Some progressives are accusing Senator Bernie Sanders of racism and sexism because he will be giving a response to President Trump’s State of the Union speech.
Basically, the problem with his decision to give a rebuttal is that this year’s official rebuttal will be given by failed Georgia governor candidate Stacey Abrams — a black woman.
We hope that @berniesanders understands that in many progressives' minds he has a woman problem and a POC problem, and by presenting his own response it will just confirm those issues. This doesn't have to be about his 2020 plans. Let @staceyabrams be front and center.
— WMNF 88.5 FM (@wmnf) February 5, 2019
Bernie Sanders either doesn't realize or doesn't care about the symbolism of his redirecting attention from Stacey Abrams.
This is yet another example of his grandiosity and failure to care about the impact his actions have on women and people of color.
I am sooo done with him.
— Leah McElrath 🏳️🌈 (@leahmcelrath) February 4, 2019
Bernie Sanders should reconsider doing his own response tomorrow. Stacey Abrams, the first black woman to ever give a State of the Union rebuttal, deserves the spotlight. She’s more than capable of mopping the floor with Trump without any help.
— Adam Best (@adamcbest) February 5, 2019
This is completely ridiculous, for so many reasons. First of all, Sanders actually went out of his way to promote Abrams’ rebuttal while advertising his own:
Stacey Abrams is a great choice to deliver the Democratic response. I'm very much looking forward to her speech.
For the third year in a row, following the Democratic rebuttal I'll be on Facebook Live, Twitter and YouTube to respond to Trump. https://t.co/4xOCjkNwtF
— Bernie Sanders (@SenSanders) February 4, 2019
Clearly, he’s supportive of her, or he wouldn’t have done this. But there are many other reasons why this is so absurd. For example: Bernie is going to be giving his rebuttal after hers — so it’s actually not in competition with hers at all. If he were giving it at the exact same time that she was, then I could understand how people might be upset, but that simply isn’t the case. He is giving it at a different time, and telling people not only to watch his, but also to watch hers as well. He’s supporting himself in one time slot, while also managing to fully support Abrams in hers.
What’s more, what he’s doing isn’t much different from what virtually every Democrat is going to do. Think about it: Won’t every, or at least pretty much every, Democratic member of Congress give some sort of rebuttal on Twitter anyway? Are those rebuttal tweets racist and sexist too? If what Sanders is doing is sexist and racist, then they must be, right? After all, all Sanders is doing is choosing a different medium to do the exact same sort of thing that they’ll be doing.
If anything, the calls of racism and sexism that are coming from the Left are what’s racist and sexist. Why? Because Bernie Sanders has done this sort of rebuttal every year for the past three years. There was no sort of outcry about him being an offensive distraction, say, last year, when Joe Kennedy III gave the rebuttal. Considering Sanders to be too much of a detractor only when he’s up against a black woman is kind of like saying that only a black woman should have to be concerned that her rebuttal would not be memorable enough if there were going to be other rebuttals as well. It’s like saying that Abrams needs some sort of special treatment because of her race and her gender.
The truth is, Sanders is a different kind of “Democrat.” In fact, he doesn’t even officially identify as a Democrat, but rather as an independent. For this reason, it’s absolutely undoubtable that his rebuttal is going to make some different points than the ones that Abrams’s rebuttal makes — and shouldn’t Democrats be welcoming of that? After all, if they really do believe that Trump’s presidency is the end-of-the-world situation that they so often portray it to be, then they should want as many different voices as possible speaking out against it. The truth is, this is just another example of the Left using the identity politics it champions to ultimately hurt itself.
This story was previously covered in an article in The Blaze.