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Dear Bernie Sanders and White Progressives, We Need To Talk

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In an excerpt of an AfroPunk post, an author alleges that Bernie Sanders is “confused as hell.” Unable to call racism by its name, they lament that progressives like Bernie are ignorant and complicit in its propagation.

As a Black woman who lives in Vermont, a state that is 94% white and credited as one of the most liberal in the country, let me explain. Progressives are unable to acknowledge racism because they are unable to identify it in the same way a person of color does. They are so blissfully unaware of the nuances and prejudices and so willing to compartmentalize their own behavior that attaching the word racism to it is unthinkable. What I mean is, their white fragility prevents them from being able to see racism in any form, discuss it, and/or attack it.

What does it mean to be white

The manner White progressives are taught to identify racism is almost storybook – clear lines of good and evil. Their understanding of racism is a clear act of intentional antagonism or discrimination directed toward someone of a different race on the grounds of superiority. To Robin DiAngelo, the woman who coined the phrase “White Fragility”, to be progressive meant to be clueless.

“Well, I was a classic white progressive, which meant that I was clueless about racism, which meant I could not answer the question, “What does it mean to be white?” I thought I was not racist, and I really didn’t have anything more to learn.”

In an interview with Slate, DiAngelo goes on to recall applying for a job as a diversity trainer. “I was in for the most profound learning curve of my life,” she says. “It was a parallel process. One, working side by side with people of color who were challenging the way that I saw the world and my place in it.”

Consider in all of this, that white people are self-segregating and have been since the 60s. Like DiAngelo, they are not finding themselves surrounded by people of color who will disrupt their way of thinking until they reach an embarrassing age.

“Part of being white is that I could be that far in life, be a full professional, educated adult, and never have had my racial role be challenged in general, or by people of color in particular.”

Self-Segregating

White liberals are curiously guilty of saying one thing and doing another. Take gentrification. University of Illinois sociologist, Maria Krysan, conducted an experiment in Chicago to examine the process of how people decide where to live. She asked Chicago-area residents about their housing search and people of all races agreed they wanted to live somewhere that was relatively diverse and integrated.

Housing Survey Results

Debunking the myth that Blacks and Latinos prefer to stay in their own neighborhoods, Krysan proves that it is Whites who cry for diversity but remain segregated. Remember, Vermont is 94% White but 46 states have a White population of 50% or higher.

In an interview with The Daily Beast, Bernie was asked his thoughts on why the Democratic Party was unable to win several key Senate and gubernatorial races. But it was his thoughts concerning the underperformance of Stacey Abrams and Andrew Gillum that got attention.

“I think you know that there are a lot of white folks out there who are not necessarily racist who felt uncomfortable for the first time in their lives about whether or not they wanted to vote for an African-American.”

While his response reeks of white fragility, its true. White people are losing the luxury of undifferentiated whiteness and racial obliviousness, forcing them to examine themselves and their communities. In “Get Out”, it was a family of Obama supporting White liberals who were villains, not red hat wearing, torch burning misogynists.

Relation of White Fragility to Cognitive Dissonance

Relation of White Fragility to Cognitive Dissonance

By definition, white fragility is the state in which even a minimum amount of racial stress becomes intolerable, triggering a range of defensive moves. Spanning fear, anger, and guilt, the display can include behaviors of argumentation, silence, and leaving the stress-inducing situation.

Following the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Jane Elliott conducted a race experiment that challenged people to examine their underlying prejudices to disarm them of weaponizing race. By simulating discrimination on people who would otherwise never experience it, Jane educates people who would continue to think like Robin DiAngelo in all her white ignorance. The problem is that she is just one woman, and while her efforts are well-meaning, it requires the person on the other end to be receptive of change. Cognitive dissonance and white fragility are in a marriage that has lasted longer than either terms have had names. And we have seen what happens when we leave White women to their own devices.

