#Allies (Part 1 in a Series)

Part of being a terrible person is making posts to Facebook, and then after a few dozen comments, turning off notifications. I've seen them go to over 200 comments of people bickering with each other. I think Paul Constant sums it up best: Your comment on an article or blog post has never, ever changed anyone else's mind. This often can extend to the Twitter and the Facebook.

The two topics that draw out the wolves faster than anything: thoughts on the Democratic Party, and anything that is marginally critical of Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT). It's no secret that while I am supportive of a lot of the same things that Sen. Sanders champions, I am not fond of his blindness to people of color, or abortion as an economic issue for women. There is no doubt that income inequality is a major issue in our country, and there is interconnection between income inequality and so many other institutional barriers in our country. 

But pretending that addressing income inequality on its own will be equitable is wrong. And shying away from being frank in discussions about race, gender, abortion, etc., because it might turn off "white working-class voters" is pure trash. 

Marcus Johnson wrote a fantastic piece on race and the "far left" for The Establishment. (BTW - give them your money). As someone who wants to see the Democratic Party grow, and wants to see more focus on building voices and building communities that have been neglected by everyone for far too long, it was a fantastic read on what's missing from the predominantly white, liberal activists that have begun to get more active in the wake of Sen. Sanders' loss in the Democratic Primary and Trump's electoral-vote victory in the general election. So, as one does, I posted the piece to my personal Facebook. And lo and behold, the arguments and nitpicking began. My personal favorite, of course:

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I'm not Facebook friends with Mr. Morrill, and I'm not sure how he came across my Facebook. He doesn't follow me, so from what I understand, he had to have sought out the post. From his Facebook, one thing is noticeable: he's a white dude. Let that sink in. 

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Mr. Johnson's article notes the lack of meaningful outreach and allyship of many on the "far left" to communities of color. I'm not convinced that allyship includes whitesplaining racism and black history (indirectly) to a black man. Unsurprisingly, he then goes on to make this comment:

Of course, Marissa Johnson's version of events is well-known to be quite different from what other people have determined happened. But what does she know...she was just THERE.

So when people question why I'm "on a path to create more [divisiveness] among the left," it's not that. But I am unwilling to sit back and watch people pay lip service to historically marginalized communities, and pretend that everything is OK when it isn't. We are seeing deterioration of our Party because we have been unwilling to confront many of these uncomfortable truths. And if the "far left" is going to continue to push forward without listening to or embracing communities of color because they "don't get" why economic populism is purportedly good for them, then that's not a train I'm interested in supporting. 

Being right is easy. But if we truly want to rectify the harms our society has done for generations to communities of color, immigrants, women, LGBTQ folks, and all of those who have been both intentionally and unintentionally neglected by our country, then we need to be better than right. And we need to be better than just "allies."