Posted on August 15, 2017
I sit here in the gloaming of the evening feeling battered. Today’s wounds hurt more than usual because they were not inflicted by the Right. I’m used to those guys calling me a snowflake and “libtard” and I pay it no mind if I even notice it all. They clearly haven’t caught on that any resemblance I bear to a snowflake is some glimpsing of the ephemera around my magic fairy powers.
And so it is to my brethren and sistren on the Left that I write this epistle:
So, you want a purity test? You want all comers to the movement to swear certain allegiances or be banished from the group, their ideas spurned? You want to troll liberal conversations and “call out” liberals who aren’t quite liberal enough for you? Or, more accurately, you want to accuse, without knowing any pesky facts about a person, that their liberal bona fides are lacking. To put it on Game of Thrones terms, you demand that your foot soldiers bend the knee promising fealty to Her Grace, the Sanctimonious Left.
My liberal allies today called me a racist, part of the white supremacy patrimony and, my personal favorite, a privileged, white “slactivist”. Indulge me just a minute while I respond to these attacks. I’m being self-indulgent and more than a little sanctimonious myself but there is a point to this, I swear:
I spent 4 years in a majority black law firm representing black people trying race discrimination, prisoner brutality and voting rights cases. I am member of the NAACP and the ACLU. I was one of the lawyers representing the NAACP Legal Defense fund in the 2000 census gerrymandering cases, known to election lawyers everywhere are Shaw II. Look it up. Contrary to the assertion of some liberal strangers on the internet, I am nowhere near a liberal “slactavist”. I am a Democratic Party precinct officer and along with several others, I help lead Stronger North Carolina, an Indivisible grassroots voter education and activism group. This summer I worked with a program that put kids from the local Islamic Center, Historically Black Churches and White Mainline churches together to learn what they have in common and to begin to form community. I have spent much of my adult life intentionally putting myself in communities with people of color and people of different faiths. So, y’all are seriously getting on my nerves with the name calling.
But I’m not writing this just because my knickers are in a twist, though that’s part of it. I’m writing because I saw women and men like me get shut down over and over again in liberal discussions today. There seemed to be some kind of liberal litmus test that if you don’t believe destruction of property undertaken without consideration for the long-term effects on the movement was a good idea, you’re either a slactavist, a Nazi sympathizer or a conservative enabler (whatever that is).
No. You know what I am? You know what those other people in the conversation were? We are the Democratic Party grassroots. You can’t win without us. Though you might have to if you keep assuming you know us and that you find us lacking.
Yes, we should have hard-fought and vigorous debates about ideas among fellow liberals. I would expect us to take a few more months to have healthy conversations about what it should mean to be a Democrat today. All points of view welcome. We need to talk about health care, education, infrastructure and well-paying jobs for skilled workers. We need to talk about the school to prison pipeline and police violence and gerrymandering and voter suppression. We need to be talking about what we stand for. Then, once these debates have been heard and decisions have been made we need to line up and go sell it. Because by all that is good and holy, I WILL NOT have another 4 years of this shit because the Left was too busy deciding who is and is not liberal enough to be part of the club. I have three goals: (1) get POTUS out of office; (2) retake the House and (3) eliminate the veto proof majority in NC. We need every single vote we can get to make this happen.
Be practical people. And if you can’t be practical, go troll somebody else. I’m trying to figure out how to change the power structure around here.
Because if we lose, we will fall flat on our face and fail epic-ly, we will eat heaping spoonfuls of Pepe pie. If we keep making ad hominem attacks against each other we are doomed.
If you disagree with an opinion, by all means, make a well-reasoned argument for your point of view. I will gladly read it with an open mind. Ask questions. Try and understand the other person’s perspective. Ask to meet for coffee. Do something that builds community, not something that rips it to shreds.
Put simply, I’m gonna need y’all to get your shit together and quit being an ass to each other each or I’m going to call your Mama.