Cory Booker withdrew from the race for the Democratic nomination today. The candidate acknowledged that there was “no longer a path to victory” for his campaign, an assertion borne out by his abysmal poll numbers and inconsistent fundraising efforts.
Booker is just the latest candidate “of color” to be rejected by the base of voters who claim to very much care about the melanin count of their eventual nominee. A Columbia journalism professor named Errin Haines delivered an emblematic progressive lament on this issue: F0r a group touted as “the most diverse field of candidates” to “ever run” for president, she said, it does not have that diversity “reflected on the debate stage or in polling.”
Andrew Yang, an Asian American, might have something to say to Haines about the diversity of the current field. Bernie Sanders, who is Jewish, might too. As I recall, Pete Buttigieg is openly gay, and while the operative definition of the word is always changing, Amy Klobuchar and Elizabeth Warren are, by all accounts, still female. For a putatively anti-Semitic, homophobic, patriarchal country that once interned a group of Asian-Americans, it’s quite something to claim that the field as constituted is not diverse.
Semantic quibbles about what constitutes a diverse field aside, one cannot help but notice the presumable culprits here: Democratic primary voters, many of whom are themselves racial minorities. Internalized oppression, indeed.