Daniel Cohen, President of Indivisible Houston, called me up a few days ago. He was irate that many who label themselves as Progressives were not overtly vocal in condemning the recent anti-Semitic speech given by Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan.
Cohen was explicitly upset that the national leadership of the Women’s March were “fraternizing” with Farrakhan. The national leadership spent a lot of time defending their attendance.
“I have a response that I need to get out,” Cohen said to me.
Soon after, I received a very long essay from Cohen where he methodically deconstructed the behavior of the Women’s March national leadership during and after the speech.
Cohen received a lot of pushback from purported progressives accusing him of creating disunity and fostering division within the progressive movement and the Democratic Party.
At Netroots Nation 2015, the most significant gathering of progressive bloggers and activists in the world, Black Lives Matter disrupted the event to confront Democratic presidential primary candidates. To my surprise, a large plurality of these progressives objected to their tactics. These are the same progressives that were all in with Occupy and the disruption it created as well.
My disappointment led me to write an article where I reminded these Liberals that,
Every year some form of protest occurs at Netroots Nation. It is an activist group. After-all, its genesis lies with activist bloggers. Politicians seek us out because it is at the center of the energy of the Democratic Party. While some may not have heard of the DailyKOS, the most traffic Liberal site, or Netroots Nation, much of the Liberal narrative is driven by those that write or are somehow affiliated with them. …
The disappointment with some of my Netroots Nation brothers and sisters was their willful inability to empathize. Activist liberals that have stood for civil rights, that have marched for civil rights, that have had their skulls cracked for civil rights were now either dismissive or critical of a group whose mission is noble.
I tried to implore on these Liberals that they look through the eyes of those that they claim to be fighting for as opposed to their own.
Houstonians voted to repeal the Houston Equal Rights Ordinance (HERO in 2015. Unfortunately, some of the most prominent advocates for the repeal of false premises were the city’s black preachers. They promoted an anti-homosexual hysteria, what we must define as prejudice and discrimination to the nth degree. I wrote then,
There is another story that must be told. Houston is a very diverse city. It is a majority-minority city. As such there is a very large percentage of the population that understands discrimination. An ordinance like HERO should have no problem passing. …
here was a very unholy alliance that occurred. A sect of Black preachers allowed themselves to be co-opted by The Right Wing Religious Complex. They appeared on television at well advertised press conferences to influence their pews. The local stations were eager to carry. Ratings anyone?
The unholy alliance between the sect of Black preachers and the Right Wing Southern Religious Complex with a less than stellar past on social justice, perverted the electorate. Ironically, while those Black preachers collaborated in the promotion of hate the Right Wing, it is a certainty that the Right Wing Southern Religious Complex has not been there and will not be there to support policies that positively moves the Black preacher’s pews, their followers, forward. Those who willfully allowed themselves to pervert the election must be held accountable.
Progressives are not unlike the population at large. All of us have our prejudice and biases that reflect the country as a whole. What makes us different is the ability to see this as a problem and to work assertively to solve it. Our intent must always be to work on self and on others to modify our recessive demons. Attempting to sweep these under the rug for unity is no different than a scab hiding a deadly infection. Our movement is suffering because many are seeing the deception and just either leaving or living the life of political apathy.