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Sat Feb 27, 2016, 10:50 AM

Spike Lee's right: black people should wake up to 'Brother Bernie' [View all]



Spike Lee's right: black people should wake up to 'Brother Bernie'

The director endorsed the Vermont senator on Tuesday. He’s the latest in a series of black intellectuals to recognise Sanders’ superiority over Clinton


by Steven W Thrasher
The Guardian, Feb. 24, 2016

pike Lee is the latest black public intellectual to endorse Bernie Sanders and to question the sanity of black voters and politicians pledging their allegiance to the Clintons, who have done as much harm to black America as any living political couple. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: I am mystified by robust black support for Bill and Hillary Clinton.

Spike Lee’s Do the Right Thing helped me wake up about race in America when I first watched it as a teenager. That’s why I was delighted to read that Spike Lee encouraged South Carolina democrats to “wake up” in a radio ad on Tuesday and to vote for “Brother Bernie”.

Bill Clinton governed through playing to white fears by hurting, locking up or even executing black Americans. He left the campaign trail in 1992 to oversee the execution of Ricky Ray Rector, a black man so mentally incapacitated, he reportedly did not eat the dessert from his final meal because he was “saving it for later”. When in office, Bill Clinton ended welfare for poor children and destroyed countless black families through a crime bill even he now admits made mass incarceration worse, while Hillary Clinton would go out and whip up support for this accelerated disenfranchisement and marginalization of black America, even when it meant referring to children as “superpredators”.

The case against Clintonian neoliberalism is compelling. I am glad to see black thinkers making a case for Sanders’ democratic socialism and its potential to address structural racism as an alternative. If anyone is smart enough to effectively make Sanders’ case to black America, it would be the intellectual leaders who have endorsed him thus far.

Take Spike Lee. He is one of the contemporary black geniuses who have helped the nation (and me personally) reconsider race in transformative ways – and the latest to be feeling the Bern. Or Cornel West, who has been stumping for “Brother Bernie” for months. Just as I understood race differently after watching Crooklyn and Jungle Fever, I grew to understand black liberation theology and the radical potential of Christianity by reading West’s books – his influence been immeasurable. And, like much of America, I learned how to better think about the case for reparations after Ta-Nehisi Coates made it in the Atlantic. That’s why it matters so much that he said he would vote for Sanders.

Similarly, much of the country first got woke about the scale and racism of mass incarceration when they read Michelle Alexander’s The New Jim Crow. Alexander has not endorsed Sanders or any candidate – “I endorse the revolution” she wrote – but she has offered the most skewering critique on why “Hillary Clinton doesn’t deserve the black vote” in the Nation. She has also reminded black voters that “we are not checkmated” – that we can approach politics with a sense of possibility.

CONTINUED...

http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2016/feb/24/black-thinkers-bernie-sanders-studied-clintons-true-cost

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Reply Spike Lee's right: black people should wake up to 'Brother Bernie' [View all]
Octafish Feb 2016 OP
bigtree Feb 2016 #1
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Kentonio Feb 2016 #4
bigtree Feb 2016 #6
Kentonio Feb 2016 #7
Octafish Feb 2016 #15
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Octafish Feb 2016 #29