Flea Market Pt. 3: Which Democrat Will Make It?

This morning, I awoke to the news that Corey Booker has decided to end his (ill-fated) campaign for the 2020 Democratic nomination. I honestly wasn’t surprised because if any of you have been keeping up, his numbers were dismal. His hopefulness was…encouraging though. Back in December, when asked on either CNN or MSNBC (can’t remember which), why he was staying in when his numbers were so low, he reminded me of a teenager resolutely expressing her plans to marry her boyfriend who had been in and out of juvie 6 times and was prone to disappear for 72-hour chunks of time.

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Anywho, Booker must have had his electoral Demascus Road experience sometime over the weekend and decided that his campaign was indeed a no-go.

So where do we stand? If you read my Flea Market Pt. 1 and Flea Market Pt. 2 posts, you’ll know we started with a mess that became a bigger mess and slowly, but surely, the mess is being cleaned up (if it could ever be).

Big hitters Joe Biden, Elizabeth Warren, and Bernie Sanders are still in the race (duh). Notorious white man who doesn’t get it but thinks being gay means otherwise Pete Buttigieg is still in it. Then, you have Amy Klobuchar holding on like a woman at a 48-hour Pentacostal revival on her knees with a prayer cloth waiting for Jesus to zap the diabetes out of her. Tulsi Gabbard is somewhere still in there even though Dems were quite nonplussed by her “Present” declaration at the impeachment vote. Andrew Yang is surprisingly doing well and still in the race. Latecoming billionaires Michael Bloomberg and Tom Steyer are also running to the extent that I can’t watch Hulu or my trash TV on TLC without seeing a commercial for one or both of them.

I haven’t decided who I’m voting for (or if I’m voting but we’ll talk about that later). But, here’s my take on each of the remaining candidates:

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Joe Biden: Frankly, I think Biden missed his shot. I think there are certain grand things in life where timing is everything. I think Biden would have easily slid into the POTUS chair had he run in 2016. He didn’t use that opportunity though and I think that door has closed. Boomers and Blacks love him but with a new crop of younger voters coming in and ideas such as Medicare for all, reparations, and student loan forgiveness seriously on the table, unless Biden does an abrupt about face, I don’t see it for him. Plus, his history in politics will ALWAYS follow him. Here’s his platform.

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Elizabeth Warren: I’m willing to forgive her for pretending to be Native American. I mean…she wouldn’t be white if she didn’t. A lot of people like her Medicare for all idea. I think it’s a good idea, too. I mean, dying or having to go bankrupt because you need a surgery or expensive medication is ridiculous in a developed country. I also like that she wants to address the maternal mortality rate for Black women that is largely driven by racism in the medical industry. What I think is an issue is that her student loan forgiveness plan doesn’t go far enough. $50k is a pretty penny but from what I’ve gathered is on the low end of what A WHOLE LOT of borrowers owe. However, visit her campaign “Plans” page here to get a peek of everything she wants to do.

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Bernie Sanders: If I had to vote today, he’d likely be my choice. I was reading his platform page and in addition to the forgiveness of all student loan debt, he also wants to forgive medical debt and replace for-profit credit bureaus. I’m still mad at Equifax for promising us $125 for their fuckup and then figuring out they couldn’t pay their bill and deciding to not pay us (oh the irony) so putting them out of business sounds great to me. Several Black people have expressed concerns about certain comments that Sanders have made that sound less than progressive. I, however, never expect to get anything racially progressive from white people; especially not a white man his age. I still think that he’s the best choice of the field at this point. Let’s just hope the DNC doesn’t….nevermind. Here’s his platform page.

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Pete Buttigieg: No.

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Andrew Yang: His page has a plethora of things that he either wants to do or “explore.” For example, one of his big three issues is “human-centered capitalism” which aims to put people before money (ie. instead of the health of the economy being measured by the stock market, it would be measured by how well people are actually doing). But, perhaps, his biggest claim to fame is his desire to give each American (over 18) “universal basic income.” This entails each American getting $1,000/mo free and clear. In theory, this extra $1,000 would allow people to have a little more breathing room each month. Every single person I know who supports Yang cites this $1,000/mo as their reason. Do I think he’ll win? Neaux. But, he may be forcing the eventual winner to step up their game a little. You can find the rest of his platform here.

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Amy Klobuchar: I Googled her website to see her platform. My only option was to sign up as a supporter or visit her store. So…..moving on….

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Tulsi Gabbard: Let me just start out by saying that I don’t think she’s serious. It’s like when you do an internship in a field you’re not really passionate about just to be able to put it on your resume in case you need it one day.  I looked at her website and she  seems to care a lot about war and war-adjacent topics (makes sense since she’s a veteran). What got me was the following line under her healthcare section:

“I will also incentivize good health choices and lifestyles for a healthier, wealthier nation!”

