SandersDisclaimer, before the first caucus was held in Iowa, I financially supported Senator Sanders. I chose to feel the Bern before it was hip, mainly because I also self-identify as a democratic socialist. And while I was concerned about his lack of accomplishments while serving as Senator, I felt; nonetheless, he could set a more leftist tone then the centrist administration of Obama. But now, as we approach the last primaries to be held, I confess I am losing the Bern, not so much because of the candidate, but because of the glaring white privilege and sense of entitlement emulating from Sanders’ campaign and followers.

Liberal racism is just as damning as the racism normatively exhibited by conservatives. In fact, I rather hear why I need to go back to where I belong from conservative racists than the assurance from liberal racists who are quick to tell me “they get it,” while remaining complicit with the goals and objectives of conservatives. Allow me to illustrate two examples of the racism being exhibited by the Bernie Bros.

First – Bernie followers’ sense of entitlement. Face it, my candidate will lose the Democratic nomination, not because the system was rigged or stolen, but because the process is so byzantine that the one (in this case Clinton) who masters its procedures can game the system to her or his advantage. No doubt, Clinton, the political animal did this. But even if she didn’t, she still would have won because she received more votes than Sanders. As of Memorial Day weekend, Clinton garnered 12,989,134 votes to Sanders’ 9,957,889. She is winning by 3,031,245 votes. Clinton will win the nomination not because she stole it, but because she simply won more votes. Period.

One main reason she did was because Sanders failed, repeatedly, to gain the support from two main constituencies, Blacks and Latinxs. Even though my Latina wife made herself available to the campaign, she never was asked to serve (remember – we live in a swing state). So it is somewhat bothersome, even though I too support Sanders, to hear the entitlement of whites who demand disregarding the will of the majority of the voters, of which many were Black and Latinx, so that their candidate can obtain the nomination. Again, the will of Latinx and Black voters are being disregarded to the sake of young white liberals’ will. Explain to me how this is different from when Republicans suppress our votes through voter id legislation?

Second – Bernie followers’ sense of privilege. Bernie or Bust! Never Hillary! If not Bernie, I’m voting for Trump! Such phrases which are bantered around show the depth of liberal whites’ privilege. Fact – Trump is a racist (They’re bringing drugs. They’re bringing crime. They’re rapists). Fact – Trump is an Islamophobic (a total and complete shutdown of Muslims entering the United States until our country’s representatives can figure out what is going on). Fact – a Trump presidency will be damning to people of color and Muslims. As bad as Trump may be for white liberals if elected, his administration will be deadly for the rest of non-white, non-Christian America. Because white folk safety and security is not threatened, they have the privilege of not needing to vote to defeat him.

Let’s be clear. I am not a Clinton fan. Her commitment to global neoliberal trade policies and the shift of many neoconservatives to her camp is deeply troublesome to me. Nevertheless, a Trump administration will move this country to a more racist future, a reality white liberals can shed tears over, but because they have no skin in the game, they can pick up their marbles and head home if Sanders doesn’t get the nomination.

On a side note, another indication of white privilege is how some are willing to use the same violent intolerant tactics normative at Trump rallies. Yes, throwing eggs at a person is an act of violence and intimidation. And while I appreciate Sander condemning such actions; nevertheless, the fact that a tendency toward violence exists among some supporters indicates a sense of an unacceptable righteous indignation. Debates are won through discussion, not intimation, not character assassination, and not by scaring people to garner votes.

I truly wish Sanders wins the last primaries by landslides with over 3,031,245 votes so as to clinch the nomination. Unfortunately, the math is not there. So I will mourn what could have been and vote for the person that will cause the least damage for Americans who live on the margins of whites and Christians. So – will you stand with me in solidarity with the “least of these”?

Miguel A. De La Torre

8 thoughts on “LOSING THE BERN

  1. Dr. De La Torre: Again, you continue to teach me beyond my Iliff experience and (I hope) will remain (with Dr. Tinker) as a guide. I, too, have felt the Bern..and then have began to question what is it I am attached to here and where is the fruit of those who follow. I often use the metaphor of “drunkeness” to understand mine and my privileged white male culture’s fascination and intoxication with consumption and marginalization.

    I smell the alcohol and see the intoxication of the Bern Bros. that you so aptly reference and it disturbs me to know that the liberal mind set that I often claim has it’s shadow of privilege wrapped around it. I see this recently in Bernie and I am sickened and saddened by the violence of the followers of his campaign.

    How correct you are that regardless of whether Hillary or Donald are elected-I will have a protected shell around me that many of my brothers and sisters on this walk with me will not. I look for ways to make a change and come back to your theology of hopelessness. Can I stand in that circle and still do the next right thing? I often return to a phrase you used in class several times-I am a violent man trying to be non-violent.

    I am an old white man trying to be wise in age and less white in my privilege and entitlement. And..maybe just a little more sober thanks to your guidance and challenge.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. No, absolutely not. I will never support Hillary. That doesn’t mean I want Trump, it means I’m done voting for the lesser of evils. You call that ‘privilege’, I call it principles. #BernieOrBust isn’t an argument, it’s a statement of fact. The DNC will face the consequences of their actions much the same as if you were to douse yourself in kerosene and light a match.


  3. As a minority female, experiencing the horror of a possible drumpf / trump WH, let me be clear…
    Anyone dropping out of the voting process because your white privileged self wants to, have s temper tantrum, take your toys & go home…is a part of the problem of apathy Dr. speaks to, not the solution.
    I do not understand why Sec Clinton is facing such negative reactions from people & everytime I ask for clarification, I get answers, based on myth, not supported by fact, so…please ckarify, open my eyes…or allow the discussion to continue…so we may open yours.
    See politics is supposed to be based on knowledge based compromise, therefore, although I support Sec Clinton, if, by chance, Sen Sanders wins, he will get my vote…ijs


  4. Yes, I will support Hillary in the end. But she is not on the side of working people, never has been, and never will be. That’s not privilege speaking, that’s the facts.


    • Pure horse pucky James. She has fought her entire political career to help the less fortunate. Why do you think minorities support her. It is not because she will cater to the 1%’ers and big business.


  5. Pingback: Schooling Liberals on Their White Privilege | Our Lucha

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