Bernie Sanders, Invoking MLK, and Erasure

Democratic candidate Bernie Sanders has a habit of invoking MLK in his speeches as he attempts to bring his economic message to Americans. Time and time again we hear him tell of Dr. King’s fight for the economic security of the Men and Women that he gave his life fighting for. It’s a wonderful thing to spread that message and fight the good fight against Economic Inequality. But there is something missing from the discussion. Black People.

Let’s dig into an example, shall we? Here goes:

“This he did much more than just fight segregation and racism,” Sanders told more than 5,000 supporters at the Fox Theatre in downtown Atlanta.

Sanders continued with a lengthy history lesson seemingly aimed at both the black voters he must win over to catch Hillary Rodham Clinton and the younger, white voters who dominated the raucous Fox assembly.

” Just fight racism and segregation?” Oh really? Eh, no big deal, right? To the Senator, it seems as if the fight for black liberation was just a blip on the radar; the real fight was not JUST fighting racism and segregation, but fighting the oligarchy. The nameless faceless cabal of evil that is keeping everybody down. He fails to even realize that White Supremacy is OUR oligarchy, and the fight is far far from over.

Now, do I think he does not know this? Of course not. To be inclusive to his audience and to adhere to his rigid ideology, Sanders must sanitize Dr. King from a black revolutionary, to a racial appeaser and find a way to give himself and his mostly white audience/fanbase ownership of Dr. King’s legacy.

He does it again for us here when discussing the Sanitation Strikers:

Sometimes people forget he was assassinated because he stood up with sanitation workers fighting for decent wages and decent working conditions,” Sanders said, referring to King being shot in 1968 in Memphis, where he went to support striking workers.

Sanders added that King was, at the time of his death, planning another march for the poor. “It was a march not just of African-Americans, but of Latinos, of whites, of all people in this country to march on Washington to demand fundamental changes in our national priorities,” said Sanders, who calls on the campaign trail for a “political revolution” in the U.S.


Notice anything? Those sanitation workers were not just people fighting for fair wages and working conditions. Those strikers were BLACK MEN, fighting for the same wages and working conditions as WHITE MEN. Through Erasure, he completely leaves out very important Basic historical facts in order to appeal to his base. And it is completely unnecessary and just plain wrong to do. If one is planning on invoking the legacy of a Black Revolutionary from OUR battle for liberation in America, one needs to not erase their very blackness in order to promote their ideology. In my opinion, it is things like this that preclude him from being the candidate of Black Americans as well as of his White Male dominated base. In order to appeal to them, certain things must be sanitized from history.


I will close with a link to the actual history of the Memphis Sanitation Workers Strike and you can read the history of those courageous black men for yourself. They said:



Bernie Sanders and the Peter Principle

Has Bernie Sanders Reached the Point of ‘Peter Principle’
What is the Peter Principle anyway? According to Wikipedia “The Peter principle is a concept in management theory formulated by Laurence J. Peter in which the selection of a candidate for a position is based on the candidate’s performance in their current role, rather than on abilities relevant to the intended role. Thus, employees only stop being promoted once they can no longer perform effectively, and “managers rise to the level of their incompetence.””

So, how does this relate to Bernie Sanders? To get a measure of how he performs in his current role, we have to go back to Netroots Nation. At Netroots Bernie Sanders and Martin O’malley were confronted by Black Lives Matter activists and were put on notice that the black vote would have to be earned. Although O’malley initially stumbled, he recovered immediately following the event and met with activists afterward.

So, what about Bernie? Bernie stumbled badly, he angrily reminded the protesters of his civil rights record, he was flustered, he left the stage, and he neglected to meet with Black Lives Matter activists, opting to instead send a staffer. Ouch.

Every campaign and candidate has a stumble or two, but they rally and come up with solutions to prevent similar occurrences in the future. Not so with the Sanders campaign.

It was in Seattle. Bernie was speaking at an event to a crowd of like minded folks that resembled the crowd from the Regatta event that launched his campaign.—bernie-sanders-kicks-off-his-presidential-campaign

Bernie Sanders was interrupted by not one, but TWO black women. Black women determined to call out the City of Seattle on the gentrification and White Supremacy that envelopes their lives in a coccoon of fear, pain, jail, poverty and death. Was Bernie’s immediate reaction empathy? Not really. Not only did he seem to lack empathy, but his grassroots used to occasion to falsely accuse the two young ladies of assaulting him… His internet army suited up for battle, cargo pants and chinos pressed and ready, iPads charged and they got into formation. This was war. How DARE those black women accuse them all of personally being white supremacists? Though that never happened, they went out to fight anyway, searching for black people who dared use the internet to tell Berniesoblack jokes, who questioned Bernie’s record, who did not care if Bernie marched with MLK. I even recieved a letter of my very own in the mail..

