of a sink, and thus I, Ajax, walked away enhanced and undiminished.
A group of fanatical Bernie Sanders supporters went scrounging around the Internet recently, digging up old blog posts of a homophobic nature published many years ago by JoyAnn Reid, host of MSNBC’s popular morning talk show AM Joy.
There are no doubt the content of the posts were wrong. Reid apologized for the unkind things she’d said in the past, owned it, and moved forward. Her apology serves as a model for us all.
But that is not the issue here. Those posts were dug up and released for a reason. And genuine concern over the threat Joy Reid might pose to the LGBT community does not appear to be it.
An outsider might be taken aback by the vehemence of such a statement, especially as a headline. But it happens to be true. And its contents tell a very ugly story.
An Internet campaign was started by Bernie supporters under the hashtag #FireJoyReid in November 2017 after Reid “made the mistake” of mentioning Jane Sanders in a series of tweets.
What we're also learning is that it's not just a media problem. The same dynamic plays out throughout our society, from the restaurant boss to the White House. The change that's needed here is a system-wide societal reboot.
Um… I get that he has a hardcore following, but his own attitudes toward women, from his weird early writings to his physical dismissal of women in his presence (including his own wife) make that an incredibly dubious prospect.
Medium’s Investigator did the research necessary to identify its core members- a tightly knit group of Bernie Bros.
They identify usually as members of the DSA (Democratic Socialists of America), and they all proudly proclaim to have voted for Jill Stein.
Among many other unpleasant characteristics, the group makes a practice of producing, tweeting, and retweeting racist pictures, like this one of Kamala Harris.
Behind this campaign is the fact that a lot of black voters didn’t vote for Bernie. The anger this produced by a part of the Bernie left has been gigantic. That’s hard to understand, given Bernie’s record, but that is beside the point.
This Millennial Democrats contributor would be hard-pressed to think of a single other circumstance, in which white people could treat black people like this, without hardly a soul being outraged.
Anecdotally, this writer remembers being told during the election, that the South “did not matter”, because their states would go red in the general election. Were that to be accepted as truth, it would disenfranchise half the country’s Democrats and a huge percentage of the black ones.
Back in 2014, during a number of interviews, Bernie described the type of voters he wanted to appeal to.
“Well, here’s what you got. What you got is an African-American president, and the African-American community is very, very proud that this country has overcome racism (Editor’s note-????) and voted for him for president. And that’s kind of natural. You’ve got a situation where the Republican Party has been strongly anti-immigration, and you’ve got a Hispanic community which is looking to the Democrats for help.”