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Keith Ellison
Rep Keith Ellison

The way forward in 2020
Progressives still ignoring racism

If Progressives Want to Win, They’ll Have to Talk About White Supremacy  2/21/2020 The Nation: "My research has found that nearly half of Democratic voters are people of color, and a dramatic drop-off in African American turnout in 2016 was a principal factor in Hillary Clinton’s defeat. Conveying the urgency of the fight against white supremacy could be critical to propelling the kind of turnout that will help Democrats win in November."

Dear Left, You're Missing The Mark  2/20/2020 Democracy in Color: "We talk about how the Left is missing the mark at this moment with its troubling silence on Trump’s white nationalism, which is the key to and cornerstone of his continued power. By failing to make this their top priority issue—and keep it front and center—the Left, including all current Democratic primary candidates, risks throwing away their best chance at winning this November. We also hear what our special guest, Maurice Mitchell, formerly a key leader in the Black Lives Matter movement and now National Director of the Working Families Party, has to say on this topic, the party’s support of Elizabeth Warren, and much more."

Bernie Sanders, 2017

Yes, Bernie Sanders probably would have beaten Donald Trump. 

Bernie's candidate in November 2016 for replacing Dona Brazil as Democratic National Committee Chair was Rep Keith Ellison, Minnesota, a progressive Black Muslim.  Ellison was also favored by Senators Elizabeth Warren and Charles Schumer. His campaign was narrowly defeated 2/25/17 by Democratic Centralists who have yet to absorb the lessons of Hillary's defeat. Survey after survey shows the US electorate to be to the left of both parties, more akin to the center in Europe, which is to the left of the US political establishment. Yet the centralist actually mounted a major campaign to deny Keith Ellison the chair and installed Tom Perez, Obama's labor secretary who Hillary considered as a running mate.

On the other hand Bernie is gaining on them: "Less than a year after only 39 of 447 DNC members endorsed Sanders' presidential campaign, his chosen candidate came about 15 votes short of taking over the whole thing." -- The DNC Chair Race Is Over. Now Comes the Real Battle.  2/25/2017 Mother Jones

However, we are looking for signs that Bernie Sanders himself has absorbed the lessons of his primary campaign and Trumps' win, especially those concerning identity politics. The Bern started out his approach to the Black community with classic top down leftist policies addressing economic disparities. As anyone familiar with Cuba can tell you, this does not necessarily work. His 2016 campaign had a lot of problems addressing the Black vote. See Bernie Sanders and the Black Vote, 2016 Primaries for some lessons to be learned.  Yet it is clear that he still has not learned the lessons he could have: 

Bernie Is Wrong and Malcolm Was Right: What White Liberals So Often Get Wrong About Racism and Donald Trump  4/4/2017 Alternet: ""For example, last Friday Sen. Bernie Sanders spoke in Boston at the Our Revolution Rally, where he said this: "Some people think that the people who voted for Trump are racists and sexists and homophobes and deplorable folks. I don’t agree, because I’ve been there." Given Sanders’ long history of fighting for human rights, his comments are profoundly disappointing. They also demonstrate the blind spot and willful myopia that too many white liberals and progressives have toward white racism in America."

The way forward promises to be a tough slug for the Democrats who have not abandoned their democratic centralism on the right or their ignorance  (I am being charitable) of racism on the left.

-- Andy Petit, 3/2017

"We had a two party system. That system let the people down so badly that a reality TV star mopped the floor with BOTH parties while turning America against itself. Now it’s truly time that We the People take back our government."    List of Trump related companies to boycott.   Former congressional staffers reveal best practices for making Congress listen


The Chart That Democrats Don't Want You To See  3/5/2017 Zero Hedge: "Huffington Post tracks 205 polls across 25 pollsters and the last few months have seen Democratic Party favorability collapse to its lowest since at least 2012…"

Keith Ellison’s supporters say Israel attacks helped sink his DNC bid  2/26/2017 Vox: "“Oh, absolutely it hurt him — it’s what they used against him,” said Jean Ross, of National Nurses United, when asked about the accusations that Ellison was anti-Israel or anti-Semitic. “Certainly, many states’ [DNC] voters heard rumors about him being anti-Semitic, even though he was solidly endorsed by the Jewish community.”

Progressives riled up after DNC vote  2/26/2017 CNN: "National Nurses United Co-president Jean Ross, whose organization was the first national union to endorse Sanders in 2015, said she was "bitterly disappointed" by the result and accused Ellison's opponents of running a "smear campaign" against him. "Those of [us] in labor know power never concedes. Never," she said. "No, you have to take it from them. And they're not ready. They're going to fight us tooth and nail." "

Why did Keith Ellison lose the DNC race?  2/26/2017 WaPo: "Young Turks' Konst obtained a formulaic-seeming email sent to undecided DNC members, warning them that electing Ellison would “send the wrong message” on Israel. The attacks on Ellison ate up a surprising amount of the space that the DNC race earned in mainstream media. (Dershowitz's media savvy didn't hurt.) It negatively affected Ellison only around the margins, but in a race decided by 18 votes, it stung."

