Dear, Salon: Anger from a white, female Hillary Clinton supporter. (Draft)

While I push back with pen frequently, I don’t often get angry at the things I read.  I possess the ability to contribute fiery compositions without giving birth to any actual internal anger over the words that I found offensive. I can find a piece of writing abusive and obnoxious and find facts lacking without actually getting mad.  (Let me be real — I live in a red state, I’ve had a lot of practice at telling people off and still attempting to love them.)  However, Egan Marie’s piece which not-so-subtly called me and all the other white Hillary Clinton supporters backseat bigots, did a bang-up job of escalating a feeling I try not to let myself possess over words written on the internet often:  genuine anger.

I fully accept that Salon’s purpose of late seems to be to run every irrationally written “Bernie or Bust!” article that it possibly can,  so that it will satisfy vitriolic readers who seem to hate Hillary more than they love the country. And so that, in turn,  people will give it tens of thousand of Facebook likes, share with socialism-loving social media friends, and pass it around Twitter. Web traffic, click baits. I get how that works. I also get that it will spare you the anger of the readers who see a pro-Hillary piece and start keypad pounding about how you’re “so on Hillary’s side!” And of those that instantaneously begin virtually screeching about all the times that the mainstream media has been “biased against Bernie!”  (While simultaneously ignoring that what the mainstream media may, in fact, be doing is trying to talk some sense into the protest voters when Hillary Clinton is obviously the front- runner for the nomination.)

As an adult, I absolutely acknowledge that. I accept that. I fully understand the overwhelming political preference of your readers. However, I cannot and will not accept in silence the argument that Hillary Clinton is simply the candidate for those of us that have a twinge of white guilt but don’t really want any progress, as Ms. Marie so offensively stated.

For lack of a way to better put it, or even a desire, my response to that read was a resounding, “Screw you!”

It was enraging, actually. I’d written a blog post earlier in the week in response to H.A. Goodman’s attempt to convince us through this same site why a Donald Trump presidency really wouldn’t be all that bad and why we should consider writing-in Bernie Sanders even if he fails to secure the nomination, but every time my phone attempted to autocorrect H.A. to B.S., I decided to lighten up and laugh it off. Because that was the depth of the extent of seriousness to which I viewed the “Bernie or Bust!” movement.  Or Mr. Goodman’s writings.

It was, admittedly,  a little more aggravating to read Mr. Brogan Morris’s assessment of a protest vote as: “If their protest allows a sub- Mussolini demagogue to slip into power,  so be it.”

Wait, what?

It’s one thing to take Mr. Goodman’s approach to try to convince us that a Donald Trump presidency wouldn’t be all that disastrous, it’s quite another to acknowledge the danger and  potential threat that Mr. Trump poses to the safety and security of the United States of America and then dismiss it, simply for the sake of the rise you get in your chest from seeing yourself get your way as you write-in the name of the candidate that you really like on the ballot. As a kid on the internet once ever-so-cutely said: “Is this real life?”

As someone who gets seriously psyched over my civic responsibilities, I cannot mentally grasp the idea of throwing away my vote — while loudly and obnoxiously arguing that it’s not throwing it away — on a protest vote. But thankfully the Bernie or Bust movement isn’t the majority of responsible Sanders supporters, and publications like the Rolling Stone and Seattle’s The Stranger have already begun the process of trying to convince people how ridiculous that notion is. So I’ll leave that to those better equipped with a publishing platform.

However Ms. Marie’s contribution was not only rooted in simply her perception of facts, instead of facts; it was bigoted and violently offensive. 

While in this latest “Only Sanders!” submission the author never states that she’s an advocate of writing-in Bernie Sanders even if Hillary wins the nomination, it clearly states that she’s an Atlanta resident and seeing as how Georgia has already voted in the primary and the authors entire point is to explain how she will still not support Hillary Clinton, to brand the author as a member of the “Bernie or bust!” movement, would be drawing reasonable conclusion. Ms. Marie also takes time to ridicule those that she doesn’t have the same political opinion as, and attempts to inadvertently, and sometimes directly,  shame Hillary Clinton supporters while writing a piece about how she doesn’t like to be shamed for her Sanders support.

