Black Votes Matter: Understanding Why Bernie Lost in Missouri

Dear Bernie Sanders supporters:
It looks like Bernie will narrowly lose Missouri by less than a percentage point (as well as another close defeat in Illinois). He will end up splitting those delegates but it was more about the symbolic victory that he needed that he did not get. That being said, the race is not over despite what CNN and Politico will tell you. But, it is certainly an uphill battle as long as Bernie continues to do poorly with the Black vote. If that does not shift he will not be able to win the Democratic nomination. However, this must be put in proper context because I continue to see this being misunderstood and I believe that Missouri is a powerful example of why things are the way they are.
While it appears Black folks (that voted) in St Louis county overwhelming supported Hillary Clinton, there’s several things that should be examined more closely. One year ago, as Shaun King and others have pointed out, Bernie Sanders was virtually unknown in the region. Clinton on the other hand has been a household name nationally for decades. While Bernie’s been working quite effectively as an Independent legislator in DC, he’s been primarily focused on his quest to help the working man, Veterans, and to curtail Wall Street corruption. His virtual tie with Hillary in Missouri and Illinois is certainly impressive, when you contrast the fact that he’s literally running as David vs the Goliath sized Clinton machine. Even though he didn’t pull off huge upsets on Tuesday he did score a lot of delegates and the bulk of the race outside of the South and Midwest is still to come.
But it must be said that Bernie Sanders and his campaign are unknown in the St Louis region for other reasons too. Had Sanders spent some real time there (Ferguson and St Louis), with Black leaders in the community, college students, and disaffected youth over the past couple years, he would have more than likely won Missouri by a healthy margin (he lost the State by only a thousand or so votes). I’m not saying that Bernie should’ve been in the streets with rapper Tef Poe during the Ferguson uprising, but at some point Cornel West was there, Rosa Clemente was there, Talib Kweli was there, and Bernie could’ve have been there. That’s at the very least what it would’ve taken to make the necessary moves to defeat the Clinton machine.
To be fair, Bernie did speak on it:
“When you see the kind of force that’s been used in
Ferguson, it really does make it appear that the
police department there is an occupying army in a
hostile territory and that is absolutely not what we
want to see in the U.S.” – Aug. 2014 
But, understanding what’s going on in Missouri is a lot more complex than just assuming Hillary gets the Black vote by default because Bernie wasn’t in the trenches or because people know the Clinton name. Some Black folks are simply not voting at all. This is in part because the top of the Democratic party in the state is a joke and quite uninspiring. Look no further than the DA there, Bob Mcculloch, who is a Democrat. A man who did everything in his power to ensure Darren Wilson avoided a trial… he was just re-elected! While other crooked DA’s were rebuked and defeated in Chicago and Cleveland, he managed to survive. As DA, Mcculloch has not only been a staunch supporter of the Police union that backed Wilson, but a Ferguson Police department that was sued by the Justice Department for “a pattern and practice of unconstitutional police conduct.” The point being, the very party that Progressives are asking Black folks in Missouri to rally behind for their nominee as President, is the technically same party in that state that worked to exonerate the man that killed Michael Brown. Not even a trial. Therefore there’s not much trust in the process. Tef Poe infamously stated in a PBS town hall called ‘America After Ferguson,’ that he “voted for Barack Obama twice and still got tear gassed.”
So, while Bernie Sanders believes in policies that would certainly be better for communities of color than a Neo-liberal agenda, some Black folks just don’t believe in the process. Whether we like it or not they have good reason to feel that way. Because the Democrats in St Louis and in DC, for decades have helped to push “Conservative” Drug policies that literally KILL the Black community. Thus, when White Progressives say “How could ‘they’ vote for Hillary?” understand that it’s a lot deeper than what we are seeing.

