Much to the mutual delight of all non-racist Americans everywhere I’m sure, last year, the high-profile deaths of unarmed black men in police custody was a major story line.
One of the men whose names will be forever remembered as an unfortunate victim of excessive police force is Eric Garner, the unarmed, middle-aged African-American man who was selling “Loosies” — individual cigarettes out of a package — who famously told NYPD officers arresting him he couldn’t breathe as the life was literally choked out of him. All of this was caught on film, and yet the Grand Jury declined to prosecute a single officer involved in the incident. Garner was one of central figures whose cases helped spark the Black Lives Matter movement.
BLM has become a lightning rod within both parties for attention because it represents a new generation of racial disharmony. It says to Americans, “You can’t just ignore racism because you were lucky enough to be born after Jim Crow. It still exists.”
Among Democrats, who have for decades enjoyed the largest share of African-American voters, the fight for the presidential nomination has turned to who has done more for the civil rights cause in their political career — Hillary Clinton or Bernie Sanders. The incomparable John Lewis, who is by all measures one of the bravest and most amazing men ever, took a pretty good if not polite swipe at Bernie today, saying he “never saw” him at civil rights marches he was at. Needless to say, both Bernie and Hillary want to seem the most authentically give-a-shit-tastic about the civil rights cause, so when Eric Garner’s daughter endorsed Sanders today, it could help soften the blow a bit from Lewis’ remarks he made while endorsing, as one of the leaders of the Congressional Black Caucus, Hillary’s campaign.
From Erica Garner’s own website, comes this excerpt before the commercial:
The Senator didn’t reach out to me all of a sudden because he needs help with Black people. He didn’t put out a press conference announcing that we would be working together. He didn’t force me to frame my support of him around a subject matter that special interest groups that support him can get behind. They said we are glad to have your support, how do you want to plug in. You will see a lot of Black leaders handing out endorsements, think to yourself, have they historically been a rubber stamp for the establishment? I hope this expresses why I think Bernie is our guy! (source)
That last bit about the “Black leaders handing out endorsements” and whether or they’ve been “a rubber stamp for the establishment” is a pretty good zinger. Call me crazy, but this primary race seems to be a bit of a generational struggle within the Democratic Party this time around. The Boomers are being challenged, and the funniest part of course is that the younger generations has thrown their favor behind a dude older than Hillary by a few years. But what’s that saying about politics and Democratic Socialists?
Erica’s endorsement bolsters my argument, I think. Her own statement paints the same lines that Bernie is painting between himself and Clinton. She painted them between herself and Lewis. As long as neither side — Team Bernie or Team Hillary — punishes the rest of us non-sycophantic political denizens and sits out come November because their candidate lost, this tussle will ultimately be very cathartic for the Dems.
Maybe it’ll be like Human Centipede at first, but ultimately the cleansing feeling of working out all the kinks within the party will feel better than what the GOP is doing right now. They are in full-blown crisis mode. Of course, if the Dems fuck it up in November, then the Republicans could just bumbledick their way into the White House and control of all three branches of government and then I get to see what the Canadian refugee system really looks like from the inside.
That’s another exploration for another time. Here’s Erica’s endorsement of Senator Bernie Sanders for President: