By Chris Crass (March 10, 2016)
For white people who believe in, and work for, racial justice on any and all fronts, the point of reading analysis and reflections on the racism in the #BernieSanders campaign, is not to then sit back and say: “See, that’s why I don’t #FeelTheBern“. The point is to help all of us who are white, who want to end the death culture of white supremacy, who want to advance racial justice, to help us be more thoughtful and effective in helping to build up the momentum and successes of the Sanders’ campaign, while also helping bring racial justice leadership.
The point of reading analysis on the racism of the white Left isn’t to develop your super powers to critique everything white people do; it’s to learn from that analysis so as to help create a vibrant, life-affirming, death culture defying, liberation politics and momentum in white communities that unites the real issues the many different kinds of white people experience–from racial, economic and gender justice and a multiracial democratic culture of solidarity. Being white anti-racist ultra critics is usually part of the journey, to develop your own understanding, but it is not the destination.
The Sanders’ campaign is one of the greatest immediate, and short-term, opportunities to do this work in white communities, of our time. It is also a way to bring white people, currently disengaged, into the fight against the Trump/Cruz-led GOP come the general election. I know the temptation to believe the perfect mass movement is just around the corner, but our responsibility is to see the opportunities and challenges of the times we are in, open our hearts and minds to learn and love as we go, and throw down with actual, messy, complex, people, to build up the world we need.