The same goes for Trump supporters!
Although Racism and bigotry is often the overriding catalyst for the fervor we see at a #TrumpRally, the bulk of Trump’s base are working class, undereducated Whites that have continually supported a Republican Party that has never worked for their best interests. Many of these people are dumbed down, and broken down by a system that’s never delivered their American Dream (or perhaps took it away), and they have good reason to be upset. Sadly, they’re focusing their rage, as well as their allegiance, toward the wrong people. It’s the Trump’s, and the Koch Bros, and the corporations that fund Hillary, that have been screwing them over, not the darker skin boogiemen that they rally against. If they were going to build an effective Wall, it would be one around Washington DC and Wall Street to use as a jail to lock the crooks inside. This is not to allow Racists or White supremacists a pass for their rhetoric and violence. Getting screwed by the political system isn’t an excuse to scream “Fuck those dirty beaners” and “Kill the Protestors” at rallies. But, if we want to decrease the odds of Fascist right-wing Demagogues being elected, we may want to pay closer attention to these people. Perhaps delve into a little more empathy. It’s not exactly sympathy for the devil unless you are crying tears for the puppet masters pulling their strings.

We have a lot of work to do… and it’s much bigger than one election cycle!
Although I will continue to push Bernie to the convention and beyond if necessary, it doesn’t begin and end with a single candidate. Especially if we turn around and go home after Election Day. As Van Jones has pointed out, “yes We can” quickly turns into “yes He can,” when we disengage. And when we leave it up to a single person to make magic happen in a corporate controlled system, we create a false messiah figure and the results are almost always less than what we hope for. Indeed, if Hillary ultimately becomes the nominee, most Progressives will likely rally behind her rather than allow a silver spooned goon (favorite son of Neo-Nazis and Klansmen) to become the next President. But upon her election, no matter what she has promised Bernie and his supporters, she will predictably veer right, right back to where she’s always been. Right back to where the Military Industrial Complex lay in waiting, and right where her Wall Street money comes from. Until we get the corporate-special interest influence out of the election process, or in all likelihood, until we finally decide to tear down the two-party system, this maddening process will continue. Even if we elect Bernard Sanders as Killer Mike calls him, if we do not continue to push the rest of the system forward, he will be held captive by obstruction and crony-capitalism much like President Obama.

Note: My hope is that the candidacy of Bernie Sanders (regardless of the outcome), a campaign without a Super PAC and without Wall Street money, a campaign that’s been able to change the entire narrative of the Democratic establishment during the primary, opens the door for future Progressive leaders. One’s that will be younger, perhaps less white, and less male. More representative of the future of this nation.

– Nate Mezmer


Donald Trump is like Kanye West for White People

Here’s the thing…

Most people supporting Trump don’t care that he uses dangerous rhetoric that stokes racial hatred, or that he often speaks with a fascist tone. They don’t care if he doesn’t have any plan. They don’t care if he lies about reading the bible. They don’t care if he has no knowledge of foreign affairs. They like that he’s rich, and seemingly “wins” everything. They don’t care that he started out wealthy. They don’t care if he’s declared bankruptcy multiple times. He seems to be doing just fine right now. They don’t care that he’s been a “liberal” in the past. They don’t care that he might be completely trolling this entire election and does not actually care about anything to do with the Republican Party.

Donald Trump is sort’ve like the Kanye West for white people (who are poorly educated). He does whatever he wants. He says whatever he wants. He’s the fantastical American dream on steroids. He is what we have been sold since our youth; especially what has ben sold to white males. That we can literally be anything we want and we don’t have to ask for permission. We just take it. Because it’s all about “winning.” It’s not about morality. It’s not about truth. It’s not about learning from history. It’s certainly not about intellectualism. It’s just about ME, ME, ME. Win, win, win. It’s the legacy of “manifest destiny,” meets hyper-capitalism.

Seems totally insane, and yet it all makes sense to me. We can trace it back to ‘The Birth (certificate) of a Nation.’