They Must Be Trying To Fail  2/25/2017 Current Affairs: "The race between Ellison and Perez was, however, a meaningful moment in determining the future of the party. And it wasn’t only the left-wing Ellison supporters who seemed to think so. After all, Obama-affiliated Democrats drafted Perez specifically in order to keep Ellison from attaining the chairmanship. Pressure had been brought upon them by wealthy party donors to make sure Ellison was foiled."

The DNC Chair Race Is Over. Now Comes the Real Battle.  2/25/2017 Mother Jones: "Less than a year after only 39 of 447 DNC members endorsed Sanders' presidential campaign, his chosen candidate came about 15 votes short of taking over the whole thing. The numbers reflect Sanders' forces growing strength in the party, a gradual upheaval that may only be sped along by Perez's victory. DNC members from Wyoming—where the Vermont senator notched a huge caucus victory but due to party rules emerged with few delegates—who are not on board are feeling the heat. When Bruce Palmer, the party's vice chair, told me he was supporting Tom Perez, he conceded that it may be to his own detriment. After all, he's got an election next month."

'Incredibly Disappointing': Democrats Choose Tom Perez to Head Party  2/25/2017 Common Dreams: "Perez was backed by "many from former President Obama's political orbit," as ABC News writes, and "is viewed—with good reason—as a reliable functionary and trustworthy loyalist by those who have controlled the party and run it into the ground," journalist Glenn Greenwald wrote this week."

Ellison's progressive allies make final push in DNC race  2/24/2017 CNN: "Perez's camp says it is near the 222 of 442 eligible voting DNC members it will need to secure the job." [Kiss the anti-Trump movement good-bye!]

The Next DNC Chair Is Elected on Saturday: Here's How You Can Call in and Make Your Voice Heard  2/23/2017 Alternet: You have to call your state democratic party headquarters to get the phones/emails for people on this list.

Sanders Supporters Are Taking Over The Democratic Party  2/22/2017 IBT: "A new wave of liberal activism nationwide in the Democratic party’s base has helped numerous Sanders supporters win low-level posts in blue areas like California, signaling a long-term fundamental shift that could shift the party further to the left."

Bernie Sanders Loyalists Are Taking Over the Democratic Party One County Office at a Time  2/22/2017 WSJ: "In fight to define party in age of Donald Trump, Sanders followers want to transform it from the bottom up by taking control of low-level state and county posts"

“Identity Politics” Takes a Hit  1/2/2017 In These Times: "Bernie Sanders smacked it from the left during a controversial post-election speech in Boston, when he said in response to a Latina’s question, “One of the struggles that you’re going to be seeing in the Democratic Party is whether we go beyond identity politics.”

The Smear Campaign Against Keith Ellison Is Repugnant but Reveals Much About Washington  12/4/2016 The Intercept: "This smear campaign against Ellison received a major boost Friday night when the single largest funder of both the Democratic Party and the Hillary Clinton campaign, the Israeli-American billionaire Haim Saban, said at the Brookings Institution, a part of which he funds: “If you go back to his positions, his papers, his speeches, the way he has voted, he is clearly an anti-Semite and anti-Israel individual.” Saban added: “Keith Ellison would be a disaster for the relationship between the Jewish community and the Democratic Party.”"

Haim Saban calls Ellison an 'anti-Semite'  12/3/2016 The Hill: "Haim Saban, the Israeli-American billionaire who donated to Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign, has called Rep. Keith Ellison (D-Minn.) an "anti-Semite and anti-Israel individual."

Howard Dean No Longer Seeking DNC Chair Position, Paving Path for Ellison  12/2/2016 Common Dreams: "While he did not back any candidate in his brief address, former party chair Dean said: "I know this job better than anyone in this room. It requires 80 hours of work a week and constant travel across the country to fundraise...this is a full-time job." The Hill wrote that represents "a hurdle to Ellison's bid." He also said the fight to lead the party should not become a battle between Hillary Clinton supporters and Bernie Sanders backers."

Bernie Sanders Says It’s Time To ‘Rethink’ The Electoral College  11/14/2016 Huff Post: "The Constitution’s framers came up with the idea of the Electoral College to ensure that no state had too much power in deciding presidential contests. But due to racial and geographic breakdowns, the system now gives disproportionate power to rural white voters, who are more likely to live in competitive battleground states, while people of color tend to be over-represented in safely blue or red states."

Keith Ellison's DNC bid supported by Elizabeth Warren, Chuck Schumer and Bernie Sanders  11/11/2016 Daily Kos: "Keith Ellison is rapidly pulling in serious endorsements as the next DNC chair. The Minnesota Representative has already lined up support from Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren, who said that Ellison would be “terrific.” Now Rep. Ellison also has Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer in his corner."