Whew, girl! Have you met 2016, yet? That’s the perfect steak for the people ready to accuse someone of -shaming to latch onto but you know…

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Michael Bloomberg: Yes, I know MB is the source of “Stop and Frisk.” But, Judge Judy is endorsing him so he must be alright, no? I’m just kidding. I have looked at his page though and I’ll have to admit that a Jewish candidate addressing redlining and other past racial injustices is interesting. He’s also addressing Black maternal mortality rates as well. Many people have wondered why he entered so late and suspect him of trying to buy the election. I don’t think that’s the case. Frankly, I feel like the fun part of elections is people who likely won’t win to make issues big enough so that the people who might win are under pressure to take those issues seriously. Click here for more.

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Tom Steyer: All I know is the company that he founded and worked for only has like 3 non-white people on their site and I can’t imagine it was much better when he was there so….

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The cynical conspiracy theorist in me feels like Biden has already been chosen. I don’t know that for a fact but there’s a reason Trump presumed he’d be his political rival.

Anyway, I still think Trump is going to win in 2020.

 

 

Elizabeth Warren: White People Are Never White When It’s Time To Address Racism

This week, Elizabeth Warren issued an apology to a Native American tribe when it was found out that on her bar registration in the 80s, she listed her race as “American Indian.” If you’ll recall, a couple of years ago, Warren declared herself Native American and Tronald Dump (intentional) made fun of her about it, much to the chagrin of many a Liberal.

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Maybe four months ago, after DNA testing, it was revealed that Warren is anywhere between 0.1 and 2% Native American at most (6-10 generations ago according to this report). I don’t recall what her reaction was at the time (and I’m not finna’ look because this is a blog, not a scientific journal) but I know I laughed like a humyena© (human + hyena…get it?!) and so did many people of beautiful brown hue because we knew what white people didn’t and that was that the results would turn out exactly as they did.

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Fast-forward to earlier this week. Warren issued a perfectly-timed apology for calling herself “American Indian” and I’m pretty sure it’s due to the speculation that she will throw her hat in the 1st-grade prize grab bag that is the Democratic race for the 2020 presidential election. Warren made a point to say that she was apologizing because tribes decide tribal citizenship. Those of you who can read between the lines know to chuckle and shake your damn head at that line.

The reason this is concerning is that whenever the topic of racism comes up, it’s white people’s natural default maneuver to claim some other heritage or religion to deflect their receipt of white privilege and deny that they have racist philosophies or have engaged in racist practices. The reason that Black people were not surprised when that DNA test blew up Warren’s spot was because 99% of us have been in conversations with white people about racism, prejudice, or inequality and heard them claim that they are actually “part” Native American (Cherokee…it’s ALWAYS Cherokee) (or Jewish) and therefore cannot be a party to racism because their pale, straight-haired, blue-eyed, aquiline-nosed selves aren’t even really white.

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I went to college in Oklahoma. By the end of my first year, I had gotten my fill of white people claiming Native American heritage to explain (without anybody asking them) why they were part of the minority scholarship class or were receiving some type of stipend to make their lives easier while in college. I would usually look at them and then walk away because I knew that it was all bullshit. Plus, I’m Black. I’m still owed reparations with interest in the names of the estates of my ancestors for building this place and making white people comfortable enough to pretend to be another race so they can continue to knock POC, particularly Black people, down several more pegs.

I also had a Black friend while I was in college. Her great-grandfather was at one time honored for his work as a Native American elder. I saw the pictures. He was a real Native American. She and her family had been trying to get their official standing within the tribe. They couldn’t…because they are Black.

See, here’s the thing: white people don’t realize how pervasive and insidious their anti-Blackness is. Their brand of anti-Blackness, where they don’t believe the treacherousness of their ancestors is still alive in them today, where they don’t want to hear how their past actions have negatively affected African-Americans generationally, where they even think they can be Black better than actual Black people, has seeped into the psyche of other races as well. That’s why my Black college friend couldn’t get her tribal membership approved (though she was the spitting image of her Native American ancestor), but Rebecca with the blue eyes and honey blonde curly perm could proudly state that she was Native American while knowing 0 actual Native American people, participating in none of the customs, celebrating none of the hallmarks, and speaking none of the languages. Even true non-white people are anti-Black and complicit (to varying degrees) in systemic racism against Black people.

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Back to Warren, not only was what she did dishonest, but it’s harmful. If I had to bet, Black people are some of the most “mixed” people on the planet (due to centuries of rape) but we don’t get to opt out of being Black when the circumstances don’t suit us. We don’t get to get the job at the 99% white tech startup by declaring we’re actually the 15% Anglo or 6% Chinese part of us. We don’t get to become 11% Greek before we walk into that job interview, or courtroom, or hospital so that we can have a better chance of a successful experience.

Further, if suddenly the visual standard of a race is the whitest with all the conveniences and privileges that come with that skin, where does that leave the authentic members of a race when it’s time to get real about systemic bias and change in virtually every industry in this world? What happens to Jacy Runningwolf when “Native American” now applies to Jessica Richardson, the random white woman who “pulled herself up by her bootstraps”? What happens to Tamika Jenkins when “Black” now applies to Susan Q. Whitewoman who has been able to step in front of more educated and experienced Black women all her life?

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White people need to get real about race in this country and that includes giving up the game of Psychological Brown/Blackface they like to play to avoid being held accountable.