There are a lot of heated claims about the Clinton’s record on race this primary. While these claims suffer a shortage of facts and context, perhaps more importantly they fail to grapple or acknowledge that some people (even
other most black people) legitimately disagree.
People are going to disagree about politics. Some of them are going to be misinformed, and others are going to persuaded by superficial appeals. But certainly it’s also true that sometimes people look at the same set of facts and reach different conclusions. That essential truth is being denied.
When arguing that Clinton played fast and loose with race, you have to grapple with the fact that most African Americans support her. But this essential fact is either ignored or, to be charitable, “creatively” explained.
Why do black voters support Clinton? According to Michelle Alexander, it’s all the corporate media: “If anyone doubts that the mainstream media fails to tell the truth about our political system (and its true winners and losers), the spectacle of large majorities of black folks supporting Hillary Clinton in the primary races ought to be proof enough.”
Elijah generally ignores the issue of black support for Clinton or attributes it to racial pandering. He even claims that Bill Clinton even mastered the art of pandering to both black and white people in the same election! According to him, it would seem that only Asians and Hispanics were actually voting on the merits.
Elijah argues that Clinton’s campaign against Obama “disturbing racial undertones” and “used his blackness against him.” But he ignores that this same Clinton was subsequently named by the same President Obama to perhaps the most important position in his cabinet. And in the 2016 campaign, Obama has all but endorsed Clinton.
Of course you can disagree with the President and most black voters about the merits of voting for Clinton and the tone of her 2008 campaign. But to ignore their support when the issue at hand is racism? That’s a rather glaring omission.
Interestingly, the prefered candidate for the writers of these takes shares an inability to grapple with those that disagree. Perhaps Bernie Sanders most radical idea is that, without corporate media, the Republican party would barely exist! From Vox:
“If we had a media in this country that was really prepared to look at what the Republicans actually stood for rather than quoting every absurd remark of Donald Trump,” [Sanders] said, then support for the GOP would entirely collapse. “this is a fringe party. It is a fringe party. Maybe they get 5, 10 percent of the vote.”
In his autobiography, Sanders writes that “one of the greatest crises in American society is that the ownership of the media is concentrated in fewer and fewer hands” which contributes to the dynamics he deplores.
This idea is so gratuitously wrong that it merits no rebuttal. If you trying to change minds, (or even have a political revolution!) you can’t ignore or deny that others legitimately disagree.