A Movement Beyond The Man: Making Sense of ‘Bernie or Bust’

To those who have contempt for Bernie supporters.

To those who take the media’s bait and lazily dismiss everyone apart of the”Bernie or Bust” movement as being naive, stubborn and unprincipled-

To those who still don’t understand progressives who have the courage criticize Hilary Clinton in the era of Trump
This is my context.

I love you all.
Those whom I don’t know.
I love you.
Those I disagree with.
I love you.
Even those who may hate me for my African ancestry and brown skin.
Now, I’m not so pure of heart or righteous to blindly say that I love you too, but my love for your humanity still wishes for you to be included in the protections and equality that I so passionately believe in.

However, my love runs deeper than simply saying what will get me more “likes”.
Loving others and wanting for us all to be able to enjoy all this world has to offer
means more to me than dumbing down my opinions to adopt a more politically or even corporately acceptable tone.

Love in a political context means being honest even when it’s unpopular.
After all, I’m a progressive, Democratic Socialist (like Rev. Dr. MLK),  African American Millennial from the South-Side of Chicago who is also very critical of
President Barack Obama. An uncommon stance given my credentials.
My love for humanity is what causes me to speak out in truth. Even when it’s inconvenient.

I come from a tradition of justice seeking revolutionaries. It’s who I am.
The delivernece of my ancestors out of the hands of 250 YEARS of American slavery and more than 150 years of legalized segregation since then has happened because of the brave women and men who stood up and refused to accept the political status quo as just a way of life.

Harriet Tubman, Nat Turner, Denmark Vesey, Sojourner Truth and Fredrick Douglass knew the dangerous cost of accepting business as usual.

I must remind you that Dr. King was not always loved by the majority.

His life was taken, his family’s lives were threatened, the government spied on him and other prmoninet Black people disapproved of him all because he was unafraid to speak out about injustice.

I owe my liberation to the courage of activists King, Malcolm X, Cesar Chavez, Muhammad Ali and Dolores Huerta

Stevie Wonder, Michael Jackson, Prince, Joan Baez, Mos Def, Nina Simone, Ann Feeney, Bob Marley, Bob Dylan, Curtis Mayfield, Public Enemy and others used their uncommon talents to speak to uncommon truths.

Conscious voices like Michael Moore, Take Nehasi Coates, Cornel West, Jeremiah Wright, Michele Alaexander , Amy Goodman and Robert Reich use their intellect to push our conversations forward not leave them static.

And yes, even though many atheists may call me delusional because I believe…excuse me, because I know that God is real-
my calling to love thy neighbor and protect the vulnerable is directly connected to my following the lead of Jesus Christ, who spoke love even to those who hated him.

This is the rich tradition that I am a product of. Speaking truthfully about the unpopular has been responsible for the deliverance of the oppressed and the allocation of justice.

My goal ain’t to rain on your parade or be a political Debbie Downer everytime a new White House speech or picture makes you feel good inside. I understand that in these tough times why many would love to get swept up on a magic carpet of positivity, “hope” and “change”. I understand that. I welcome that.

But because I love you and want peace, opportunity and equality for us all, I cannot stay silent when truth is suppressed and presidential candidates’ moral histories are
re-written before our eyes as we are seeing with both the Republican convention and the Democrat convention.

Let’s condemn the overt hatred, racism sexism and greed of Republicans with every fiber of our being. They don’t deserve control of the White House or a majority in Congress.
But beware of giving a free pass to Democrats just because their lies and corruption come accompanied with a smiley face or a meme-worthy, positive quote.

Trump and the Republicans have made their corrupt tendencies well known.
But known enemies don’t interest or scare me as much as alleged allies who are allowed to get away with arguably worse offenses

I am not so devoted to any politician or party that I can’t be honest about their shortcomings.
My lifelong commitment is to remove the weeds of injustice no matter where they lay.
No matter who planted them.