Progressivism can’t fuel the absurd notion race–especially when it comes to African-Americans, is divisive. Race is culture, race is community and our ability to openly and thoughtfully solve challenges in every community must be rooted in an acceptance of diversity in all its forms, be it ethnic, religious, gender, or geographical.–Lauren Brown Jarvis, Huffington Post, 6/26/2013
Part of the reason why I’ve been so frustrated with the progressive movement over the years is because of the proclivity of some people within it to act as if race isn’t important–not as important as matters of class, matters of equality, or even at all. I believe it is a blind spot towards progress that we’d like to achieve, generally. And I think that most progressives, when aware of this problem, can be reasoned with.
But the people within the movement that frustrate me the most are the ones who take criticism on race matters, and simply dismiss it out of hand. Or, worse: they recycle the same racist rhetoric that conservatives use, to call those people “racist”, “divisive”, and otherwise. It’s frustrating, because (according to them) progressives are (supposedly) better than conservatives on matters of race, and yet believe all the same that minorities ought to couch their criticism of the movement because we’re “on the same team.”
Were I to be unfair, and judge simply by the few examples I’ve seen this past week, then I’d have to cast doubt. I know better. I know this is merely a segment of a larger coalition. But it must be called out, because it is still damaging and insulting. Continue reading