Where Do We Go from Here? Former Bernie Sanders Adviser & Chicana Organizer Call for Mass Organizing  11/11/2016 Democracy Now: "As protests against President-elect Trump continued for a second night in cities across the United States, there are increasing reports of threats against Latinos, Muslims, African Americans and members of the LGBTQ community, that many feel are a result of Trump’s rhetoric."

Battle brewing for DNC leadership  11/11/2016 CNN: "Howard Dean, who ran the Democratic National Committee from 2005 to 2009, announced on Thursday he would again seek its top role. Soon after he announced, Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders and his top allies began pushing Minnesota Rep. Keith Ellison for the role."

Bernie Sanders Is Right: The DNC Needs Rep. Keith Ellison To Be The Next Chair  11/11/2016 Politicus: "Keith is one of the most progressive members of Congress, and he was an early supporter of our political revolution. He is a co-chair of the House Progressive Caucus, a strong believer in grassroots politics, and someone who would be enormously effective in leading the Democratic Party against President Donald Trump. It isn’t just his bio and background that makes Rep. Ellison right for the job. Ellison has shown that he can seamlessly move between both wings of the party. He is a progressive, who also moved from supporting Sen. Sanders in the primary to helping to unify the left around Hillary Clinton. Ellison is very comfortable in the national media, and he understands the need for a grassroots rebuilding of a DNC that atrophied under Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz."

Who is Keith Ellison? Meet the Muslim American who Bernie Sanders wants to replace DNC chairwoman Donna Brazile  11/11/2016 Salon: "Ellison is being backed by a big name among the Democratic left: Bernie Sanders, whose relationship with the DNC during the primaries was far from perfect, thinks Ellison will redirect the DNC’s attention away from fundraising and towards working-class families. “You can’t tell working people you’re on their side while at the same time you’re raising money from Wall Street and the billionaire class,” the Vermont senator told The Washington Post. “The Democratic Party has to be focused on grass-roots America and not wealthy people attending cocktail parties.”"

Warren: Ellison would make a 'terrific' DNC chair  11/10/2016 Politico: "Sen. Elizabeth Warren said Thursday that Rep. Keith Ellison "would make a terrific" Democratic National Committee chairman, but she's not yet ready to say the same of former Vermont Gov. Howard Dean."

Sanders backs Ellison for DNC chairman  11/10/2016 Politico: "The Minnesota congressman has been angling for the job, working back channels to position himself as a strong candidate to run the DNC. Ellison, a Sanders supporter when the Vermont senator ran for president, has previously discussed being DNC chair with Sanders."

Promise in the Problem: A Message from Nina Turner  11/10/2016 Progressive Army: "In many ways, the final nail in the 2016 Democratic coffin was shutting out former State Senator Nina Turner. Sen Turner was the spark plug of the Bernie Sanders campaign. She, along with Dr. Cornel West, was the key to activating Black Progressives and the vast majority of non-Black Progressives and independents. But, the Democratic power elite knew that they would have to really deliver on the Progressive agenda in order to keep the principled Senator Turner on board. She is the Progressive Whisperer. Because the Dems were more loyal to the donor class than they were to the people, the only course of action was to marginalize Nina. That is exactly what they did."

Former 'Black Men for Bernie' leader now backing Trump  10/14/2016 Fox News: "Bruce Carter, who led "Black Men for Bernie," told he had a change of heart after he traveled to urban communities and saw the levels of poverty in Democrat-controlled areas of the country. “Once I got involved, I realized that the Democratic Party was operating as if they own the country, and that was a major turn off for me,” Carter said. “I didn’t want to represent a party that saw its people in that way.”"

The Fed Audit  7/21/2016 Bernie Sanders: See the actual audit link at the bottom of the post, its page 131 for the eye opening amounts of loans, in the trilliions for major banks.

Meet the Group of African-American Organizers Building Black Support for Bernie Sanders  9/14/2015 In These Times: "Crosby and other Chicago-based black activists have formed a group called the Bernie Brigade that attempts to showcase Sanders’ progressive platform and long history of support for the black struggle. The group canvasses for Sanders in majority-black neighborhoods and holds pro-Sanders events. “We’re still very much engaged in an educational process,” he notes. “Many in our community are unfamiliar with Bernie. They just see an elderly white man from remote, white Vermont. And, quite frankly, that’s a hard sell.”"

Links/Enlaces top

African Americans and Bernie  - Bernie's candidate for DNC chair, now that we have Trump - the founder backed Trump in the general election. Was the focus on men a factor?

Bernie Sanders and the Black Vote, 2016: our compendium of articles on the 2016 Primaries: lessons learned.

General Links on Bernie Sanders

People for Bernie

We had a two party system. That system let the people down so badly that a reality TV star mopped the floor with BOTH parties while turning America against itself. Now it’s truly time that We the People take back our government.

We're here to take back the country.

We’re recruiting and running 400+ candidates as a single, unified campaign for Congress in 2018. They will pass a radical and practical plan to get everyone good jobs, get incomes rising again and rid our government of corruption. Americans are hungry to rebuild their country together with everyone from every community, region, race and culture. Step 1 is electing a Brand New Congress in 2018.

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