While Schadenfreude is frowned upon, I am always delighted whenever the left cannibalizes itself. This latest progressive imbroglio took place during a conference at Netroots Nation, which is one of the largest gatherings of liberal activists around the country. During the event, presidential hopefuls Martin O’Malley and Bernie Sanders were interrupted and accosted by “Black Lives Matter” activists. After chanting the name of Sandra Bland – who died in jail and whom black activists argue represents the latest of many police attacks against blacks – and demanding that Bernie Sanders respond, Sanders testily replied by saying that it was fine if these belligerent black activists didn’t want him there; without blinking an eye, he then proceeded to discuss wealth inequality.
Big blunder! By refusing to bend over backwards to placate “Black Lives Matter” agitators, Sanders incurred their wrath, as they immediately began to shower him with boos. Sanders’ primary focus on economics is likewise anathema to the SJW wing of the liberal rainbow coalition. Several leftist writers have expressed disappointment with his irritable response, claiming that tackling economic inequality without vigilantly combating racial injustice is insufficient. Sanders’ commitment to economics was even mocked as a “pet cause” by the author.
I’m hardly making an original point by claiming that racial friction accounts for much of the US’s economic dysfunction. Nevertheless, this latest incident should illustrate just how thorny racial diversity is, and how it helps hinder economic progress. In most wealthy countries – which are more homogenous than the United States – the prosperity of the majority group always comes first; minority “pet causes” come last, if they’re even acknowledged at all. The fact that Bernie Sanders is being upbraided for his response is yet another demonstration of just how bizarre the US is by global standards.
However, I don’t think that such lunacy is any coincidence, and I suspect that our elites endorse such radical posturing on the part of “Black Lives Matter” activists. I remember on Robert Lindsay’s blog, one of the former commenters named Lafleur once made a comment to the effect that identity politics is a form of class warfare. Indeed, I’ve always noticed that whenever a white person denounces economic injustice or the plight of white workers, some SJW type always jumps in and asserts that all whites still benefit from white privilege. I even remember reading some random article by Tim Wise years ago (I forget the date and title of the article), where he claimed that focusing primarily on economics is insulting to blacks, including affluent blacks who suffer from racism that exists independently of class.
In so many ways, “anti-racism” and identity politics are weapons brandished by our elites to keep the white middle and working classes in line. Essentially, as a non-elite white person, you have no right to complain about any hardship because blacks have it even worse than you. Upset about the job market? Stop whining, you have white privilege. Anxious about your current financial situation? Don’t be, because you should be grateful that you have it better than “people of color.” If you’re white, just shut up and smile.
At the end of the day, racial diversity and multiculturalism are blessings for our wealthy elites. Not only can they import cheap labor by using “tolerance” as a shield, but they can easily sabotage substantive measures to ensure greater economic health by invoking racism and white privilege – thus putting the white masses in their place. I therefore anticipate more derailments similar to the “Black Lives Matter” interruption; I also don’t expect to see any fundamental changes to our economic system anytime soon, one in which our oligarchs consider all lives equally worthy of exploitation.