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Sherronda J. Brown/Shaun King is A White Liberal’s Wet Dream

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Shaun King1 - getty

*(Via WearYourVoiceMag.com) – For the past few years, it seems like there’s been a “takedown” of Shaun King published every few months, and each one details the boundless duplicity of one of the most popular writers thriving in the post-Ferguson landscape.

Among Black activist circles, King is known as a disingenuous opportunist and grifter prone to intellectual thievery—particularly from Black women—and a profiteer of Black trauma with a cult-like following that allows him to repeatedly start new business ventures and initiatives on a loop while collecting piles of money.

King’s theatrics are tired and predictable, and any new information we get about his suspicious activity is unsurprising to most of us at this point, it’s just exasperating. Those of us who have witnessed his narcissism on full display since his emergence as a “prominent voice” following Ferguson are more than willing to give our testimonies and inform others of what we have seen, read, and heard regarding him and how he has maneuvered over the years.

MORE NEWS: Black Woman Convinces Merriam-Webster to Change Its Definition of Racism (Watch)

Shaun+King+International+Women+Day+Marked+G9hWwEQ3XlEl

Shaun King, a Black Lives Matter leader and writer for the New York Daily News, speaks a rally at Westlake Center on March 8, 2017 in Seattle, Washington. The rally was co-hosted by Seattle City Councilmember Kshama Sawant and Socialist Students USA in honor of International Women’s Day, to stand up for reproductive rights and economic equality for women.
(March 7, 2017 – Source: Karen Ducey/Getty Images North America)

Still, we encounter his fans—overwhelmingly white liberals—who are steadfast in their support of him, almost religiously so, regardless of how many times and how many different ways we express that he is not our friend, not our spokesperson, not our savior. Many Black folks have the same question, born out of unending frustration: Why do so many white liberals keep supporting him?

To me, it seems to go beyond the obvious and the familiar, which is that white liberals usually don’t really listen to or respect Black folks, nor do they necessarily believe our shared experiences. The major reason that they hold so tightly to him is that the insincere and performative nature inherent to much of white liberalism creates a need and opens a door for someone like Shaun King to easily slip right into.

WHAT WE NEED TO UNDERSTAND ABOUT SHAUN KING’S PLATFORM IS THAT BLACK PEOPLE ARE NOT HIS INTENDED AUDIENCE OR HIS CONCERN—IT’S WHITE LIBERALS. THE ONES WHO DAMN NEAR SALIVATE OVER IMAGERY OF BLACK TRAUMA AND DEATH.

Well-aware of his sway and the weight of his name, King has used his “authority” to claim undue credit for the work of others and even threaten legal action against young Black organizers for asking questions about his shady fundraising practices and sic his millions of followers on them. At every juncture, he has deployed the kind of vague, circular language that cult leaders, demagogues, and propagandists are infamous for in order to avoid any accountability when Black folks have called him out and in about his unsavory behavior. With his pointed speech, he creates and plays into an “us vs. them” scenario, identifying any dissenters as ill-intentioned heretics attempting to sow seeds of discord and create roadblocks to justice.

This article continues at WearYourVoiceMag.com.

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EUR Commentary

An Open Letter from Cornel West and Others: To Defeat Trump, Discredit His Movement, and Elect Progressives

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donald trump

*(Via The Nation) – We, the undersigned democratic socialists, want to make clear that the priority for the left in 2020 should be the electoral defeat of Donald Trump and the Trumpist Republican Party in November. At present, the only way to accomplish that will be to vote for his Democratic opponent.

The racist, xenophobic, misogynist authoritarianism of Trumpism poses an immediate existential danger to people of color, to immigrants, to reproductive rights, to trade unions, to LGBTQIA people, to Muslims, to Jews, to members of other religions, and to democracy itself. A Trump victory would fortify our authoritarian State, expand imperial aggression, and collapse the political space for democratic and left forces at home. Reversing the creeping neo-fascism at play in our country is a strategic imperative, the most urgent political task before us.

Trump’s regime is literally imposing massive casualties on people of color, immigrants, and women, by means of its work-or-starve campaign to restart the economy in the face of a raging pandemic; through indulgence of random, murderous assaults epitomized by the cases of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, and Ahmaud Arbery; by the shutdown of abortion clinics; and by virtual death sentences imposed on incarcerated persons, including those detained by the vicious Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency. The mob attacks on Democratic state governments encouraged by the president call to mind the reversal of Reconstruction by terrorist partisans of the old Confederacy, after the Civil War.

Thousands are dying of the coronavirus each week, disproportionately people of color, particularly elderly nursing home residents, the incarcerated, and detained immigrants. How many more must be sacrificed?

