Dear Sir or White Man,
I’m writing this letter, lurking outside the threshold to equality, peering through the same peephole through which we watched you enjoy 401 years of unfettered, glorious freedom while black people presented themselves as a living sacrifice, offering their necks to nooses, their skulls to batons and their children’s bodies to firebombs.
A few days ago, I was informed that some of you may have a problem with black voters who actually went to voting booths and exercised their right to vote for whomever the fuck they wanted. Apparently, anyone who didn’t vote the way outraged, left-leaning white liberals wanted must have been an uninformed heathen, a moderate or, even worse, a “centrist.”
And now your fragile brittle hearts are broken into a thousand little pieces because black people have rejected the Buddha of Birkenstock-wearers during his quest for the presidency. And, by not choosing Bernie Sanders, Joe Biden supporters are somehow ruining America.
In a piece titled “Voting for the Safe Choice Means Doom for Us All,” Earther, one of our sister sites, expressed this sentiment well:
Rather than embrace a new politics that prioritizes all people equally, a number of Democrats—including former candidates wanting to preserve the status quo—have turned to Biden like a blankie in scary times.
And look, I get it. Things are supremely fucked up right now. But returning to the past to weasel out of the present isn’t going to happen. There is no centrist position on saving the planet, let alone a compromise one with Republicans. And the longer people clamor for the past, the more likely the future will be even more radically different.
Hahahaha! Good one!
Imagine black people ever opting for the status quo.
Also, why don’t they just say “black people”? That’s who rejected Sanders. According to exit polls, Biden bested Sanders among black voters in every state on Super Tuesday, winning 58 percent of black voters, according to the Washington Post.
Undeterred by actual data, Sanders surrogates’ new tactic seems to be an attempt to paint blacks as low-information voters who somehow don’t know Biden’s record. Apparently, the people who vote for Sanders are genius-level political strategists but the ones who cast a ballot against him just aren’t smart enough to wade through the publicly available information.
Or maybe it’s because black people really like Barack Obama and don’t know enough to distinguish Biden’s record from pictures of him standing next to Obama, as Sanders himself insinuated on Rachel Maddow’s show Wednesday.
I accept responsibility. Black people killed Bernie Sanders. The reason why does not matter.
I know, from your position atop the privilege pyramid, the lowly black voters who voted for Biden must have done so because of pragmatism or fear of revolution or electability’s sake. Everyone knows how black voters incessantly “clamor for the past.” Or maybe black people are just not as smart and brave enough for this fearless “movement.”
And it’s not just white Sanders supporters who are doing this. There are a lot of super-progressive black youth who dismissively cast anyone who hasn’t seen the light of Socialist Democratic Jesus as an uninformed, backwater hillbilly who needs education.
Well, I have a question for all of these people:
You know white people did this, right?
Fifty-seven percent of white people voted for Trump. Hispanics, Asians, blacks and every other group overwhelmingly tried to keep that dim-witted ignoramus out of office. Black people in the South didn’t create the racial wealth gap or income inequality. Don’t ask black people to mop up a mess they had no hand in creating.
And, contrary to your opinion, black people have never done anything out of moderation or centrism. Freedom and equality have always been our motivation. Do you think the civil rights revolutionaries didn’t retaliate when segregationists spat in their faces because black people can’t fight? Do you think the congregation of the 16th Street Baptist Church didn’t want to rain down retribution to retaliate for the lost lives of Addie Mae Collins, Denise McNair, Carole Robertson, and Cynthia Wesley? Maybe you believe John Lewis preferred a cracked skull to a whole one. Perhaps we took the fire hosings for the free showers.
There is a very good reason that the civil rights movement wasn’t a series of reciprocal acts of violence. Aside from the fact that we are better than that, the truth is this:
We know white people.
In the entire history of America, white people have never initiated, supported or participated in, to a significant degree, in a single mass movement for freedom and equality for anyone other than white people. They fought integration. They needed a war to end slavery. They ignored the anti-lynching movement. They rejected the civil rights movement right up until the moment it succeeded. Eight months before the passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1965, 73 percent of white people said “negroes should stop demonstrations,” according to an October 1964 Gallup Poll. But now we’re supposed to believe these progressive white people care?
No, I’m not bringing up old shit.
Remember that time white people flooded the streets to protest a black boy getting killed? Remember when white people refused to support a political candidate unless the politician took a stand against voter suppression? Remember all those times white people showed up to school board meetings to demand fewer funds so they could be used at underfunded black schools? Remember when they overwhelmingly voted against a white supremacist president?
Oh, wait, they didn’t.
But I know...You really mean it this time.
I know you take your vote for granted because it came included in the birthright package while ours was earned by the blood, sweat and slit throats of our ancestors. Disappointment is a bitter pill to swallow when you’re accustomed to having your larynx coated with privilege and the perspiration from black people’s labor. But we were not put on this earth to clean up the mess that you created. Our purpose is not to jumpstart another round of economic justice for white people that will undoubtedly leave black people behind.
Biden might be a shit choice but black Southerners are aware that criminalizing black people may be the oldest American tradition and might make no distinction between the man who wrote the bill and the guy who signed the bill. Maybe black people voted for Biden because he worked in the administration that gave them healthcare. Perhaps those people trust him because he was part of the largest tax increase on the wealthy since the 1950s. They also know how white people react when the government starts helping people. They remember when a “living wage” was called “welfare” and “criminal justice reform” was called “soft on crime”
Maybe they’re voting on Biden’s ability alone. You act as if black people aren’t aware that, in 30 years, your boy hasn’t written a single piece of successful legislation. In three decades, what has Sanders ever achieved? What has he ever done that improved the lives of black people?
Or white people?
Or anyone who doesn’t work at the newly named Thaddeus Stevens Post Office in Danville, Vt.?
Only a white man can keep a job for three decades with absolutely no results and then expect a promotion. Only a white man would blame black people’s stupidity when his supposedly “diverse coalition of new voters” didn’t bother to show up to vote.
Maybe those “moderates” actually want a revolutionary. More than anyone, they know that revolutionaries get shit done. That’s because old black voters have actually been revolutionaries. They actually lived through revolutions. Simply surviving to become an old black person in the South is a revolutionary act in itself.
Only white liberals would call something a “revolution” that could be defeated by supposedly dumb, old black “centrists.” What the hell is a black “centrist” anyway? Is “moderate” the nickname you give to people who don’t share your values or do what you say? Is “centrist” the new “nigger”? Every black person is a centrist because we are always at the center of America’s crosshairs.
To be clear, no one is mad at Sanders.
But casting his failings as somehow the fault of black people who are afraid of change is peak whiteness. For some black voters, the rabid toxicity of inflexible white liberals is the one thing that repels them from joining the great aluminum-free deodorant mass movement.
Imagine black people ever having the choice to “opt-out” of the “status quo.” Sanders’ political failings are his own, and black people are not here to channel the political yearnings of white progressives. We are not here to carry your water or clean up your mess. It’s not that black people don’t believe you...
You quite literally need more people.
A real-ass “centrist”