Black Feminism Week: Audre Lorde
Audre Lorde is one of the most important thinkers of the 20th century. I have not really delved into her books, but I have heard some interviews and read some short pieces by her. Her work helped define intersectionality. Even though it’s Kimberlé Crenshaw who is credited with the creation of the term intersectionality, it was the work of Audre Lorde who laid the foundation. Quite honestly, there are probably others who laid the foundation for Lorde who are lost to history.

I always find the evolution of thought and art fascinating.

For the most part, Black Feminism is a contemporary thing. It’s beautiful how academics and women without that level of education have this open conversation around their blackness. Even with the vitriol of racism on the internet, the conversation continues, and I am in awe of the great living thinkers. That doesn’t mean we forget our past. Even though Audre Lorde isn’t with us anymore, it doesn’t mean she hasn’t left a piece of herself with all of us.

Like I have all of this week, I have focused on how white men have made mistakes and critiqued their mistakes, and I am going to do it again with Bernie Sanders.

I have told this story before, but back in 1999 I saw Bernie Sanders on the TV argue for the American People against the Financial Services Modernization Act, and said to myself, that’s who we need for president.

Then I was disappointed in his campaign for being tone deaf. When Freddie Gray died, instead of Bernie Sanders talking about systemic racism, he talked about economic justice. When Black Lives Matter asked him to “Say her name,” he refused. When his supporters when ham and started harassing people of color by using Martin Luther King as a cudgel, his campaign was silent.

It’s not like people weren’t publishing think pieces on this and trying to steer his campaign back on course, I spent a week making images and begging Sanders to fix these problems. Now we have to choose between a warmonger with a history of racism and Donald Trump.

Let’s be honest, Bernie lost this and it was in part his campaign that did this. (Yes, the media has some blame, too.) However, our racist voting system mostly disenfranchised likely Clinton voters. It was Hispanics who were disenfranchised largely in Brooklyn and Arizona. Yes California hasn’t finished counting the votes, but unless some miracle happens, it doesn’t look like Sanders can flip the state.

I also don’t want him to drop out. He has some leverage and he needs to keep the pressure on Clinton. So do we the voters. She has not earned my vote yet. Right now, no one has. Don’t blame me if Trump wins, it is Clinton’s job to earn my vote. I won’t say #NeverClinton, but I will say #NeverTrump.

What Clinton did that Bernie didn’t do, was to hire advisors like Maya Harris and Zerlina Maxwell. Their voices influenced Clinton’s speech on race which was really good. She, in general, is not that good of a speech maker.

Why Clinton has found success with communities of color is that she took an intersectional tact. That is why her speech on race was successful and Bernie Sanders just reinforced white supremacy by saying if Freddie Grey had a job, he wouldn’t have died.

You know what, Sandra Bland had a job and that didn’t save her life!

When you boil down the Sanders campaign, he was a single issue candidate. Sadly, his inability to move off the one issue and they way he and his supporters talked down to people of color hurt him in the end. Yes, economic justice is a part of social justice, but economic justice doesn’t address police violence, it doesn’t address reproduction rights, and it doesn’t address racism.

My biggest fear in this election is that Clinton won’t inspire people to come out for her. She doesn’t speak like Obama, who is the greatest speech maker who ever was President. Give Bill Clinton and that traitor Ronald Reagan their due as speech makers, Hillary Clinton is not in their league. Making great speeches does not make one inspirational. However, laying out a vision, one that is intersectional, one that encompasses the voices of Maya Harris and Zerlina Maxwell as well as her solid Autism platform, can be inspiring.

The key to it all is to address that we all live multi-issue lives.

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