People of Color Stand to Win Big in the War Between Sanders and Clinton

In the dizzily spinning Gravitron puke shower that is US politics today, another unexpected and vile hit has dealt significant damage to the Democratic Party. It didn’t come from the Trump Administration or the Republican Party, though. It was launched from within the Democratic Party itself by Donna Brazile, Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren in efforts to call out Hillary Clinton for discrimination against Sanders during the 2016 Democratic Primaries.

And, honestly, I couldn’t give a fuck.

Well, at first, I couldn’t give a fuck. But that has since changed. Now I give all the fucks. Every last one. Not one fuck left to not give. Let me explain.

As a woman of color, and an active participant in the struggle for “minority” voting rights, I can honestly say I really don’t care about another wealthy white guy claiming that they have been treated unfairly, especially when it comes to electoral politics. Let them cry it out at their summer villa. Let them tell their buddies at the country club. Whatever rich people do to feel better — go do that. I don’t care.

What I do care about is opportunities for people of color to kick the living shit out of white supremacy wherever it is. That’s my thing. Left, right, up, down…wherever. Kick it. Kick it hard. Then kick it again.

So, I was thinking about how this new development might affect people of color like myself trying to stay alive while white people with tiki torches, pointy white hats and federal authority are brutally attacking us in the name of Patriotism.

Then it hit me. Hard. Holy shit! This is it!! This could be the moment we’ve been waiting for!!

Quick…where are my fucks? Where did I put them? Get all my fucks. Get the kids’ fucks. Call the neighbors and get their fucks, too. Call everyone. Tell them to get their fucks. All of them. Every last one. We need to give all. the. fucks.

Why? Math.

If the Democratic Party splits, voters of color will dramatically outnumber white Democrats and white Independents. By tens of millions. Not just a few, or a couple of million…potentially tens of millions. And while their current white power calculations depend on us choosing one plantation over the other, we can escape the grip of both political cages and take control of our own political futures.

If the party splits, white power on the left splits with it.

All the fucks. Every last one.

So, I’m not going to shed a single tear for Hillary or Bernie or any of the white folks fighting over who gets to be the next middle class white messiah. I’m going to grab my fuck bucket and tell you why we should support the demise of the white middle class stronghold, take full advantage of it as a “minority” voting bloc and finally have the representation we need, want, deserve, and have struggled to achieve for generations.

Let me break it down.

In the United States, 60% of the population is white. 40% of us are people of color, but we aren’t even close to fair representation in federal politics. In a year of “record” diversity, 94 of the 435 members of the House of Representatives are nonwhite, and a pathetic 10 of 100 members of the Senate identify as people of color. That’s 25% and 10% respectively.

The Republicans and the Democrats both have a White Supremacy problem.

As such, the political field doesn’t really play out as a right/left spectrum, it’s more of a white-black dynamic. Or, more appropriately, the political field is divided into white and nonwhite. Voters of color are just expected to subjugate themselves to the party with the candidate that will do the least harm to us, our families, and our communities.

And because the Republican Party is more accepting of blatant bigotry and open white supremacy than their Democratic counterparts, we tend to side with the Democrats even when their candidates don’t truly work on our behalf.

But that could all change if the Democrats split in two.

Currently, white Democrats outnumber Democrats of color with a headcount of approximately 40 million white voters and 27 million voters of color. If they split down the middle though, 20 million on one side and 20 million on the other let’s say, Democrats of color would outnumber white Democrats AND white Independents by 7 million voters a piece.

Wait, what?

I repeat: If the Democratic Party splits, Democrats of color would substantially outnumber white Democrats. We would also outnumber white Independents.

That means we could be in control — if we seize the opportunity. It means we wouldn’t have to choose between white candidates that don’t represent us, don’t defend our rights, and don’t seem to care about our presence on the planet until an election rolls around if we recognize what’s and advantage of it before it takes advantage of us. It means we would have enough voting power to advance our own Presidential candidate and make white Democrats follow our lead. It means we can take the White House and end this white supremacy nightmare.