If we are invested in a progressive future, where POC, LGBT, and differently abled people are represented, we must commit to attacking bias in the moment. We cannot, like white progressives, stand by and massage reality about what is and is not racist to placate people on the fence. White progressives need to start working, living, and socializing in communities that challenge their school of thought instead of reinforcing the dogma they’ve been fed for generations. But their education cannot and will not come at the expense of the disenfranchised. #NotYourMule

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Politics

Former Trump Adviser Roger Stone Arrested in Mueller Probe

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The Hill

Roger Stone has been apprehended in Florida Friday morning. The Former adviser to President Trump is scheduled to appear in court today at 11am ET.

https://twitter.com/ochocinco/status/1088791420511678466

Government Raid

Facing seven counts in the Mueller investigation, Roger Stone was arrested by the FBI early Friday morning. He stands charged with five counts of false statements and one count each for obstruction and witness tampering. Having just been indicted yesterday, Mueller is taking no chances with the self-described agent provocateur. While Roger Stone was arrested by agents in Fort Lauderdale, agents in Harlem were spotted carting hard drives and other evidence from his apartment.

Looking at Roger Stone’s resume is like looking at a racist politician “best of” list. The long-time Republican political consultant has had the ear of presidents from Nixon to Reagan to Trump. Remember that Nixon, amid The Watergate Scandal, was famous for being the only president to resign from office.

With extended experience in political foul-play, Roger Stone served as an informal adviser to Trump. Despite his history of influencing American election campaigns, Roger insists he has no connection to Russia’s attempts to tamper with the 2016 presidential election. However, social media posts and interviews before the election show Stone had knowledge of potentially damaging information regarding Clinton’s campaign.

https://twitter.com/CNN/status/1088769020084604928

Shortly after the first round of Podesta emails leaked, Stone received a text from a Trump campaign aide that said “Well done.” Information from the indictment shows Stone attempted to coerce others to mislead Congress as well, among the targets was Randy Credico. One month ago, we reported that Credico told the grand jury Stone had a back channel to WikiLeaks.

As Trump’s administration continues to collapse, Sarah Huckabee Sanders continues to deflect any questions regarding arrests or indictments. The Mueller investigation has claimed five guilty parties, seen 2 indictments, and only one has had charges dropped. We shall soon find out at what cost Trump’s first campaign manager bought his freedom.

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Please Be Critical Of Kamala Harris

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Kamala Harris

Before you get excited that a Black female candidate is running for President of the United States in 2020, check her record. Kamala Harris has a very dark history when it comes to how she treats her own.

Californians can speak firsthand of the tyranny of Kamala Harris’ policies. Having started a career in law enforcement, Kamala wanted a seat “at the table where decisions are made.”Kamala established herself as a law-and-order candidate early in her career during a time when Hilary Clinton pitched her “super predator” spiel. She directly strengthened the prison industrial complex and opposed legislative prison reform. Through incessant terrorizing of Black communities, Kamala’s way to the presidency is paved with Black destruction.

Prosecutor-in-Chief

In 2003, Kamala Harris was appointed District Attorney of the City and County of San Francisco. As D.A. the overall felony conviction rate rose from 52% to 67% within 3 years to become the highest in a decade. Convictions for drug dealers increased from 56% to 74% within that time. Kamala’s success prompted her to write Smart on Crime: A Career Prosecutor’s Plan to Make Us Safer. The book included her views on criminal justice from an economic perspective.

https://twitter.com/BlakeDontCrack/status/1087396379767390208

Aside from advocating for the use of a system in which success is contingent upon the oppression of the disenfranchised, Kamala went after sex workers. When BackPage was collapsing from legal issues, sex workers reached out to Kamala. Advocating for retaining the adult section of the site, sex workers said without the feature they would be forced to return to the unsafe streets. Kamala was responsible for the lawsuit against BackPage CEO Carl Ferrer, who pleaded guilty to facilitating prostitution and money laundering.