This latest piece of  Sanders-only propaganda, while elegantly written and clearly penned by someone who has varying degrees of artistic talent, was probably the most obnoxious.  Because I was diagnosed,  as were all white liberals who support Hillary, a person who doesn’t care about race issues;  as well as assessed as someone who suffers from white guilt, but not to the point of being willing to support a candidate who actually cares about black people. At least from the author’s perspective. We closeted white racists are only interested in supporting the equality-lite candidate, and it’s a direct derivative from our unacknowledged internal rage at seeing a black man hold the Oval Office, or so says the author. And, it seems, the only qualifications required to assess everyone else as a racist is birthing a biracial child. How noble.

So let’s address that overwhelming insinuation that because I didn’t give birth to a dark-skinned child that I, as a white person who supports Hillary Clinton, can only minimally care about racism.  And that I could never care, will never care, about it to the extent that I do the feminist cause. I would think a  fellow southerner would know better than to allege something so ridiculous — particularly engulfed in the hotbed of racism that is the south,  and its serving as the homestead of an overabundance of African-American Hillary Clinton supporters. But perhaps, maybe,  it’s an age difference.

Yes, I’m one of those damn Hillary-adoring Generation Xers, but barely. But the insidious allegation that because I’m white, or because I’m a white person who doesn’t have a biracial child, or that because I’m a white person who doesn’t support your candidate, I couldn’t possibly care as much about racism as much as the author,  was disgusting.  Even though the allegation was somewhat disguised — although at times, not so inadvertently hinted — it was certainly implied. 

So no,  I don’t have biracial children (at 36, I don’t have any children of my own), but what I do have is a life experience of trying to help raise two biracial children of someone else’en in a rural southern town where I can vividly recall the way white people looked at me when I walked in the restaurant 14 years ago with my brown skinned,  wirey- headed god child.  I also have the experience of growing up in the south in the eighties,  where people still referred to Martin Luther King Jr. holiday as “James Earl Ray day,” and referred to mixed — as  they still call them in the south — children as “n****** babies.” I’ve fought against racism every single day of my adult life and very aggressively for the last fourteen  years.  To the point that made the super popular kid in high school would have to hire pallbearers if I died tomorrow and my family bury me in this town. So the assessment that it’s just white guilt lite that leads me to support Hillary Clinton, is not only ignorant and unfounded,  it’s just wrong.

It also displays the differences between Millennials and those dreaded Generation Xers. Because we understand, as do Baby Boomers, that sometimes people are just whiners. It also displays the irrationality of some of the hardest core Sanders supporters since they seem to be the only ones offended by these particular
examples of Hillary-the-hateful.

1. The example that author gave of the grown child that Hillary allegedly chastised and then dismissed, was just a blatant example of a kid being a brat. As a nanny,  when my three year olds act that petulant, I usually let them know that I will be here to talk about whatever it is they’re angry over, when they can use their big-girl words and have a little bit of respect. That may infuriate the internet, in the generational faux-outrage of “Don’t talk to me like that!” millennial Sanders supporters, but in the real adult world where you have a million other people to meet, and a million other voters to appeal to, why should Mrs. Clinton spend her time with someone who wasn’t there to have a discussion, or even issue a genuine grievance or an honest critique? She was there to be hateful and she was there to be snarky, and she was there to “Nuh uh!” anything Mrs. Clinton said.

The millennial generation which is widely criticized for the being “me, me, me,” participant trophy generations and since I’ve seen it well displayed in some of the unreasonable character attacks on Mrs. Clinton and since the author began this discussion of  generalization, I’ll offer this one of my own: sometimes it isn’t hard to see how some of the millennials earned that rep.