Tables. Turned.

Don’t believe me? Let’s envision what the 2020 Presidential election could look like if the Democratic Party fractures.

Before the Democratic presidential candidate can advance to the General Election, they must first make it through the Primaries. We can’t make it to the Championship Game if we don’t make it past the play-offs, but far less attention is paid to the Primaries than is paid to the General Election.

This lapse in attention could potentially be the crack in the wall that brings it all down.

Voter turnout during the Democratic Primaries is consistently far lower than turnout for the General Election. Both white voting blocs and voting blocs of color have been sleeping when it comes to the Primaries — but voters of color are starting to wake up. And therein lies our advantage.

Only 30 million Democrats voted in the last Presidential Primary. 30 million.

Of those 30 million people, 17 million voted for Clinton and 13 million voted for Sanders. 8 million Clinton votes were cast by people of color and 1 million were cast for Sanders. That breaks down to approximately:

12 million white Sanders voters

9 million Clinton voters, and

9 million voters of color forced to choose between two really shitty white people

If we came together as Democrats of Color, though, and presented our own candidate, we could firmly beat out both white Democrats and white Independents in the primaries. All we would need is to turn out just 3 million more voters of color to run a Presidential candidate.

It would take just over 3 million votes to liberate the Democratic Party from the white supremacist structure that has aided and abetted the Trump Administration for over a year now. It would take just 3 million votes to put someone in the White House that will not only optically represent us, but that will actually lead us in this battle against white supremacy in both parties and the nation.

And that’s only if Sanders runs within the Democratic Party. If the Party is divided, the odds get even better. Got your fuck bucket ready?

If Sanders decides to run as an Independent, our 9 million voters of color would only have to face off against the 9 million white Clintonite Democrats in the 2020 Presidential Primaries. If the party is divided, for the first time in our political existence, people of color may find ourselves on a numerically even playing ground with white Democrats in a Presidential Primary.

9 million voters of color vs. 9 million white voters. In the battle not only for the Democratic ticket, but for the battle against the Trump Administration, the Republican Party, and the forces of white power at home and across the globe — for the first time in modern US history, people of color will be positioned to win. And if we dig in and do the work needed to be done, we will be positioned to completely dominate.

In addition to the 9 million active voters of color that cast a ballot in the 2016 Primaries, twice as many skipped that election but made it out for the General Elections. That means we have a remaining pool of 18 million active voters that we can bring into battle for the primaries. We also have a pool of approximately 50 million voters that have been suppressed by illegal (but largely unchallenged) voter ID law requirements, purging efforts, polling place closures, ADA violations and felony disenfranchisement.

That’s 68 million untapped voters — the overwhelming amount of which are people of color and other targets of white supremacy such as people living with disabilities and the lower class.

The removal of ID restrictions would add 21 million potential voters back into the voting pool. Eliminating felony disenfranchisement and voter purging would add another 7 million voters back into our ranks. Reopening polling places, expanding them and providing alternatives to in-person voting would enable millions more people of color, poor voters, working class voters, voters living with disabilities and elderly voters to reach the polls. And while not all of these voters will be people of color, the overwhelming majority will be.

Put them all in your fuck buckets folks because with either an even playing field or a maximum gap of only 3 million votes, a pool of 18 million active voters and 50 million suppressed voters to mobilize — Democrats of Color should have no trouble carrying a qualified and community backed candidate of color through the Primaries and into the 2020 Presidential Election.

But we need to do the work necessary to make that happen. Starting now. With every last fuck we have.

So, let the white people bicker. Let them complain about how unfair things are. Let them split apart and destroy each other. And while they do, let’s do the work to mobilize ourselves as a voting bloc, take control of the Democratic Party and stop bowing down to the demands of white people on both the right and the left.


SIIP is dedicated to designing strategies to counter political obstacles faced by the most brutally targeted communities in the United States