...racial justice and gender equality cannot be achieved without confronting economic inequality — not when people of color and women are overrepresented among the financially disadvantaged. And it’s difficult to see how the Democratic Party will ever take aggressive action to combat inequality, unless its downscale wing becomes both larger and more class conscious. Any discourse that encourages working-class voters to see social democratic
policies as irrelevant to their struggles does more to protect economic privilege than to promote social justice....
NY Mag, What Bernie Sanders Gets Right About Identity Politics
This NY Mag piece is one of the better ones I've read in analyzing the Bernie vs Hillary campaign vis a vis identity and class politics. (I included 2 graphics that represent both sides of the constant battle.) Under the guise of the Clinton allies criticizing Bernie for not paying attention to identity politics - and he was not artful in addressing this issue - the real undercurrent was his calls for income distribution, which given the number of Dem Party wealthy supporters, was a no-no. We can't ignore race -- I've asked white guys time and again - some who have racist ideas -- if you and Obama were walking down a street - and you are holding a bazooka - and Obama carries a briefcase - who gets stopped by cops? They just don't answer -- but this article also points out that the higher economic status black people reach, the less contact they have with the criminal justice system -- though obviously there will always be Sandra Blands whose story has been used as a battering ram. But Bernie offered a unifying economic theme and Trump walked in and stole the thunder with a divisive theme.
This captures some of the essence of the article below:
....in Reed’s framing, Sanders’s calls for expanding the social welfare state and taking a more adversarial approach to financial regulation are less relevant to the average black family than the way the senator’s plan for free state college would undermine private, historically black colleges and universities; even though only 2 percent of black college students attend such institutions, and Sanders expressed openness to amending his proposal to accommodate such schools..... Sanders was rarely eloquent in connecting his economic message to the lived experience of black voters.And this:
Less concerning than Clinton’s attempt to exploit this weakness, was the way her narrative was internalized and amplified by some advocates of social justice — and has, thus, outlived her campaign.
ASIDE: [By the way -- to show you the ties between our UFT/AFT leaders and the Hillary wing of the party -- anytime the left-leaning opposition bring up income or class issues - the leadership red flags go up - literally - they redbait - there go those socialists - or maybe Bolsheviks - again - class warfare. But Bernie was about class unity and he tried to talk past an often divisive identity political argument.]The problem with class-blind identity politics.At a debate in February, Sanders was asked if he thought race relations would improve under his administration.“Absolutely,” the senator replied. “Because what we will do is say, instead of giving tax breaks to millionaires, we’re going to create millions of jobs for low-income kids.”Legal analyst and racial-justice advocate Imani Gandy derided Sanders’s answer, tweeting, “Sandra Bland HAD a goddamn job. She still ended up dead. Jobs is not the solution.”...
But her specific critique is unsatisfying for a few reasons. For one, it’s not clear why criminal-justice reform is considered a “racial issue,” while expanding federal employment or the social safety net is not: None of these reforms target racial disadvantage explicitly, but all would disproportionately benefit people of color.... And “Sandra Bland had a job” remains a favorite slogan among some advocates for racial justice. (As does the considerably more asinine “Goldman Sachs didn’t shoot Michael Brown.”)
Here are some highlights I extracted but read the whole article.
[Clinton] framed Sanders’s emphasis on the importance of economic redistribution as an affront to the causes of racial, gender, and LGBT equality. “Not everything is about an economic theory, right?” Clinton asked a crowd in Nevada this past February. “If we broke up the big banks tomorrow — and I will if they deserve it, if they pose a systemic risk, I will — would that end racism?” Clinton went on to ask whether forcing Wall Street’s largest firms to separate their commercial and investment banking wings would “end sexism” and “discrimination against the LGBT community” or “make people feel more welcoming to immigrants overnight?”
Her supporters didn’t think so.
Clinton’s “single-issue” charge wasn’t grounded in Sanders’s neglect of racial and gender equality in policy terms. Rather, it referred to the greater rhetorical emphasis he placed on issues of redistribution — and the attendant implication that economic justice is a central, unifying concern for Democrats of all colors and genders. It was an objection to the politics of class solidarity.
For the left to overcome its infighting and realize the promise of the rainbow coalition, it will need to be on guard against this particular brand of liberalism; because an identity politics that disdains class solidarity is one that will fail the most vulnerable members of the marginalized groups it claims to represent.... the growth of the Democrats’ upscale wing has coincided with a vast increase in economic inequality.... The class divide within the Democratic Party is growing at the same time that the divide between classes in the United States is doing the same..... a Democratic Party increasingly divided between a predominately white professional class, and a largely nonwhite working class, left-wing identity politics