2. It’s unfair — and frankly,  dishonest — to talk about a woman that rudely disrupted a Hillary Clinton rally to protest a comment that Hillary Clinton made which was never a direct reference to what Hillary critics claimed it was (exclusively African American kids) — although it was a terrible and indefensible choice of words — while refusing to acknowledge that the associated legislation you’re criticizing Hillary for supporting by being married to the president who passed it, was actually one that Senator Sanders cast a vote for. (Lest we forget that Sanders suffered his own similar interruption at the start of the summer and, at the time, he didn’t exactly handle it like a pro.) The Sanders supporters usually point to the words that Sanders gave before he cast his vote for that disastrous crime bill, but it doesn’t matter what you say before you vote — in the end, it only matters how you vote. Try getting caught cheating on your spouse and trying to convince your significant other that you gave a really good spill on why you shouldn’t right before you stuck your penis someplace it doesn’t belong, and let me know how that works out for you. The Hillary critics use this as an example of why Hillary is blatantly racist, while overlooking the fact that Bernie voted for the very thing that allegedly is the defining characteristic of a racist. Yes, Hillary supported that legislation. As did the Congressional Black Caucus and many African- American leaders of disenfranchised and crime-ridden cities. Violence was so abundant in the 90s that leaders were desperate to do something and they’re all complicit. It was disastrous, and no one is defending it. When you know better, you do better. And we know better now. Painfully and admittedly through mistakes. But it seems that Sanders gets a pass while no one else does. That is not only hypocritical,  it’s dishonest. And it only sets us back.

3. No one should be shaming you for voting for Bernie — although boat loads of Bernie supporters seem hell-bent on shaming, defaming, and virtually assaulting Hillary Clinton supporters, even going so far as to allege through Salon submissions that all the white ones are mindless and racist, as Egan Marie does in her essay —
what they’re shaming, or should be shaming,  is the ridiculousness of the counterproductive irrationality of this ‘Bernie or bust’ idea being thrust across social media and being shoved down young Democrats throats. And angry at the dangerous irresponsibility behind it.

There are real examples of dismissiveness and inequality and racism, but citing examples of when Hillary Clinton didn’t spend her time engaging with a pouty adolescent when she has a million other people to meet and a million other voters to appeal to, and chose to recognize this instead of encouraging continued dialogue with someone who clearly wasn’t there to actually discuss anything with Mrs. Clinton as much as she was to launch her snarky criticisms, isn’t one of them. In fact, it may be an example of that infamous millennial mentality which simply hears “free college!” without stopping to assess that the only filibuster-proof votes that Bernie could round up for  legislation he introduced in the Senate was jointly proposed bipartisan legislation. Bernie is an amendment man; that’s fabulous. He excels at that. However, you don’t go to the White House to make laws, you do that in the place that Bernie is now. And he hasn’t had much success with those ideas while he’s been there.  Simply pointing that out is an examples of the ‘unfair media’ treatment they believe Sanders has been recipient of. As is acknowledging that it’s hard to start a revolution when you don’t even show up to vote in 2010, 2014 — if said Sanders supporters were even of age to vote then — but yet citing sweeping congressional seats as your answer to this revolution. While there are many reasons the president is monumentally important,  local and state government likely has more of a direct influence over your life than a president ever will, and the political revolution starts there. By filling your State house with Democrats; by electing Democratic representation at the gubernatorial level;  and by sending Democrats to Washington to represent your congressional district. By showing up to vote in the midterms! And then maybe some of these “radical” proposals would be less radical and more like reality.

If we want to talk racism, let’s talk racism. Not fabricated examples of skewerd interpretations of campaign trail actions and relentless, never-ending Sanders-supporter talking points.

