Not all stories have a happy ending. We can hope this one still does, but it has a rocky start to recover from.
Many of us Bernie-backers have held high hopes for the group, “Our Revolution,” to carry on that great platform of Bernie’s. Reality seldom meets expectations.
After multiple attempts since September, by myself and others on campus, I finally connected with the “Our Revolution” group through CD1 candidate Johnny Akzam. As fate would have it, it just happened to be as they were coming upon their first ever endorsement of Minnesota candidates. A questionnaire was used to base this endorsement process on. This questionnaire is my basis for questioning; it could easily be described as a classic Push Poll; each section (under group headings such as Social Justice) started with a long descriptive statement (the world of realities) followed by a group of targeted questions, several in degrees of support format. Much could have been forgiven about this effort, if not “for the rest of the story.”
As a Bernie-backer and a social/racial justice advocate, reading through their questionnaire left me short of seeing any clear path to freedom, and instead on our long road back from being this country’s second most racist state. Right behind Wisconsin, folks. The questionnaire I printed off was Tina Liebling’s answers, an interesting read. If you are familiar with the term “whitewashed,” it is used to describe the intentional loss of descriptive content in writings concerning racial issues. This is the best way to describe this questionnaire in question.
Nowhere in this survey will you find the words racism, police brutality, racial profiling—such as DWB (Driving While Black) and DWI (Driving While Indian)—disproportionate racial arrest and conviction rates, the racist school-to-prison pipeline, racial disparities, or the 4 to 1 higher birth mortality rate for women of color in Minnesota. Nor will you find any support for the legalization of the cannabis, the number one tool used by police and the justice system to persecute the outrageous 11 to 1 per-capita racist arrest rate in metro Minnesota.
In place of all that racism stuff, this strongly RCV (Ranked Choice Voting) group decided for us that the issue of RCV is now a Bernie issue in Minnesota. This group has invaded every political effort in Minnesota, since at least the beginning of the Independence Party. They have become an invasive political species here, and, worse than that, research hasn’t been kind to them. Studies out of Ireland and Australia show strong indications of racism. A U.S. study shows reduced voter participation because of increased complexity and, worst of all, the process can be “gamed,” meaning a group of voters can conspire to enhance their candidates position. The very fact that this “whitewashing” took place in the presence of RCV dominance should alone be a clue here, folks.
In conclusion, what we expected is not what we got. So as not to leave on a sour note here, most groups have overcome this infestation to their advantage, but some, like the IP, have not. If “Our Revolution” is to be of any use to the faithful, it is going to have to be re-made in our image.