But I digress. How does this relate to the Peter Principle? I’ll tell you. Leadership. Bernie lacks the leadership ability to keep his grassroots from becoming a hindrance to his campaign’s ability to grow his coalition of voters. Bernie says nothing as his grass roots supporers harass John Lewis, random black people, Hillary supporters and any news organization that did not say he won the debate.

Bernie is no leader. Bernie is no manager. Bernie is no executive. Bernie will not be President.

You Don’t Get To Tell Me Bernie Sanders Is My Friend

Best article of the day!!!!

Scott Woods Makes Lists

If anyone had to name fifty white people in the 20th century that have helped black people – literally committed themselves to the cause of black people for longer than a march – Sanders probably wouldn’t make any of those lists. He certainly wouldn’t make any of the lists by generated by black people, and that’s because Bernie Sanders is not a racial justice crusader. And it’s okay to say that out loud.

In the 1960s it wasn’t the hardest thing in the world for someone like him to step into that movement and play a part. Even someone on the fence with their racism could see how wrong segregation was and how inhumane black people were being treated under it. That’s so easy we still allow teachers to teach it that way in schools: that the television saved black people by enlightening white people over dinner about racism. That…

View original post 1,206 more words

A message to the supporters of Bernie Sanders

I wrote this message to a supporter of Senator Sander’s Presidential Campaign, but it really was directed at his supporters as a group:

Now, I am Ideologically similar to Bernie as far as my politics go, although I find myself putting a bit more emphasis on the social justice aspect, rather than the economical. I see you as an ally in the fight for Black lives matters and appreciate that and hope that everyone can join us in our fight. You are on my side in my fight for justice, and I am on your side in your fight for economic fairness.

I do not hate Bernie or his supporters. I actually prefer Bernie and do not like Hillary. If I say things about what I think is hurting him with black voters, it is not because I want to trash him or you guys, I want you to know what I see and really am trying to help.

I want Bernie’s supporters to include things that are important to black voters and place them at the top of the list of urgent business. I truly believe that the group that wins the support of black activists in movements like Black Lives Matters will win the black vote. And similarly with Latinos, the person and supporters that show the most concern, listen to hispanics in our nation and empathizes and places their concerns at the top along with economic and social justice will win their respect and votes. Minority communities are big on respect and appreciate attention paid to the issues that affect our communities specifically. We also want our vote earned and for the candidates to come to us and ask for our votes.

Bernie and his group have to spread goodwill throughout the Obama coalition. They need to steal Hillary voters. I fear that the active dislike for the man that many African Americans respect and love (honestly, we place him at the top of the list of All Time Greatest African Americans, above Martin Luther King Jr and MalcolmX, he to us is the all time greatest African American) is harming Bernie tremendously. We have an emotional connection to him, no amount of logic and policy discussions will change that. We do not like people who do not appreciate him and his accomplishments.

I say these things not to harn; but to assist. When I speak with other African Americans about the policy issues and differences between the candidates, they seem to actually PREFER Bernie’s positions. But there is a lack of trust, and we find it difficult to get interested in a new (to us) candidate. We know the Clintons. We know they made terrible decisions. But when supporters beat us up with those facts, it shuts down the conversation and everyone retreats to their previously held positions. The Clintons are our default choice. The Clintons are praising Obama and that brings them enough goodwill to assuage the fears of another Welfare Reform debacle or Mass Incarceration mess. The Clintons are busy speaking on our issues and apologizing for past mistakes. I know that does not make up for the past, but when has America EVER made up for things done to black people? Never. An apology for hurting us is so damn rare that we forgive.

Now, I think we can get through this netroots debacle, but Bernie’s supporters HAVE to listen to the members of the African American community and bite their tongues and figure out how to use the information we provide effectively. Life is a learning experience.

I have a few suggestions: in order to steal votes Bernie needs Obma voters. Please let people know that it is very counterproductive to trash Obama in any way really. We are so used to black leaders being trashed and hated and despised that we as a group will tune out any bad mouthing and silently hate the person speaking. It really doesn’t matter if it is just about SEVERE disappointment with his policies or seeing him as too far to the right; it turns off potential black voters. Speak instead on how Bernie will defend the gains Obama made and expand upon them. It will be more effective.

Another thing is you all need to know that Black people LIKE the Clintons. Yes, they fucked up. But it seems that we are forgiving them and waiting to hear more about how Hillary will undo some of the policies and ensure that we work on the insititutional racism. Many are willing to give them a chance to fix things. It does not help Bernie AT ALL when folks talk crazy to black folks about liking the Clintons after all the damage they have done. It might help you to see this as a sign that black people can be willing to give multiple chances. This bad time with minority voters can be fixed.