In 1968 in Orangeburg, South Carolina,  3 students were killed and 28 others wounded because they were protesting the fact that even after federal legislation was passed giving them the right, they were still denied access to a bowling alley. To quote Mr. Bakari Sellers, that an examples of real racism. Bakari’s father, Dr. Cleveland Sellers was wounded in that Massacre and then served nine months in jail. Spoiler alert: Dr. Sellers is a Hillary Clinton supporter.
So are other instrumental civil rights heroes,  like John Lewis. So is 80% of the African Americans living across the South. So is Dolores Huerta, a Latino civil rights icon. Are they all, as alleged, closeted racist filled with push back over the presence of a black man in the Oval Office? Or no, I guess that assessment was simply lobbed at white people who are supposed to be mad as hell about Barack Obama. Right. That’s why we unhinged and venomous pasty people are supporting Hillary Clinton, his preferred, although still unspoken,  predecessor to carry on his legacy.  All of the Latinos; all of the feminist; all of those instrumental in the Civil Rights Movement and the living legacies that left behind, have all got racism wrong. I suppose the only one that knows anything about equality is the author of the offending article.

Thank you for teaching us, Ms. Marie.

Let me give you an example. Yes, I am one of those women that wanted to grow up and be like Hillary Clinton. Although we’ve now been condescendingly educated on the fact that we are a minority. My legacy is admittedly different than the authors, but I find it ironic that I was shamed call the closeted racist for being one of those white women that wanted to grow up like Hillary Clinton by someone who’s loudly claiming that they don’t want they don’t wish to be shamed for their political choice. Yes,I voted for Hillary in 2008 and after she was defeated in the primary, became an in-your-face champion for Barack Obama. And my love for president Obama has even, if I’m gut-level honest,  surpassed that for Hillary and one of my earliest political heroes, Bill Clinton, with whom I share a day of birth.  I’ve given up relationships over Barack Obama. I been unfriended by personal lifelong allies. I’ve been Facebook bullied by former friends. And I’ve went from being someone well loved to being someone who incites social media rage when their name is mentioned. All over my willingness to defend and protect and fight for President Barack Obama while living in the rural South. And I’ve never been more proud of myself or more proud to stand for something in my life. And I am not alone. We may be rare in red states, but there are more Hillary Clinton supporting, Barack Obama loving, Dr. King reading, Nelson Mandela worshipping, local paper contributing, African-American defending, liberal white women.

The insinuation of otherwise would be laughable, if it weren’t so infuriating. Who are you, Sanders supporters on the internet, to tell me, someone who has lived this existence every day, that my heart isn’t pure and my fight for equality isn’t genuine simply because you have a small and diluted impractical vision of the political process in this country and the way that we make progress.

It’s hard to stomach the assertion from Bernie Sanders supporters that Hillary Clinton voters are racist, while seeing that Senator Sanders seems to solely rack up delegates in caucuses composed of a largely white and liberal electorate. The argument that anyone else supporting Hillary Clinton is an undercover racist and/or angry white person, is not only debunked by the demographics casting primary ballots for Secretary Clinton,  it also seems to make the suggestion that the “political revolution” is  a 74-year-old white guy supported mainly by white people a bit of an eye-roller. On Super Tuesday, the only demographic that Secretary Clinton didn’t carry was white men. Even in areas where she had won the white male vote over Barack Obama in 2008. I guess bitch really is the new black, huh?

It’s also hard to take any arguments seriously when it holds that Bernie Sanders is the only hope of revolution; Bernie Sanders is our nation’s savior; Bernie Sanders is the only one that can make change; Bernie Sanders is the only one with credibility and integrity; Bernie Sanders is the only politician we can trust; Bernie Sanders is the only one whose ideas and opinions matter, except, of course, when we reach the point where Hillary Clinton wins the nomination and Bernie tells us to get behind the Democratic nominee — in that case,  he’s wrong then, and I’m not going to listen. And at which time, I’ll write-in his name.