As democratic socialists, we believe that the best way to defeat Trumpism, as well as Trump himself, is with a platform the breaks decisively with neoliberal policies, especially austerity, privatization, deregulation, and anti-worker trade deals. But in the near term, as a practical matter, alliances are also necessary with other anti-Trump forces, for the sake of a Democratic victory in November.

We should continue to promote the interests of working people above the 1 percent; to take on institutional racism and sexism in law enforcement, employment, and social services; to address catastrophic climate change; and to promote public health. But our core mission need not preclude us from urging a vote against Trump. Nor should it discourage us from enthusiastically backing progressive elected officials and candidates for office, such as “the Squad” in the House of Representatives.

Particularly important is vigorous support for avowed democratic socialists, such as Senator Bernie Sanders and Representatives Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Rashida Tlaib. They must be defended from efforts to pillory and defeat them, not least so that the ranks of progressives in office can grow.

Our electoral work will have the greatest impact when done cooperatively among all progressive constituencies, including trade unions, civil rights organizations, and community groups, as well as progressive political organizations. This collaborative approach powered the presidential campaign of Bernie Sanders and helped to elect Ocasio-Cortez and Tlaib, among others.

Trump’s commitment to the destruction of basic democratic institutions—the right to vote, an independent judiciary, a free press, Congress as a coequal branch of government, the sovereign character of state governments—would make further pursuit of a progressive agenda impossible. Nothing is more important than ensuring his removal from the White House in 2021.

MAX BERGER
DAN CANTOR
LEO CASEY
CARL DAVIDSON
JOHN D’EMILIO
BARBARA EHRENREICH
SUSAN FEINER
BILL FLETCHER JR.
FRANCES FOX PIVEN
KATHLEEN GEIER
JOSE GUTIERREZ
RICHARD HEALEY
BARBARA E. HOPKINS
GERRY HUDSON
BARBARA JOYE
MICHAEL KAZIN
RANDALL KENNEDY
JEANNE KRACHER
CHARLES LENCHNER
JOSE LA LUZ
DARAKA LARIMORE-HALL
STEPHEN LERNER
PENNY LEWIS
NELSON LICHTENSTEIN
ERIC MAR
BOB MASTER
DEBORAH MEIER
GUS NEWPORT
ED OTT
KATHA POLLITT
CHRIS RIDDIOUGH
MICHELE ROSSI
MAX SAWICKY
JAY SCHAFFNER
MARILYN SNEIDERMAN
CORNEL WEST
ETHAN YOUNG

To add your name to this statement, go to www.dsanorthstar.org/defeattrump

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Earl Ofari Hutchinson: The Case for Karen

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Karen Bass -Getty

*There is one meeting, among many, I’ve had over the years with Congresswoman Karen Bass that always stands out. Some years back, I was having a heck of a time trying to get my paperwork to get IRS approval for my non-profit organization, the Los Angeles Urban Policy Roundtable. There was always just one something wrong that kept getting the application bounced.

I called Karen. She had lots of experience running a major community-based non-profit in South Los Angeles.  and knew the ins and outs of non-profit mechanics and funding. Karen did not hesitate. She came to my office late one afternoon with a folder of materials on non-profit organizations and walked me through the steps for approval.  The IRS quickly approved my submission.

This was small, personal, no drama, and certainly nothing of media interest. But it told much about Bass’s willingness to reach out to share her expertise to see that a grassroots community-based non-profit got off the ground. Before, during, and after her rise in politics, I worked with Bass on countless issues, projects, and causes over the decades, and as my long-time congressional district representative. She has always been equally adept working the frontline of activism and quietly the inner corridors of political power. Her aim has always been to fight hard for economic and civil rights, economic and social justice.

This is one of her assets that almost certainly rocket launched her high up on the Vice-Presidential radar scope of presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden. Her resume is increasingly well-known, California State legislature, Assembly Speaker, Congress, and Congressional Black Caucus Chair, and power positions within the Democratic Party.

The vice-president, though, is an entirely different ball game. And Bass is one of several high-profile Black women that Biden has publicly said he’s considering.

RELATED: Is Joe Biden looking at Rep. Karen Bass’ ADOS Lineage from U.S. Slavery or Has He Already Picked Kamala Harris for VP? (Video)

Karen Bass (Joe Biden-inset) Kamala Harris

Karen Bass (Joe Biden-inset) Kamala Harris

The VP contenders all have big, boisterous, and aggressive cheerleading fan clubs. They have been loud and vociferous about getting a Black woman on the ticket. The reasons mix racial partisanship with hard-nosed political reality. The big numbers, energy, and enthusiasm of Black women voters for the Democratic candidates have been on impressive display countless times in the past two decades. Black women have voted in a much greater percentage than any other voting bloc. In the November/2018, national mid-term elections more than half of eligible Black women voters went to the polls. This was six percentage points higher than the national turnout.

