BY KATRINNA MARTIN-BORDEAUX
Please stop calling yourselves progressives. I see a group of mean spirited people that basically intruded on a movement already taking place — but rather than joining forces with those leading the way — you started your own thing, marginalizing yourselves from the very people who started the Black Lives Matter movement. Black people founded this movement following the killing of Trayvon Martin in Sanford, Florida; and the killing of Micheal Brown in Ferguson, Missouri.
Now out of all twelve other Democrats who voted against Senator Bernie Sanders’ amendment to allow the import of prescription drugs from Canada, most of you don’t know their names nor have you targeted them for public shaming and harsher scrutiny.
The only name you know is Senator Cory Booker.
Your excuse is that “he is going to run in 2020.”
Most of this type call themselves “Bernie Sanders’ movement-people.” When I introduced Bernie when he came to Buffalo, and being the token for the campaign in Western New York, I find the behavior ironic. The very people who called on my community to help the Sanders campaign have taken a posture that degrades every Black political figure in Western New York, while sparing their white counterparts who have been accused of doing the same thing.
What is it that has them so dissatisfied about Black political figures?
Black political figures in Buffalo don’t run any white district, but these ‘progressive’ activists have little concern with white politicians who represent their election districts.
They are not even mad at white Democrats in Western New York who take campaign contributions from Carl Paladino — a wealthy developer who recently made headlines related to racist comments made about the President and First Lady.
But these activists are suddenly mad at Senator Booker for his campaign contributions from the pharmaceutical industry. Notice that they won’t tell you that New Jersey has 14 of the nation’s 20 largest pharmaceutical companies. Of course he is going to have more donations from the pharmaceutical industry.
And did any of these pharmaceutical companies call the president and first lady racially derogatory names? They seem to have no issue with white politicians who take money from a racist, but are irrationally angry with someone you liked two days ago?
From the hypocrisy of taking campaign contributions from big business, to the support for charter schools, it seems that Black politicians with a different opinion aren’t extended the same tolerance from their fellow Democrats. If you are Black and have a different opinion, this is not going to work.
I don’t know your mission, but it can’t possible have anything to do with my community. That’s fine. Your disingenuous concerns and rooting for the Black community advance your own agenda. You damage the likeability of people who look like me, but take no issue with people who look like you — even if they have more power or do the same thing you disdain about Black leaders.
This is disappointing.
Some might call me a tough political operative and all the way to the left. I’ll take it, but I don’t have a cutthroat bone in me. Shitting on everyone Black that screws up doesn’t make you more progressive. Just 10 seconds off of being “the new status quo” and that is nothing good.
With all due respect…clean your own backyard.
Katrinna Martin-Bordeaux is the founder of Young Black Democrats of Western New York and is the region’s leading Black Lives Matter advocate. In recent years her mobilization of Buffalo’s East Side around economic justice issues is credited for securing more than $200 million in commitments for public investment from the Cuomo administration.