Bernie and the Black Vote

April 19, 2016


The corporate media repeats incessantly that Hillary has a fire wall and it is the Black voter. First, it is not Black voters, it is Black leadership.  For some time, I have been fascinated by the capitalist’s creation of layer upon layer of controlled consciousness.

In the 1960’s and the 1970’s, we fought hard for minority representation in the institutions of this country, especially Black and women representation.

The capitalists are very sophisticated at framing the issue.  The best and perhaps the most important example is the term institutional racism.  The correct term is capitalist racism, a term that was never used and never accepted by the corporate media.  By framing the issue as institutionalized racism, the ruling class was able to concede access to institutions but simultaneously wash away issues of class. In fact, there is considerable evidence that minorities and women were given access on the condition that they abandon any perspective that included oppression and exploitation as a class question.

I have had a frustrating and disappointing experience with Black and women judges and attorneys for that matter. Disappointing is the wrong word.  The thesaurus suggests shattering of one’s hopes.  But I remain hopeful above all else. The capitalists absorbed the Black and women’s movement by strategically accepting such leadership into its institutions while washing out the class question, even allowing a Black president with the most  vicious and continuous attacks on the president thereby promoting racist ideology while appearing to accept tolerance.

In some ways, their strategies are not that complicated—control the money and they then control consciousness. Lest we forget, we fought for Black representation and got Clarence Thomas.  We demanded women in power and we get Hillary Clinton. That is what I mean by layered control of consciousness. Our fight for affirmative action got us a Ward Connerly. I guess it still represents a sophisticated strategy always controlling the consciousness of the working class by placing minority representatives who deny class consciousness.

That, however, is why Bernie’s campaign represents a breath of fresh air. With all of their money and all of their power, they are now being threatened.  By identifying the enemy as the 1%, Bernie is able to raise class questions across the board. But still the corporate media is able to eliminate a discussion of the most important issue.  What would happen to this country if Bernie is able to wrest the nomination from the Democratic elite and obtain the nomination? There is absolutely no question that the Black voters would unite against the Republican insanity and racism.  The so-called firewall would support Bernie enthusiastically.  In fact, young Black voters are already rapidly moving in that direction.  Other Black leadership not controlled by political money recognizes the importance of Bernie’s campaign: Harry Belafonte, Danny Glover, Dr. Cornell West, Spike Lee, Rosario Dawson, Nina Turner, Killer Mike and others have taken important leadership roles. This group of supporters contains seasoned fighters who are not controlled financially and who have a long history in the struggle.  Importantly, they immediately become leaders in Bernie’s campaign. It also has young leaders who break from financial control.  But it is only social media that provides them a voice. I guess that is why net neutrality is so important.  We would not even know about “Democratic Spring” without social media.

Again, the question is what will happen when Bernie gets the nomination.  Will Black political leadership break from the financial control and unite with the working class base. I believe they will and that by itself would be a momentous event.  The uniting of the working class base with the compromised Black leadership would fundamentally change the political consciousness of this country.

There is another and similar process developing within the union movement.  Many local unions are uniting with Bernie’s campaign in opposition to their International leadership. Bernie’s nomination would present the same challenge to the International leadership.

Charles Blow carried an article in the NYT (4/18/16) headlined “Sanders and the Deep South”. He recognized that the South including Black voters are more conservative than much of the country. But the South is probably the poorest section of the country. What he did not acknowledge was that Bernie’s nomination would challenge the South’s conservatism by addressing the class question of extreme poverty.  I believe, and I accept that am always hopeful, that Bernie’s nomination would undermine the false consciousness of the white Southern working class voter.  After all, there is a long history of fighting against control of Northern banks.  And Black leadership could then provide leadership by fighting for issues that provides support for everyone.  We can use the Moral Monday leadership in North Caroline as a template, adding the class analysis to provide power to the movement for unity.

The potential of uniting the working class based on economic issues is phenomenal. Bernie would crush any Republican nominee and would lead an enthusiastic movement for economic justice and political tolerance. He has proven we will fight for these issues against all odds. And this opportunity happens rarely, perhaps never again in our lifetime, and that is why the ruling class will use every weapon to prevent it.  And that is why every fair minded person must support the effort to insure Bernie’s nomination.

Yours in Struggle,



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