I’d also suggest that his supporters might want to stop saying that economic justice and social justice are the same thing or that one brings the other. And maybe stop calling non Bernie supporters uninformed or implying that they are stupid or Hillary supporters. I get accused of supporting Hillary because I am saying these things to and about Bernie supporters. I understand that I have been a bit unkind by broadbrushing his supporters and I am sorry. I apologize for that and will try to do better. I just do not like my concern dismissed or my community or activists being disrespected or called right wing plants.

There is nothing wrong with being excited for a candidate. Or being an idealist. But it is not a winning strategy on it’s own. Votes are needed to win. Bernie has the leftish progressive white liberals on his side and he has their support. He NEEDS more. Compromises will have to be made and tongues will have to be bitten to win the hearts and minds of the rest of the Democratic coalition.

Sorry about the super long post, but I just wanted to get that out there and see if anybody would take what I say seriously and help end this meme with the quickness. I do not like Bernie’s supporters having the reputation of being mean, or intelligence snobs or hating black people. The only way to turn the tide is to change course. If you guys could collectively just be nice to black people and listen to us and support us in this fight for our lives and freedom; fight just as hard as you fight FOR Bernie, this problem would be a thing of the past.

Convicted by an all white jury ~ The stolen lives of Black men

The Civil Rights Act of 1875 extended the rights of African-Americans, allowing them ‘public accommodation’ and the right to participate in juries. In 1883 the Supreme Court overturned the act with an 8-1 majority, leading to the 1896 Ferguson v. Plessy decision which enshrined the unofficial ‘Jim Crow’ codes into law. Years later, our society is still suffering the effects of these laws, with many black men being tried, not by a jury of their peers, but by all White juries, resulting in convictions for innocent Black men. Recently, with the spread of DNA testing and improved forensics, we are seeing a wave of black males being exonerated and set free after many years in prison. Here are a few cases from the first 15 years of the millennium.

Case # 1    Marvin Lamont Anderson

In 2001, DNA testing exonerated its 99th man, permitting Marvin Anderson to walk free from prison.

As an 18-year-old young man, Marvin was convicted by a jury of Robbery, forcible sodomy, abduction, and two counts of rape on December 14, 1982. He was sentenced to 210 years in the Virginia State Penitentiary. Mr. Anderson spent 15 years in the prison before being released on Lifetime Parole. He then embarked on a long, hard journey to clear his name.

The victim in the case, a young white woman, had been approached by a black man while she was riding her bike. He brutally raped and sodomized her. During the encounter, the suspect told the victim that he ‘had a white girl’ of his own. During the investigation, a police officer singled out Mr. Anderson, as he was the only black man who the officer knew of that was living with a white woman.

Mr. Anderson had no criminal record, so the officers placed a color ‘work I.D.’ of Mr. Anderson’s in a photo array, among the black and white mug shots they used for the photo line up. The victim chose his photo.

At the trial, the victim testified in detail, describing the assault and the perpetrator. The defense offered an alibi for the time of the assault in the testimony of the girlfriend of the defendant, saying that he was with her at the time. An all white Jury convicted him on all counts.

In 1988 John Otis Lincoln came forward, and admitted his involvement at a Habeas Corpus hearing. The judge called him a liar and rejected his claims of guilt. In 1993 Mr. Anderson asked for clemency from the Governor. He was rejected again. In 1994 the Innocence project accepted his case and the court battle stretched out for years ending in 2001. After 15 years in prison and 4 years on parole, Marvin Lamont Anderson was exonerated. He received a monetary settlement, but no one can give him back the years he lost.

Case#2   Glenn Ford

In another astonishing case of unequal justice, 34-year-old Glenn Ford was convicted by an all white jury in the 1983 robbery and murder of Isadore Rozeman, a Shreveport watchmaker, found shot to death behind the jewelry counter of his shop.

Mr. Ford was a native of California who sometimes did yard work for Rozeman, and was convicted by a jury of the murder along with several others, and sentenced to death by electrocution. He spent years on death row in the Louisiana State Penitentiary, from where he filed numerous appeals on his conviction which were denied.

In the year 2000, the Louisiana Supreme Court ordered a hearing. In the hearing, held in 2004, it was revealed that evidence had been withheld from the defense, his lawyers had been inexperienced, and a number of issues were raised pertaining to the evidence. The motion was denied.

In 2012, a writ of Habeas Corpus was filed in the case, and during that time the DA began it’s own reinvestigation of the case. It was revealed that one of the men convicted of the crime along with Mr. Ford had admitted his guilt to an informant. Mr. Ford was released in 2014. He lost 30 years of his life.

Case# 3 George Stinney Jr.

