I think positing “action” against “identity” is a false dichotomy.

Identity informs actions; actions inform identities. And incidentally, I‘m not “worried about the identity” of any candidate here. If that’s what you’re getting from this, I’m being misread.

These two articles are linked to in the body of the article, but here they are again:

http://nymag.com/intelligencer/2018/11/bernie-sanders-and-the-lies-we-tell-white-voters.html

and a bit earlier:

https://www.theroot.com/why-some-black-and-brown-people-cant-trust-bernie-sande-1820017450

^ Understanding why this matters to the people who are directly impacted by racism is extremely important. Understanding this, and expressing that understanding in a meaningful way, is perhaps the single most important “action” Bernie could take right now. I think there’s a good chance he knows that, and is going to try.

But it’s also important that his followers try.

To use your example of the BLM rally (which happened here in Seattle), Bernie was indeed gracious, but the crowd turned absolutely vicious, yelling disgusting racial slurs at the activists who took the stage. Mara and Marissa did an excellent job of exposing the seething racism roiling just under the surface of all those fleece-clad NPR dads. This is why I think Bernie’s followers need to do a whole lot more soul searching and a whole lot less arguing.

To illustrate this another way: your comments have been considerate, but I have a lot of other things to do today and responding to you is taking up a lot of time and energy that I’m not getting compensated for. Thus, the net effect of this conversation has already been one of me feeling *less* warm to people who want to try to argue with me about Bernie. Does that make sense?

Artist and historian. PhD student researching religion, material culture, media, and politics. Bylines at The Wire Magazine, Art in America + more.

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store