In 2003, Kamala Harris was appointed District Attorney of the City and County of San Francisco. As D.A. the overall felony conviction rate rose from 52% to 67% within 3 years to become the highest in a decade. Click To Tweet

What Kamala Harris is doing, rather effectively might I add, is weaponizing her racial identity to appeal to moderates the same way Obama did. By referencing Shirley Chisholm’s campaign in her announcement, Kamala is attempting to appeal to constituents.

Whatever the case, it is important to look at Kamala’s track record before you endorse her. Kamala Harris’ campaign announcement seems opportunist. To choose Martin Luther King Day after releasing a playlist of music we know she doesn’t listen to for the sake of optics is just deceitful.

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Day 30: The Government Shutdown Continues

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CNN

Having approached the one month mark, the government shutdown of 2019 is the longest in US history. With no resolution in sight, affected Americans are demanding action as they stand on the verge of losing their homes.

This weekend, Trump made a statement offering Democrats a proposal to end the government shutdown. Calling it a “common-sense compromise”, Trump has offered the following:

  • Three years of legislative relief for 700,000 DACA recipients, giving them protection from deportation, access to work permits, and social security numbers
  • An extension of Temporary Protected Status for three years to immigrants whose protections are approaching expiration
  • $800 million in humanitarian assistance
  • $805 million for drug detection technology
  • 2,750 border agents and law enforcement professionals
  • 75 new immigration judge teams to reduce the backlog of court cases

Imploring both parties to embrace his plan, Trump says its an opportunity for “real bipartisan immigration reform.” However, Democrats are unwilling to accept the deal which uses DACA as a bargaining chip. Speaking out against the proposal, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi called it “unacceptable.” and stated negotiations would take place only when the government reopened.

People Aren’t Bargaining Chips

In her statement, Speaker Pelosi said, “Democrats support smart, effective border security solutions” but, initial reports make it clear Trump’s proposal is an amalgamation of several previously rejected initiatives. Responding further to the President’s address, Pelosi remarked:

Unfortunately, initial reports make it clear that his proposal is a compilation of several previously rejected initiatives, each of which is unacceptable and in total, do not represent a good faith effort to restore certainty to people’s lives. It is unlikely that any one of these provisions alone would pass the House, and taken together, they are a non-started. For one thing, this proposal does not include the permanent solution for the Dreamers and TPS recipients that our country needs and supports.”

While Democrats are averse to negotiations that include DACA as a bargaining chip, in the past they offered a correction in return for border wall funding. Putting $25 billion on the table for border security, Democrats plan included a 10-14 year path to citizenship for the 1.8 million Dreamers. Their plan could have included a wall, as Senator Chuck Schumer privately promised up to $20 billion for a citizenship path for eligible immigrants. Still, both parties are pressured to resolve their differences and come to an agreement to reopen the government by Americans affected by the shutdown.

2500 Stores Unable to Accept EBT/SNAP

While the government is shut down, benefits for the 39 million recipients have been available without lapse. However, that could soon change. Roughly 2,500 retailers nationwide will be unable to accept any form of SNAP EBT benefits despite the funds early dispersion. Awarded through a debit-style card, stores will be unable to accept the payment method because they missed the deadline for license renewal before the shutdown. According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, “Over 99 percent of SNAP retailers are able to accept benefits as usual. There is a small percentage of stores that failed to complete a required re-authorization process that was due on December 21.”

In addition to concern surrounding food benefits, rental assistance programs are also at a standstill. HUD’s official website states the agency is closed until further notice, leaving recipients to panic over whether they can pay their rent. Without HUD assistance, landlords have begun to send notice to tenants that they are responsible for the full financial burden of their housing costs.

Experts speculate the number of Americans impacted by the housing assistance lapse to be nearly 70,000 but that number increases every day. With landlords in a panic, organizations that administer HUD funding are attempting to calm them down so they don’t escalate to eviction proceedings. If politicians cannot come to a resolution, potentially millions of low-income seniors, people with disabilities, and families with children face rent hikes, eviction, and homelessness.

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