This piece explores the limits of racial politics in the Sanders’ campaign, providing helpful reflections towards the development of more multi-racial forms of left populism in the years to come.
His underlying view – that racism will be ameliorated by curbing Wall Street and excessive capitalism – is right: black and brown Americans would fare much better under this approach than we would under Hillary Clinton’s Wall Street influence or the color-blind “rising tide will lift all boats” nonsense that Obama espoused. But no corrective of American economics can be color-blind while creating equality for people of all races. This is what Sanders either doesn’t get, or doesn’t seem inclined to discuss…
The emerging black and brown coalition – first harnessed electorally under President Obama, and more radicalized because of Black Lives Matter – doesn’t want a Trump v Clinton death match. It does not suffer from a failure of political imagination or feel checkmated. But it does want to be considered beyond moments of crisis.
The failure to connect more broadly with this coalition is on Senator Sanders, who still can’t seem to imagine a path to victory in which the defeat of racism is foregrounded at all times. It’s as if he’s willing to let a technical defeat with super-delegates from past states swallow him up when he could be mobilizing an electric, unbeatable black and brown force in California.
You can read the full article on the Guardian here: http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2016/may/03/bernie-sanders-failure-diversity-hispanic-black-voters?CMP=share_btn_fb