There is no denying that the progressive movement is filled with women of color (WOC) who continue to lead the charge in fomenting a new way of governing in this country. Progressives no longer need to depend on the kindness of the Democratic party to make things happen and the response to that realization has been revealing.
Some white female feminists have elected themselves, not simply the leaders of, but the owners of feminism, and twitterista Sally Albright is a prime example of this overseer attitude. She frequently uses her social media to come at women of color who don’t agree with the Democratic National Committee (DNC). She has positioned herself in a place of authority and attempts to squelch any voice that doesn’t go lockstep with them, all under the guise of spoon-feeding harsh truths to political noobs that, apparently, couldn’t possibly be grasped without her whitesplanation.
Most recently Albright degraded a favorite target of “Clinton Democrats” in former Ohio State Senator, and surrogate of Senator Bernie Sanders’ 2016 presidential campaign, Nina Turner.
Turner, known for her fierce advocacy of progressive values, has quickly become a leader in the eyes of many progressives.
Albright started a Twitter thread, stating that Sanders (I-VT) has done what she predicted Donald Trump would do had he lost the 2016 election. She went on to make a baseless accusation, saying of Sanders, “he’s rounded up his followers and every time someone crosses him, he turns his flock against them.” Albright continued to comment about Sanders’ movement, before she labeled Turner “Bernie’s Omarosa”, claiming that Sanders “uses her for cover and she’s invested in his success.”
— Sally Albright (@SallyAlbright) April 22, 2017
If you thought this episode would end here, you’d be wrong. On April 27th, Albright quoted a tweet and said, “Bernie has black friends”. She then reasserted the idea that Turner is Sander’s Omarosa, tweeting, “Someone the other day said Nina was Bernie’s Omarosa”. When another user suggested Albright would not approve if the same were said about Hillary Clinton & Congresswoman Maxine Waters (D-CA), she confirmed this, responding that it doesn’t apply to Hillary and Waters.
These neo-feminists have worked tirelessly to erase the individual agency of WOC, especially black women, in order to center the conversation from their point of view and then leverage their support as a way to keep us in line – in the back of the line. If you don’t tow the party line then you are not a real feminist and/or have no understanding of how the system works. The implication being that the DNC and the status quo are the only way forward, and we were duped by Bernie Sanders with our ‘new found’ passion for politics.
It couldn’t possibly be that the status quo has never worked for the marginalized and that the DNC has just outlived its usefulness with its mediocre leadership. It couldn’t possibly be that WOC have led the charge for social change for centuries and that Sanders was the candidate that spoke to our issues more directly and had a political history of more consistency than other candidates. Oh no, it couldn’t be that, because that line of thinking would mean giving the black voter more than the perfunctory once-every-four-years attention that the DNC has grown accustomed to over the decades. It would mean using the black vote as a disposable commodity instead of actually dealing with the issues that stagnate our communities might have been a bad long term plan.
As the death knell tolls for the Democratic Party, progressives have gained ground in creating an entirely new political party that no longer cedes to the DNC. Progressive parties are being led by marginalized people using their amplified voices, working directly within the communities that they live in; Communities that have long been overlooked by Democrats, except for their presumptive vote every four years. The growth of independent progressive parties has not gone unnoticed.
As this growth has taken place, the “unity attacks” have also ramped up. Nancy Pelosi spoke plainly and clearly when she stated that the Democratic Party wasn’t looking to move in a new direction. She obviously wasn’t thinking of unifying with the masses who were desperate to move in a new direction. Democrats continue to slam progressives whilst simultaneously courting them. One can only feel that “unity” is a coded threat; assimilate or be, at best ignored, and at worst degraded.
These insinuations are subtle but speak volumes about a core belief in the Democratic Party of the homogenous, hive mind of voters of color, and that anyone in that group who steps outside of the prescribed boundaries must only do so at the behest of a White Master. We should let them show us what they need us to do. It is the white savior trope played out in political theater. This is not only an insult to our communities’ intelligence, work, and abilities but also demonstrates the blinders the DNC have been wearing when it comes to dealing with diversity and equality as more than a campaign slogan.
Democrats are now comprised of the Old Guard, a group that gained power in a time when being just left of the Ku Klux Klan was enough to solidify your position as progressive, then the old guard got too comfortable and fell asleep at the gate. Time passed them by and they continued to doze as they slowly became obsolete. The loss of Democratic power didn’t start with Bernie Sanders’ presidential run, but he is the scapegoat they want to use to avoid discussing failed policies and ideological entropy that has been devouring the party for years. They also step on the backs of people of color siphoning off our work in an attempt to breathe life back into the party while still missing the real issue that is sinking their ship; A lack of true progress.