Biden will need every one of those percentage points in the five or six swing states that will decide the White House. Trump won three of them by a minuscule fraction of the vote over Hillary Clinton. It has been oft-noted that if numbers of Black voters in the big urban areas in those states had not stayed home on Election Day, Clinton not Trump would be in the White House. They would have offset the votes that Trump got from white, less educated, rural, and blue-collar voters that put him over. He banks on those same voters to do it again.

This time two things must happen to make sure that doesn’t happen again. Biden will need an active, aroused, big numbers turnout from progressives. Many panned and harangued Clinton and voted third party. This time they clamored for Bernie Sanders. Not getting him, they clamor for Elizabeth Warren as Biden’s VP.  But much as there is to like about Warren, she is polarizing, is a septuagenarian too, draws much wariness from independents and centrists. These are red flags that could cancel out the potential uptick Biden might get with Warren from progressive voters.

karen bass

Rep. Karen Bass

Bass doesn’t have that downside. She’s a solid progressive, and her lower national profile takes much of that liability away. She’ll be baited for her trips to Cuba and her supposed softness on the Castros. But many of the red baiters aren’t going to vote for Biden anyway

Biden will also need an energized, storm the poll barricades from Black voters. This helped power Obama’s victories in 2008 and 2012. Kamala Harris may not be the answer here. She’s experienced, won three California elected offices, is high profile, and has solid liberal credentials. But she has baggage from her stint as California Attorney General in which she was perceived too soft in countering police abuse. In the George Floyd era, this turns off a lot of Black voters. Bass doesn’t have that political load on her shoulders.  Potentially, she can supply the energy jolt Biden needs from Black voters.

The 2016 presidential election decisively proved that the presidential race is a pure numbers game. But a numbers game in a close-run election in which a swing of a relative few votes one way or the other can be huge.

Biden made clear that he wants a running mate who is experienced, and politically savvy in governance and legislative initiatives. In other words, if he is incapacitated for any reason, she can hit the ground running. This is no small consideration given Biden’s age. Bass on that score is the complete political package. This makes a strong case for Karen.

earl ofari hutchinson

Earl Ofari Hutchinson

Earl Ofari Hutchinson is an author and political analyst. He is the author of Biden Versus Trump: Who Will Win (Amazon) He is a weekly co-host of the Al Sharpton Show on Radio One. He is the host of the weekly Hutchinson Report on KPFK 90.7 FM Los Angeles and the Pacifica Network

 

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Frightening Scenario: How Trump Could Lose the Election … And Still Remain President / WATCH

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Donald Trump1 - rose garden

*(Via Newsweek) – It is increasingly looking as if Joe Biden can beat President Donald Trump in November. The president seems more and more out of step with the national mood, from his handling of the pandemic to his response to racially biased policing, not to mention a wide array of other issues. Even in key swing states, Trump is losing ground that will be difficult for him to make up.

For Trump, there are two broad pathways to maintaining power. First, we can already see very clearly a strategy designed to suppress voter turnout with the purging of registration rolls of large numbers of mostly urban voters; efforts to suppress mail-in ballots, which are more necessary than ever, given COVID-19; a re-election apparatus that is training 50,000 poll watchers for the purpose of challenging citizens’ right to vote on Election Day; and significant efforts to make in-person voting in urban areas as cumbersome as possible in order to have long lines that discourage people from exercising their voting rights.

The second pathway to subverting the election is even more ominous—but we must be cognizant of it because Trump is already laying the groundwork for how he can lose the popular vote, and even lose in the key swing states necessary for an Electoral College victory, but still remain president.

READ THIS: John Lewis’ Final Words Read by the ‘Voice of God,’ Morgan Freeman (Watch)

Donald Trump - rose garden

Donald Trump – Getty

This spring, HBO aired The Plot Against America, based on the Philip Roth novel of how an authoritarian president could grab control of the United States government using emergency powers that no one could foresee. Recent press reports have revealed the compilation by the Brennan Center at New York University of an extensive list of presidential emergency powers that might be inappropriately invoked in a national security crisis.

Attorney General William Barr, known for his extremist view of the expanse of presidential power, is widely believed to be developing a Justice Department opinion arguing that the president can exercise emergency powers in certain national security situations, while stating that the courts, being extremely reluctant to intervene in the sphere of a national security emergency, would allow the president to proceed unchecked.

This article continues at Newsweek.

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