Ms. Marie writes that, “These women are willing to elect a symbol of progress that makes them feel good, forgetting just how much is on the line…”

Contradiction much, Berniebots?

She also states, “The women I hear vehemently defending Hillary are the women who look like her. They are white.”

Again,  not only is this the author’s admitted interpretation alleged as fact, it’s also a statement that falls apart upon examination when we look at actual primary results. Hillary carries the vote of black women and black men.  And on Super Tuesday, she even carried the vote of young black women. She won the vote of black women, black men,  Latino women, Latino men, and white women. The gross misrepresentation of facts and substituting one’s own personal opinion in place of any information that isn’t substantive of your cause, is what makes the enthusiasm of Bernie followers insufferable. Enthusiasm is good.Fabrications and attacking people that you don’t agree with, but doing in a backhanded way as so as to appear the victim,  is not.  It’s supercilious.

Ms. Marie also writes that as a black man her son was more likely to have his voting rights restricted. It’s not just black men whose voting rights are at risk, it’s everyone’s. Which is why it should be important to everyone — regardless of race, gender or income — that a Democrat hold the White House, gain control of the Supreme Court nomination, and that we elect Democrats all across the board. The portion of the Voting Rights Act that was repealed was the part that dictates that the states have to seek approval from the justice department before they make changes in voter laws, and while African Americans are disproportionately targeted, the intended target of these new voter restrictions is anyone that votes democratically. In my home state of Tennessee where Barack Obama had his tail kicked in both presidential elections, he carried places like Knox County, home of the University of Tennessee,  and other counties that were largely composed of college students.  Which is why our state, as have others,  have passed voter-ID laws that don’t allow you to vote with college identification from a state-sponsored University, but allows you to vote with a handgun carry permit. Of course these states can’t come out and say that they’re targeting black men with voter restrictions and they can’t be blatant in their attempts to do so which is why they cover it all up with fictional “voter fraud,”  but the reality is that black men aren’t the only group that they’re targeting. They’re targeting the elderly. They’re targeting the poor. They’re targeting anyone of color. And they’re targeting college students in areas where they overwhelmingly vote democratic. In Texas, they are targeting registered Hispanic voters.  Anyone truly passionate about those issues that would understand the importance of sending a Democrat to the White House — even if that particular candidate wasn’t your initial choice.

Marie also writes:  (talk of Hillary’s experience is symptomatic of this: Hillary spent only eight years in Congress and eight years as a diplomat, compared to Bernie’s 35 years as mayor, congressman and senator. What her supporters mean when they say she has more experience is that she has more of the type of experience with which they are familiar.)

Which was confusing because, by this point, the reader is led to believe this piece was supposed to be about the flamboyantly patronizing behavior of white Hillary Clinton supporters. Me thinks Ms. Marie doeth a little patronizing of her own. Perhaps — and bear with this old, white, female secret white supremacist for a second, here — it isn’t so much experience that we’re familiar with as it is the type of experience, as in the kind most relevant to occupation of the White House during the time of international chaos. Ms. Marie is also a little off in her calculations. She gives Clinton too much credit for diplomatic service if she’s referencing her tenure as Secretary of State. She only served four there. She also served eight years as a well traveled, highly involved First Lady of the United States and as the same for eight years as the  First Lady of Arkansas. While it’s true it wasn’t an elected position, it was laced with international interaction, global representations, and forming diplomatic relationships. Her time as Secretary of State has helped prepare her for the White House in a way none of the other candidates even come close to emulating.  Serving as the mayor of the Burlington, Vermont, isn’t exactly like visiting 1000 countries and spending the equivalent of four straight months on an airplane.

There are roughly 630, 000 residents in the entire state of Vermont. Let’s have a little perspective. Let’s also not misunderstand the gravity of serving as a United States senator from the state like New York during the biggest tragedy to strike our homeland since Pearl Harbor. While Marie haughtily suggest that we only support secretary Clinton’s professional experience simply because — silly old, racist white women — we don’t understand or aren’t familiar with the important kind. You know, “important” being only the kind Bernie has. When the reality is, perhaps we her prefer her particular brand of second-class experience. If that’s okay with you, all-knowing internet.