Even if ‘The Donald’ doesn’t win the election, he’s winning (I don’t think he will, but it’s possible). Before this election, he was a trumped-up tycoon and a semi-relevant reality TV star. Now he’s hands down one of the most famous people in the world. Ranked somewhere between the Pope, President Obama, and I dunno, maybe Kim Kardashian, Justin Beiber, and Beyoncé. If you listen closely, he really didn’t even want to run for President. But he quickly realized that if he just bloviated toughness and a make-believe inability to fail, that simpler Americans would cling to his cult of personality and the media would do the rest for him. Now he’s going to win the nomination for a party that’s comprised of over 90% whites, and a base that believes the President is Muslim, and that climate change isn’t real.

Seems totally insane, and yet it all makes sense to me. We can trace it back to ‘The Birth (certificate) of a Nation.’ A lot of undereducated white folks are upset, fed up with the system and their plot in life, and they don’t know who to blame other than the usual dark skinned boogieman, and business as usual in Washington D.C. To them, Trump represents an opportunity for “American” resurgence, white dominance, and an alternate universe where a Billionaire goes to Washington D.C. and works for the people, instead of the Billionaires.

That’s where we are at in 2016, with about half of this country.

On the bright side, the kids aren’t buying it.

Cue: DJ Khaled ‘All We Do Is Win‘ #MoreSuccess 🔑

Politicians Are More Dangerous Than The Klan [Anonymous Outs The KKK]

The Anonymous story about leaking the names of Political figures that are allegedly associated with the KKK needs to be understood in a larger context (*Even if the leak is unfounded).

#1. The History of the KKK in America is an organization of White Supremacy and Racist Violence aimed at Black Americans in the wake of the abolition of Slavery.

– The Klan’s existence began immediately after the Civil War in the late 1860’s, and it flourished, fractured, and expanded from then on, and throughout the 20th Century. It was a driving force to Oppress and Kill Black Americans in the South during the height of the Jim Crow era, from the early 1900’s through the 1960’s.

#2. The KKK was originally founded and led by Rich White Men, White Businessmen, Political figures, Military leaders, Law Enforcement, Lawyers, Doctors, Farmers, etc.

– Notable Southern General Nathan Bedford Forrest was the first Grand Wizard of the Klan. Throughout the South in the 20th Century businessmen and prominent figures such as Police Chiefs and Politicians put the White Hood on to cover up their association with the violent Hate group. This was not a “backwoods” organization founded and led by poor white “rednecks.” These were “1 percent” types so to speak.

– The fact that we saw a “Black Power” movement in America, in addition to MLK’s Civil Rights movement, was not an attempt to go to war with White America, rather it was to attempt to physically wrestle power away from Racist Systems, Politicians, and Police, as well as to become self-sufficient and stand up to forces that were attacking the Black community without Law enforcement doing anything about it – because often times Law Enforcement was in on it. From local Police all the way up to the FBI.

#3. Racism in 2015 is much trickier and far more insidious than simply being associated with groups like “the Klan.”

– Our entire Justice system in AMERICA, from profiling and targeting, to a Racially Bias “War on Drugs,” to our School to Prison pipeline where children of color are set-up to fail; the entire structure is very much an ‘AmeriKKKan’ institution at this point.

– You don’t have to be an outwardly Racist person, or have a White Hood hanging in your closet to be a supporter of Systemic Racism.

This is why we must ALL work to end the New Jim Crow, the War on Drugs, and the School to Prison pipeline. It’s not enough to simply expose Racists, we need greater awareness about policies and legislation that shape these Racist institutions. This is why “Black Lives Matter” is so important. This is why History is always relevant.

Note: I’m not claiming to support the Anonymous story as true or false. If these claims are true, let them come out. If they are not, they are not only damaging to someone whom might not actually be associated with the Klan, but more so damaging to the bigger perspective of what REAL INSTITUTIONALIZED RACISM looks like in the 21st Century. You do not need a White Hood to be knowingly (or unknowingly) supporting these racist systems and structures. Politicians that accept money from Private Prison lobbies (Hillary Clinton), or work to uphold mandatory minimum sentencing (Bill Clinton, Diane Feinstein) are doing more damage to the Black and Brown community than any coward in a Klan outfit.

Nate Mezmer