– @elonjames White – | It’s OK To Admit You’re Wrong.
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It’s OK To Admit You’re Wrong.


It’s OK To Admit You’re Wrong.


I’ve had a weird couple of days.


I had a strange interaction on Twitter over a tweet I sent about Ben Affleck’s persona in the new #BatmanVsSuperman trailer. No matter how much I or anyone else on Twitter tried to get this person to understand that the faux deep commentary was misplaced this person insisted on believing what this person believes. So this person clearly misread the tweet. (We know this because of how the person described the tweet.) I tried in vain to get this person to understand because I’m Batman and I really need to work on that. I assumed that would be my most annoying interaction for the weekend.


Until Sunday morning.


In an article published by on Sunday, writer Shane Ryan explains how it might be good for the Democratic party to let Hillary lose to Republicans if Bernie Sanders doesn’t win the Democratic nomination.


On the other hand, there is a good strategic reason not to vote for Hillary, and it boils down to this: If progressives fall in line, it shows the DNC and the party’s structural elite that they can have our loyalty for nothing. It sets a terrible precedent for the future. To steal a crass expression, why buy the cow when you can get the milk for free?

I took note of this commentary because I’ve been making similar arguments in recent months. I wasn’t basing it on whether or not Clinton would be the nominee, instead whether or not the Black community should support any Democrat who doesn’t lay out a comprehensive #Day1plan as to what they’ll do to stop the American crisis that is Black death by the hands of police. The Black community has been a loyal part of the Democratic base for decades and yet we die in the streets at the hands of police officers who routinely escape justice. But it just so happens that in 2012 Black folks outvoted White folks for the first time. The Democratic party can not win without Black folks, so to me and many others this seems like the time to force Democrats to deal with our issues directly. Give us a real plan and commitment; not vague statements or talking points.




My stance was met with heavy pushback. Claims that I was being selfish (you know, for wanting my community not to be murdered) to being a Hillary Clinton plant (because saying ‘Earn this vote’ means ‘I want of ALL people, Hillary Clinton as president.’ *BLINK*) to being anti-semitic (I…I got nothin’) were thrown about. Instead of acknowledging this is primary season: the exact time we’re supposed to put pressure on politicians, fearmongering over what the Republicans might do became the number one method to attempt to nullify my point.

In the end, there is something that feels viciously self-defeating about voting with a defensive mentality. We keep hearing from centrists that the time for progressive change lies somewhere in the rosy distance, and that for now we have to settle for whatever dubious compromise Hillary Clinton represents. But you can only be told to bide your time so often before the message begins to ring hollow, and those visions of a progressive future look increasingly like a mirage designed to keep us complacent.



Really? Because many-a-Bernie-Stan went out of his or her way to explain how what this Bernie supporter is considering, when applied to Black folks,  is unacceptable. While the author of this post received considerable pushback (as would be expected since he did attack the Democratic front-runner) it didn’t have the same feel as the attacks on Black folks who said similar things. While the language used in this argument mirrored much of my own, it lacked the nuance that I attempted to inject into mine. My goal isn’t for the Democratic party to fail to force them more to the left. I wanted to make sure the Democratic party understands that they can’t continue to take the Black community for granted as we literally die in the streets. I wasn’t declaring any candidate as un-votable for. I wanted them to show why they were worthy of our vote.



So I tweet out the quotes above with the response of “ah ha.” I followed that tweet with



I said “supporters” because a month ago another Sanders supporter said something similar. Some Sanders supporters are showing a reluctance to vote for Secretary Clinton even if she’s the Democratic nominee when many of us were attacked and smeared for simply asking the politicians to earn our vote. I didn’t see the same type of pushback from some of the more vocal Sanders supporters who attacked me. Then this happened.    



My response to this weird commentary was simply “Wut?”


  I may/may not have laughed at this. Okay, I totally laughed at this.      


Sometimes you laugh so that you don’t throw your laptop through the window.


I have been on record A LOT about not supporting Hillary Clinton for the Democratic nominee. Here’s a quote in the New York Times.


If you watch the millennial reaction to Hillary, it’s a very different reaction, because a lot of us came up during the ’08 elections, said Elon James White, an activist and founder of the website This Week in Blackness. There is a very clear line in the sand.



That’s probably the nicest and most work-safe commentary I’ve given on Hillary Clinton.



But this “News Show” decided that I was campaigning not only against Bernie Sanders but for Hillary Clinton. That I must be on her payroll.



And again I’m faced with someone simply not reading my words. I wrote “It’s so weird how these Bernie supporters all of a sudden want to flex with their vote. It’s like the vote means something…” and they took the word “the” out and put “their” in. Perhaps they were skimming. Perhaps they were tired. Perhaps they don’t know what words mean. But my sarcasm and poor reading comprehension lead to me being labeled a shill. Again. And snark surely didn’t help the situation.   

The irony of a Sanders supporter getting angry at me over this tweet is almost overwhelming. This claim was lobbed at Black Lives Matter activists and anyone who didn’t kiss St. Bernie’s ring. And again, I’ve said quite publicly my stance on supposed “unity.”


There is a schism. White progressives assume that black folks are a part of them, but they don’t give priority to the issues that black folks are facing. And yet we’re expected to all fall in line,



But the issue here wasn’t that they misread what I said. Shit happens. It wasn’t that they challenged me. My friends and family do that daily. What got me was this lovely Facebook post I was alerted about.


We need some help. This “person” believes he influences African-American Alternative Media. With that, this “person”…

Posted by Independent Underground News & Talk on Sunday, December 6, 2015


It’s one thing to misread what someone says and/or not get sarcasm. It’s another to write a post trying to smear the “person” you misread out of vindictiveness because they wouldn’t comply with your demands for clarification . And when I mocked how they went about their “reporting” they quickly let me know they were Black.




#ProTip: What you shouldn’t do is disparage a Black guy, then when said Black guy pushes back claim how he’s disparaging you. Also? You shouldn’t spam said Black guy’s Independent Black Media organization with posts for your podcast. Because while Black guy may not have responded to the spamming he just might remember the name of your show. Then when you attempt to malign his name he’ll point out that you’ve been trying to get put on by the “person” “who clearly YOU believe influences “African-American Alternative Media.”


And on that note: We need to spend more money on education because Reading Is Fundamental and yet so many folks can’t do it.


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