Let’s acknowledge some truths that Ms. Marie seemingly intentionally neglected to mention. Hillary Clinton holds 80% of the African-American vote. She carried 68% of the black vote in states like Michigan where she did less well with people of color. So are all these voters wrong? Have they all been swindled. (Damn gullible black people!) Or are they all just misinformed and misled? I gotta tell you,  that sounds dangerously close to echoing something more like a Fox News talking point than one I’d expect to be associated with a political “revolution” or progressive movement. Are all of these individuals — all of these voters — just wrong and the only one that knows any better is you, miss anonymous white woman on the internet? Or are people of color justified in voting for Hillary Clinton, and it’s only the white women that are supporting Secretary Clinton who are bigoted at heart? I hope you white Sanders supporters can help people like Dr. Sellers figure this out fast! * eye roll *

In 1972 in Dothan, Alabama, Hillary Clinton went undercover as a white woman relocating to the area to expose Alabama school systems that were exploiting private schools as a way to get around desegregation. Isn’t it possible that those 80% of African Americans supporting Hillary Clinton in the south; those she’s been acquainted with for decades to her work with the Children’s Legal Defense Fund; the almost unopposed Democratic support that she’s received from congressional leaders might be right, might be warranted, and that you Sanders supporter on the internet who can’t see past your own view of things, while accusing others of doing the same, might be wrong? While Bernie is an outstanding individual and an extremely, likable, lovablet fellow who most of us truly admire, and one who will have my unwavering support should he win the nomination, isn’t it possible that all these people that you, Ms. Marie, are accusing of being blindly persuaded like Trump supporters, could have validity and their justification for voting for Secretary Clinton?

I can tell you I was campaigning for Michael Dukakis on the playground. I come from a long line of southern white Democrats that didn’t abandon the party that saved the nation during the Great Depression simply because they suggested that black kids should have the right to go to school with our white ones, and my personal best is 147 books read in just eight months out of the year. I’m a connoisseur of information and in particular, all texts political. I was a declared political science major before I really even understood what a major was, and the day that I learned about the Birmingham bus boycott was the day that I fell in love with America. I have been enticed by social justice ever since I began to study it in my history books. Even if I  think that protest doesn’t always have to be rudely interrupting someone’s right to speak;  it can be inconveniencing them with peaceful, organized protest, as that is, in my opinion, much more effective than just being an asshole. To draw comparisons to white women like myself who support Hillary Clinton and those who wish to see Donald Trump elected as the Commander-in-Chief of the most powerful Armed Forces on the planet,  is just a massive misfire.

Marie also makes the assessment that her son as a black man would be more likely to be housed in adult detention facilities as a juvenile. Actually, there are already federal statues in place that prohibit this, although states find ways to not comply and it still, without question, exist,  and inarguably disproportionately affects kids of color,  if one is concerned about housing juvenile criminal justice offenders in the same facilities as adults, I would think one would acknowledge and appreciate the legal assistance of organizations like the Children’s Defense Fund and the efforts of people like Hillary Clinton who,  under the leadership of women like Marie Eldeman Wright, worked to eliminate this practice in places South Carolina.  See, some of us white, liberal allegedly racist female Hillary Clinton supporters have been studying this woman’s in career since 1992,  so it’s cute that some political come latelys want to accuse us of bigotry because we don’t see things through the same political lense that they do. But with or without your ballot box support, you may look up on inauguration day, and if you are capable, see the votes that put Secretary Clinton in the position of becoming Madam President and realize that maybe, just maybe, it wasn’t all the middle age feminist or black supporters of Secretary Clinton who were wrong — maybe it was you.


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