It only took the jury 10 minutes to convict George Stinney. 10 minutes to convict a 95 pound, 14-year-old boy of the brutal murder of two young girls. Betty June Binnaker and Mary Emma Thames were found beaten to death in the town of Alcolu, South Carolina. They had been seen speaking with George and his sister near the Stinney property while on a bike ride to pick flowers. They asked the Stinney children if they knew where to find ‘maypops’. When the young girls never returned, a search party was organized to find them. The girl’s bodies were recovered from a muddy ditch.

Based solely upon the circumstantial evidence that they had been seen with Stinney, he was arrested and charged with the brutal double murder (super negro strength). The Stinney family suffered horribly during this time period, threats of lynching and other assorted violence were leveled at the family. They fled town, fearing for their lives, leaving everything behind that they could not carry. And their son was left alone in a cell for 83 days, waiting for trial.

The terrified child would find no justice in this land. The trial, jury selection, and verdict all came within a day. The jury deliberated for about 10 minutes.

George Stinney Jr was so small on the day of his execution, June 14, 1944,  that they had to seat him on phone books in order to properly kill him.

In December 2014, George Stinney Jr was exonerated of the crime of murder. 70 years too late. Like many, there has been no justice for George Stinney.

Top 5 Racial Upheaval Moments of 2014

2014 was a banner year for racial upheaval in America. I’d like to take you all on a trip back in time with me through the rabbit hole. From open carry activists to racist cartoons; the year of our lord 2014 was full to the brim with Klanners, Vote Deniers, Racist Politicians, protests, and much more. This list will be in no particular order, so don’t get mad if your favorite moment is low on the list. To me, all racism is equal.

1. Iggy Azalea

Iggy Azalea, the Australian Hip Hop sensation had a banner year for racist tweets and victim playing. While being ‘Fancy’, she managed to climb her way to the top of the game with classic lyrics referring to herself as ‘The Runway Slave Master’. Let’s not forget her twitter account. She looooves Twitter. Cannot stay off of Twitter.

Let’s have a look at some of her best Tweets.

“Bit**** in la be stick skinny. White, Black, Mexican… Okay, so maybe not Mexican :s they still got the box body on lock”


” This Asian lady on the plane tried to act like she didn’t understand me, I told her a** bi*** u gone know English today cause that’s my seat”

Very nice Iggy. All of those ‘bigots’ keep harassing you for being white in Hip Hop. It has absolutely NOTHING to do with your racist commentary. Keep it Classy. Or, shall I say, “Fancy”?

2. The Michael Brown murder

On August 9, 2014 Michael Brown, an unarmed teen due to start college soon, was gunned down in the streets of Ferguson, Mo by police officer Darren Wilson. What followed that tragic event was stunning. Many thousands of dollars in donations poured in along with widespread support from across the nation. Not for the victim’s family, but for the killer.

Protests began in response to the lack of arrest of the police officer who killed Mike Brown, who was said by many witnesses to have had his hands up in the air, surrendering, at the time he was killed.

The inept handling of the case by police officials and prosecutors led to a no true bill in the grand jury. Witnesses who were known liars were allowed to testify as was the shooter, a deviation from common practice.

There still has been no justice for Mike Brown and family, although his death led to widespread protests throughout the nation. The Justice Department is investigating.

3. The Lynching of Lennon Lacy

High school football player Lennon Lacy’s death was ruled a suicide. The 17 year old was found hanging from a swing set in Bladenboro, N.C. The young man had been involved in a relationship with a 31 year old caucasian woman in his small, racially tense community. Lennon was found hanging from a belt his family did not recognize, wearing a pair of shoes that were two sizes too small. His death was ruled a suicide. His family believes he was lynched. The FBI is probing this case.

4. The Murder of Eric Garner

Eric Garner, father, husband, and sports fan was killed by the NYPD for the crime of selling loose cigarettes. It is not known if he was selling loose cigarettes at the time of his killing.

Eric Garner was accosted by police officers who suspected him of selling loose cigarettes. His death was recorded by a concerned bystander. On the video, Mr. Garner tells the officers ‘I can’t breathe!” His final words became a rallying cry for anti police violence protesters.

The officers involved in his death will not be prosecuted by the local DA’s office, the grand jury having returned a ‘no true’ bill in this case.

There has of yet been no justice for Eric Garner.

5. Fox News

Need I say more? Fox News spent much of 2014 thuggifying black Americans. As they did in 2013, 2012, 2011, 2010, 2009, 2008…

Fox News spent so much time pretending to be asking serious, ‘hard hitting’ questions, that they forgot themselves. During the Eric Garner protests, protesters chanted foul language at the cameras, letting Fox News know how the little people think of them. Fox News does not seem to like free speech aimed at them. I hope to see more people standing up to their abuse in the new year, very loudly, in a First Amendment sort of way.

So, there it is. Those are my top moments in racial upheaval for 2014.