The Democratic Crack-Up: Reparations Now! Reparations Forever!
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From the Minneapolis Star-Tribune:
Sen. Bernie Sanders fires up hundreds at forum in north Minneapolis


By Maya Rao FEBRUARY 12, 2016 — 7:49PM


Sen. Bernie Sanders fired up hundreds of people in north Minneapolis as he vowed to address high African-American unemployment and incarceration rates, but the atmosphere grew tenser when some people pressed him for a more detailed agenda to help the black community. …


But he repeatedly shied away from stating his positions on whether African-Americans should receive reparations, to the dismay of several speakers.


“It seems like every time we talk about black people … we have to include every other person of color,” said Perry. “Can you please talk specifically about black people and reparations?”
How could the Coalition of the Fringes get along without white men to hate to give them something to agree upon?
Sanders acknowledged that he and Perry might have differences. It’s not just black people, he said — there were Latinos and poor whites as well. He said the time to start investing in poor communities was “long overdue.”


… Over the din of cheers, someone in the audience yelled, “We were promised reparations! We were told we were going to get it!”


Sanders said it was an unspeakable tragedy that one in four black males stood a chance of ending up in jail, and that young black high school graduates had such high jobless rates.


“That ain’t right at all,” he said, as the crowd cheered.


After Sanders criticized America’s high incarceration rates, a man with a criminal background stepped forward to ask what he would do for people who couldn’t vote because they’re felons.


“I feel the Bern, but I can’t cast a ballot,” the man said. “What are you going to do for people like me?”


Sanders said that after people pay the price for their crimes in prison, they shouldn’t see their rights to participate in democracy stripped away.


Calling the system “stupid and unfair,” he added, “This is just part of the whole business of voter suppression …my view is, people serve the time, that’s it. They have the right to vote, period.”


A number of people in the audience were aligned with Black Lives Matter, and activists in that movement began the event with stirring calls to address racial injustice before Sanders appeared. Sanders has sought to make greater inroads with black voters. ,,,


As the forum wound down, White Earth Ojibwe activist Clyde Bellecourt stepped up from the audience to complain at length about injustices faced by American Indians. Moderator Anthony Newb repeatedly tried to cut him off, asking that he state a question.


“This is a black forum,” Newby said at one point.


“This is people of color and I’m one of those people of color!” Bellecourt said.


… After the event, Newby said he understood the frustrations of the Native American community, but that the forum was intended to specifically address the black experience.
Back in 2009 I wrote in
But let's be realistic. Being, in essence, the white party makes the GOP uncool. And that's only going to get worse as the impact of decades of indoctrination in the uncoolness of white people by the school system and Main Stream Media continue to pile up.


Further, contra Karl Rove, the GOP will never be able to shake its white party image. It will either increase its share of the white vote or it will go out of business as a party capable of winning national power.


My suggestion: the only long-term option for the Republicans, the de facto white party, is to rebrand the Democrats as the de facto black party.


Not the Minority Party or the Cool, Hip, Multicultural Party—but the Black Party. Go with the flow of the fundamental Manichaeism of American thought: Black versus White.


Sure, it's kind of retarded, but Americans, especially American intellectuals and pundits, aren't good at thinking in terms of shades of brown. You can't beat it, so use it.


Hispanics and Asians certainly will never be terribly happy with the idea of being junior partners in the white party. (Indeed, lots of white people have an allergy to belonging to the white party.) Hence, the alternative must be framed that if Hispanics and Asians don't want to be junior partners in the white party, they get be junior partners in the black party.


Black or white: choose one.


Or they can not choose and stay home on Election Day.


The subtle cunning of the tactic of rebranding the Democrats as the black party is not to criticize the Democrats for being the vehicle of African-American political activism, but to praise them for it, over and over, in the most offhand “everybody-knows” ways.


Republicans can hurry along the coming Democratic train wreck by, for example, lauding blacks as the “moral core” of the Democratic Party. Respectfully point out that the Democratic Party is the rightful agent for the assertion of African-American racial interests, and that advancing black interests is central to the nature of the Democratic Party. Note that, while individual blacks wishing to vote for the good of the country are more than welcome in the GOP, black racial activists have their natural home in the Democratic Party. That's what the Democrats are there for.


Don't argue it. Just treat it as a given.


Moreover, Republican rhetoric should encourage feelings of proprietariness among blacks toward their Democratic Party. It's not all that hard to get blacks to feel that they morally deserve something, such as, for example, predominance in the Democratic Party. African-Americans are good at feeling that others owe them deference.


This kind of subtle language, casually repeated, puts Democrats in a delicate spot. Either they insult blacks by denying this presumption, or they alarm their Asian, Hispanic, and white supporters by not denying it. As everybody knows, but seldom says, black political control hasn't worked out well for places as far apart as Detroit and Zimbabwe.


For instance, 2016 on the Democratic side will be interesting. If Obama wins re-election in 2012, blacks will argue, not unreasonably, that they've brought the Democrats political prosperity and therefore a black deserves a spot on the 2016 national ticket. If Obama loses re-election, the media will relentlessly blame it on white racism, and blacks in 2016 will demand a black candidate to fight the scourge of anti-black feelings.


Even if blacks are rebuffed by the Democrats in the 2016 nominating process, they aren't going to vote Republican in the fall. But without a black on the ballot, they won't show up to vote in quite the huge numbers seen in 2008.


Conversely, if the Democrats pander to blacks in 2016, thus establishing a precedent of a permanent black spot on the national ticket, that will raise severe questions in the rest of this awkward alliance.


As the black sense of rightful ascendancy in the Democratic Party becomes more pronounced, Hispanics will be demanding that their burgeoning numbers mean that it's now their turn. Meanwhile, more Asians will wonder why they are supporting an agglomeration dominated by blacks who don't share their values. And white Democrats will wonder how exactly they can prosper in a party where everybody else is allowed to speak out in internal disputes as representatives of a legitimately aggrieved racial group, but they aren't.


The GOP faces a daunting future of their own making. Then, again, so do the Democrats. All Democrats should be helpfully assisted to confront this.
Of course, Republicans haven’t paid any attention to my divide-and-win advice. But the Democrats are doing it to themselves, anyway.


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