Thursday, February 21, 2019

Symone Sanders tells Black Men to Shut Up


It's difficult to imagine a mainstream commentator rhetorically wondering who asked all these big mouthed Black women for their opinion, asking why they kept popping up, and then insulting a particular Black woman's intelligence and credentials simply because he happened to disagree with the point she was making.

It's almost impossible to imagine someone saying that about White Women, Jewish Americans or almost any other group and moving on like nothing took place. Usually the person would have to apologize. And if the apology was not sufficiently abject, the person who had made such comments would likely lose their job. In fact there are people who would insist that apology or no, the person should lose their job. But if you dismiss Black men as alleged political commentator Symone Sanders recently did then you can usually avoid making any retraction or apology. And losing your job isn't even on the agenda. 

This is yet another reason why I think it's beyond stupid to talk non-ironically about "black male privilege" or "black male patriarchy" in America. Those things don't exist. If they did then Symone Sanders might keep a more civil tongue in her head when it came to black men.

Luke Campbell, former rapper and political commentator, recently wrote an editorial questioning the record of Democratic Presidential candidate, California Senator Kamala Harris. 
 Kamala Harris will have trouble persuading black voters to make her president in 2020. First, the U.S. senator from California must explain why Donald Trump has a better prison-reform record than she had as the Golden State’s attorney general. .. she opposed federal supervision of California’s prisons after a U.S. Supreme Court ruling declared the overcrowded facilities inflicted cruel and unusual punishment on inmates. When she appealed a court order to implement new parole programs, Harris cited the need to use prisoners as slave labor to fight wildfires and pick up highway trash.
Sanders didn't like hearing that. But rather than engage on the issues she responded by basically telling Campbell and by extension other Black men to shut up.

As other Black men pointed out, every last single voter in this country has the right and duty to question every candidate for any reason, good or bad. That includes Black men. Harris has an iffy record on issues of crime and punishment, one that ought to be of interest to every thinking person but particularly to Black Americans, who suffer disproportionately from police violence, mass incarceration, overcharging, fines and other interactions with law enforcement. 
Time after time, when progressives urged her to embrace criminal justice reforms as a district attorney and then the state’s attorney general, Ms. Harris opposed them or stayed silent. Most troubling, Ms. Harris fought tooth and nail to uphold wrongful convictions that had been secured through official misconduct that included evidence tampering, false testimony and the suppression of crucial information by prosecutors.
As one person wrote on twitter, Harris didn't do anything but eat and put Blacks in prison. 
That's hyperbole but people are fooling themselves if they think that Black men and women in 2019 and 2020 are going to rush to embrace a prosecutor for the highest office in the land without even vetting her past and asking tough questions about what she intends to deliver to the Black American community in the future. Questioning a candidate is threatening to those people who are over invested in a candidate because they have the same sex chromosomes. Kamala Harris is not the Messiah. People should vote for tangibles, not because they live vicariously through a candidate. We've been down this path before. Policy is what matters, not identity. I don't care if you can make Black grandmother approved macaroni and cheese or can dance to Funkadelic's Not Just Knee Deep. And I am tired of and irritated at politicians of all races and both parties thinking that empty identity gestures are all that Back voters need.

There's been way too much emphasis on the supposed importance of Black women voters to the Democratic Party. People who insist upon trying to cast any questioning of or opposition to Kamala Harris as Black male misogyny may learn to their surprise and dismay that Black women are not, media hype aside, the only Black people who vote.
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