Black Lives Matter Feels the Bern

    ShaunKingBernie Sanders received a lot of heat from Black Lives Matter (BLM) activists over the summer and I didn't like it.  I criticized aspects of the movement and one of its most prominent leaders Shaun King.  I reasoned that Bernie was obviously the best candidate for African-Americans just as he is best for all Americans and rather than confront him and possibly undermine his campaign, BLM should work with him.

    On October 5, I posted 5 Reasons Hillary Clinton could Lose her Advantage with Democrats of Color.  I noted 1) Bernie's five decades of work in the civil rights movements, 2) his focus on economic injustice, 3) his willingness to criticize Israel, 4)  Clinton's repeated use of the race card in 2008 against Barack Obama, and 5) her pro-incarceration pro-death penalty record.

    Well BLM has come around to my way of thinking.  BLM offshoot Campaign Zero now rates Bernie positively on 9 of its 10 core issues - the most of any ranked candidate.  Clinton and Martin O'Malley rate positively on 7.

    Today, the New York Daily News published a comprehensive op-ed by Shaun King endorsing Bernie Sanders.  King explains that Sanders "most embodies the values and ideals of the man who led the civil rights movement" - Dr. Martin Luther King - and with whom Sanders marched in the 1960s.  Shaun King praises Sanders for being "without a doubt, the most consistent politician in America and . . . fighting for universal health care, access to education, equal pay, equal rights and the complete overhaul of how we do justice in this country for his entire career."

    King notes, as I did, 1) Sanders' endorsement of Jesse Jackson in 1988 and 2) his call to close all private prisons.  But King also discusses 3) Sanders' votes against both wars against Iraq, 4) his decision to hire Symone Sanders as his national press secretary, 5) his compassionate position on immigration reform, and 6) his bravery in tackling police violence against African-Americans.

    As Clinton faces the real possibility of losing the first two primaries, both of which are in predominantly white states, her backers point to the disproportionate support she has in the African-American and Latinos communities.  These will serve as an unbreachable firewall they confidently proclaim.  This confidence may be misplaced. 

    Shaun King is now campaigning for Bernie on historically black campuses around the country.   With King joining prominent activists like rapper Killer Mike, Dr. Cornel West, Congressman Keith Ellison, and Ohio State Senator Nina Turner on Team Sanders,  Clinton's advantage among African-Americans could evaporate as quickly as her lead among whites has over the past few weeks.


    More misleading Hal bullshit. Shaun King is a single person - BLM has 23 chapters. He does not speak for BLM across the board or any specific number of members, much less people of color across the country - he just speaks for himself.

    Additionally, the Campaign Zero rating didn't have positions for Hillary on 3 items, for Sanders on 1 - thus the difference. (based on her comments elsewhere about marijuana legalization, I'd guess she's worse than Sanders on that point in my eyes, but that's not what the rating scores on). 

    And again I think it's bullshit to conflate unrelated issues - BLM focuses on police brutality and murder against blacks, not the suite of progressive platitudes proferred here - and that's where they should keep focus. It's irresponsible for someone purporting to care about this important issue to mix it up with whether someone supported Jesse Jackson 30 years ago, position on the Iraq War (btw, Hal - don't care about those Kuwaitis?), and probably his position on immigration (unless it helps black immigrants keep from getting killed or abused?). I'm not sure what "bravery" Sanders showed, but at least it's germane to BLM, as is hiring a BLM activist as national press secretary (she apparently was active even as a 16-year-old, lobbying to introduce Bill Clinton). Hillary has also come out against private prisons & immigration cells back in March, along with overall incarceration of blacks (here & here, earlier position on private immigration cells here)

    Shaun King is a single person - BLM has 23 chapters. He does not speak for BLM across the board or any specific number of members, much less people of color across the country - he just speaks for himself.

    Get real. That would only matter if he was endorsing Hillary.

    Oops, back to my corner. blush

    I'd like to preface my comments by mentioning I am NOT a person who embraces the ignorant, people dividing Black vs White or White vs Black game a significant number of my American neighbors wish to embrace. I'm a person who grew up in the sixties embracing the values of peace, love and unity espoused by many of my American neighbors of all flavors during that period of American history.

    I recognize and appreciate the issues of inequality raised by members and supporters of the Black Lives Matter movement.

    I realize there are inequalities that still need to be addressed for us to continue evolving toward becoming a more peaceful, emotionally healthy nation. I understand the pain, anger, frustrations and disappointment experienced by human beings who feel as though they are being cheated, oppressed, or not treated with the same respect all peaceful Americans are entitled to.

    My life experiences also force me to realize there is a significant population of immature American teen girls and adult women my experiences tell me are responsible for impeding a substantial population of peaceful, caring, loving Americans from finding internal peace, and enjoying the respect all peaceful Americans deserve.

    Frankly, I too experience pain, anger, frustration and disappointment caused by an American system and society that permits and seemingly encourages the human oppression, abuse and/or neglect of our Nation's most precious and valuable resource, our children.

    I am disappointed and frustrated by a significant population of immature moms like Baltimore mom and grandmother Toya Graham who I believe had no morally or 'legally' acceptable right to introduce SIX children to a life of hardships and struggles while depending on her responsible neighbors to feed, clothe and house her SIX children. One of whom was observed joining other depressed teens in attempting to cause grave bodily harm or death to police officers charged with protecting peaceful people from angry, depressed teens like her son Michael and many of his depressed classmates.

