Donald Trump, Senate, Doug Jones discussed on Amanpour
That it should be one of the many qualified black women in politics today, so Lena Maxwell is host of the political radio show signal boost on Sirius. XM and back in two thousand sixteen. She was director of Progressive Media for Hillary Clinton's presidential campaign her new book, the end of white politics how to heal liberal divide argues that the Democrats failure to focus on communities of color could be their downfall and here. She is talking to Michelle Martin. Thanks Christiane. Max Long thanks so much for talking to us. Thank you for having me. You open the book with a seeing Birkik. Really captures what the book is about You are on a panel as something called Linda Con- This is July of two thousand eighteen, this obviously after twenty sixteen elections where? The outcome wasn't what you would have hoped. the the panel was called West next liberals, and you describe the scene I'm going to set the stage for a you call them. The end of the Bernie Sanders supporter, White, male millennial, an uncompromising rock round input to heckle. Anyone deemed insufficiently her aggressive, so let's set the scene here. You're trying to get your whites across about why you think. Two Thousand Sixteen ended as did you give this radical statement? All of the Democratic candidates were need to do a better job of speaking to and about the issues that black women in particular care about the most is they want win that twenty twenty Democratic nomination, and that's why Bernie didn't win and Two Thousand Sixteen Oh, my goodness. shocker. But then what happened? I got booed. I I was booed and heckled It was it was very hostile. And to be clear. I went to political in twenty nineteen. The same thing the same thing happened. I was booed for articulating berry similar points, the mention of aiming over shars name got who's from those same folks, and so there's a gender piece, but there's also a race piece on that I was trying to highlight because for so long. Black women have been electing Democrats. You Know Doug Jones is in the Senate because of black women organizing particularly on their own to keep a child Molester Roy. Moore alleged molester out. Out of the United States Senate and I think that to the credit of those lack women. They didn't need to be told to organize to prevent that reality from happening, they knew that Doug Jones had a history of prosecuting the murderers of the four little girls in Birmingham, and so they he had a connection to that community, and I think that more Democrats should look bad example and the exact example like Stacey. Stacey, Abrams folks who really go directly to black women and you know essentially engage with activists and community leaders who are already doing the work I take. That was a Eureka moment for you and that at that meeting in July twenty eighteen. was that your Rica Moment for you? What did that crystallize for you? We'll I felt like there were things that were very obvious to me that we're not obvious to those. Those who were around me I. think that the folks in the room, particularly the white men in the room they think the majority of the base. They think that they are the most important part of the dates and I was just trying to demonstrate that that was no longer true. It's not going to be true going forward as demographic shift I'm. The coalition's become different. You know now. We're in a moment where. We have to focus on this specific issues so that we can build this rebuild this. Obama s collision, and those folks are part of it, but they don't even want me in their ten. You know if I'M GONNA. Get booed just by pointing out some of the ways in which we can improve our messaging towards communities of color, and you're GonNa do me. I think that you need to do some reflection on you know. Why do you feel hostility You know towards a woman of Color Black woman making that point. You make a big point in the book that all politics is really entity right now and I. Don't I'm Devin g politics has taken on. A bad connotation in political circles at least some political circles. You say that that's wrong. Why is that wrong? We'll percival these. The I talked to her. Recently, we were just laughing about the fact that of course a term that was fine by black dumbness in nineteen, seventy seven, would all of a sudden be a bad thing right once once it becomes more of the part of the mainstream conversation as soon as people start being like Oh. Maybe that's the thing. Thing we should pay attention to. It is demonized by those who understand the efficacy of leaning into identity based politics as the coalitions of people of Color and those demographics are shifting, and so, what would I think in in what I'm trying to say in the book? Is that Donald Trump has exposed the fact that what we've been doing in the Americas essentially white identity politics the whole time we particularly been leaning into that and this moment as the president. Runs and explicitly racist campaign. Targeting a particular segment of his base that he thinks response to those kinds of messages, and they are on, and I think that you know what we need understand. The progressive side is that we cannot fall into this notion that identity based politics is dad because they understand the demographics ships. That's why they're suppressing the vote That's why they're voter. ID laws targeting communities. We need to understand that the the math and the demographics on our on our side and. And that identity based politics is authentic way to speak to those communities. I'M GONNA quote easy of ribs again just because she's. She's the smartest person on this particular issue. I think in this moment on, but she says identity politics is sort of like the flip of I. Don't see color like I see you right and I feel like that's a really powerful validation to communities who have been historically marginalized and ignored by the political establishment interesting. You're saying that the. President trump and his will. His whole reason for being politics is white identity politics, but method you just don't hear very often I mean we talk about identity politics. They're genuine talking about the old color of women to some extent for generally people color. You know why is that? Because we default to whiteness, we don't see. Whiteness is an identity, and it is an identity and I think Donald Trump finally exposed that to a lot of white Americans who who didn't have to think about race. You didn't have to think about gender or the intersection of identities, and how that is impacting people I, think Ovid has has made that clear to a lot of people on, and you see this racial reckoning happening, and all all different sectors result of people, just thinking things through in a different way they're. They're noticing more inequities and systems, and that's important. Important because that means that if white Americans can understand the ways in which their whiteness benefit them in ways. They didn't realize you know. It's those things that they didn't have to think about. They didn't have to think about. You. Know going for a jog and maybe getting shot because you were mistaken for Burger this is not an experience that a white person is having, and that's a privileged, but that doesn't make you a racist that just means that you have certain privileges you know. I have certain privileges I'm able bodied. I have a certain level of education and. Socio economically pretty privileged. And I would say that that's that's okay I. Mean I can just identify those things about myself, and that doesn't mean that I'm a bad person or that somebody that has a white privilege as a racist. It just means that you have to have an understanding of how those privileges then offit you, and then you need to reach back and help other people, and that's fundamentally. I think my.