Those are very good criticisms of Bernie Sanders, but the theme of that interview is that Bernie Sanders failed because he tried to work within the confines of the Democratic Party. This, itself, is an indictment of the two-party system, because the only reason Bernie caucused with the Democrats is so as not to accidentally hand the election over to the Republicans by running as a third-party candidate, the way Ross Perot helped Clinton win against George H.W. Bush.

In other words, citing Angela Davis in defense of a guy who is talking about black voters vis-a-vis a hypothetical Democratic candidate that will represent them is missing the mark. Angela Davis, like Cornel West, does not believe the Democratic Party is capable of addressing racial injustice, precisely because racism and economic oppression are intertwined, because the Democratic Party is too much beholden to the capitalist infrastructure that neoliberalism is designed to bolster.

This is what I meant when I said Angela Davis and Cornel West are even further to the left than Bernie. Neoliberalism is a ideology that serves capitalism, but capitalism, itself, is inherently racist. Bernie went as far as criticizing neoliberalism, but he never reached the point of demonstrating that the entire capitalist system upon which the American economy is built is racist, and that racism cannot be properly addressed by simply dismantling neoliberalism. Consider, again from Marcus Johnson’s piece:

Bernie has long had a hyperfocus on the white working class, and maybe that’s what the fierce criticism of Obama and Clinton is all about — the far left trying to appeal to white workers who don’t really like Democrats that much.

There is no stronger critic of Obama on the left than Cornel West, a black intellectual, whom anyone would be ignorant to claim is hyperfocused on the white working class. The far left is attempting to appeal to rationality, not the white working class. Cornel West lends his voice to the voiceless all over the world, from the Middle-East to South America, and right back home to black Americans.

Just the facts: Writer. Gamer. Feminist. Educated in Astrophysics. Professional Gambler. Student of Language. Satanist. Anarchist.

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store