    I am deeply troubled by moms much like Tavis Smiley's mom,  who as a teen irresponsibly began building a family of ten children she introduced to a life of childhood oppression, pain, hardship and struggles. In May of 2015 Tavis revealed to a national and worldwide audience his nine brothers and sisters continue struggling from the affects of Poverty, aka Childhood Trauma and Abuse.

    No one forced Toya Graham or Tavis Smiley's mom to irresponsibly introduce sixteen human lives to a life of pain and struggle.

    Ms. Graham and Mrs. Smiley are much like countless numbers of depressed, immature teen moms across our nation who made a conscious decision to introduce their children to a life of emotional pain and turmoil causing them to experience life scarring Childhood Trauma that Grammy winner and victim of Childhood Abuse and Neglect Kendrick Lamar laments his "living wild," Violent Felon embracing mom and dad caused him, his three siblings and numerous cousins to experience...instead of experiencing a fairly happy American kid childhood with Safe Streets to travel and play on that all young kids have a right enjoy.

    I am sad, angry, frustrated and disappointed that a majority of my American neighbors choose to ignore the child oppression, abuse and neglect many immature, irresponsible moms like Ms. Graham and Mrs. Smiley cause their/society's children to experience during a critical period of their human development.

    Frankly, I believe these mom should be held criminally liable for  receiving public funds to support their children, and then failing to place the emotional well being of their children above all else, often resulting with kids like Freddie Gray maturing into a depressed teen and adult who causes harm to himself and his struggling or peaceful neighbors.

    Sadly, far too many children raised by criminally negligent moms often develop into depressed, angry, frustrated, unpredictable, sometime suicidal *(NY Times May 18, 2015 - Rise in Suicide by Black Children Surprises Researchers)* teens and adults causing emotional and physical harm to their peaceful neighbors, resulting with the police becoming involved.

    Sadly, regularly dealing with depressed, emotionally disturbed teens and adults much like Kendrick, Tupac Shakur, Freddie Gray and Michael Singleton took a toll on my emotional well being that resulted with me abandoning a Brooklyn community after spending twelve years of my life as a cop trying to protect peaceful people from Violent Felons who raised depressed kids like Kendrick Lamar, an emotionally damaged man who publicly speaks about his torment dealing with childhood and adult depression, as well as experiencing suicidal thoughts.

    Yes, some police officers need to do a better job of remaining professional, adhering to their training, keeping cool, not allowing the human suffering and oppression of children and teens many police officers witness on a daily basis to erode their humanity or basic human respect for others.

    Just as some single and married moms need to do a better job of parenting by raising, nurturing, socializing and supervising infants, toddlers and children who mature into fairly happy, responsible teens and adults respecting their peaceful neighbors and the authority figures responsible for maintaining peace in our neighborhoods.

    I'm sorry to pick on moms, though since ancient times they are the primary caregivers we look to keep us safe, cared for and loved right from our start.
    *(NY Times May 18, 2015 - Rise in Suicide by Black Children Surprises Researchers)*

    Robert K. Ross, MD, President and CEO of The California Endowment, gives a compelling overview of the role that exposure to childhood trauma plays in the lives of troubled and chronically ill Americans.


    TAGS: injustice, inequality, police, police integrity, police misconduct, police anxiety, police aggression, police training, child abuse, child neglect, child maltreatment, child oppression, childhood depression, black lives matter, maternal responsibility, gangs, drug abuse, gun violence, community violence, teen depression, teen violence, teen suicide, adult depression, educator/teacher frustration, sadness, solutions?,

    Irish moms regularly had tons of kids and we used to say similar, except not being black, they had a chance to mix in, rather than still being discriminated against a century or two later.

    While Mums & Dads of large families have managed to love and care for their kids (my neighbors had 14, and they've all grown up quite fine and close), we also understand that fewer kids makes it easier - the black birthrate is only a smidgen above the white rate - 65 to 59 per thousand - and births to millennials of all ethnic groups have plunged some 15-25%.

    Of course conservatives have made it difficult for women to get birth control and abortions, while the poverty and problems you see are more to do with negligent males not tending their offspring than women not keeping their legs together. And conservatives have made it harder to create jobs programs specifically for these kids, because that would be too much compassion and pandering when their goal is to drown government in a bathtub.

    Police on the street is of course just a bandaid on a bigger problem, though certainly the rampant abuse of minorities by some (many?) police does not help minorities become less depressed or more law abiding - it creates vicious cycles.

    Probably you're not reading this anyway, but if you really did put that many years in, you'll know there are better ways of doing this and push for positive improvements.

    It seems like his answer to the undue suffering faced by black children is a softer eugenics. Instead of focusing on reforming the system of global capitalism that ships good jobs out of black communities, and destroying the systemic racism that puts kids through a pipeline from failing schools to prisons, we should just focus on creating less poor black people. I could be wrong, but that's how I read his argument. If poor people of color had less children then there would be smaller classrooms, and less competition in the job market, but since when do we get to set parameters on the procreation of life? This was a well written piece, but I disagree with the argument. 

    A well written racist opinion liberally seasoned with peace and love can often be compared to perfumed excrement. That is the case here. Well called, Danny.

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