Black women in the political space, particularly the Democratic party, have a laborious battle to fight where they are looked to as the backbone in many instances, while simultaneous being dismantled by verbal acrimony. And while they instinctually push forward and strap on their armor to fight the good fight, it mustn’t go unnoticed that attacks against these women call attention to the lack of respect, but also the need for protection on a unified front.
Nina Turner, former Ohio State Senator and national co-chair of Senator Bernie Sanders 2020 presidential campaign, was recently attacked on social media by Steve McElroy, former Chief of Staff to the West Virginia Senate and Lt. Governor, who is also a surrogate for former South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg’s campaign. “As an ‘alleged’ leader, if @BernieSanders doesn’t show any leadership by muzzling @ninaturner he is going to make it hard for many to support him,” he said in a deleted tweet. However, screenshots last forever.
While there have been calls for Mayor Pete to disavow this sort of behavior, the fact remains that this attack isn’t the first of its’ caliber. MSNBC reporter Jason Johnson made similar disparaging comments, seemingly referring to both Turner and Sanders’ National Press Secretary, Briahna Joy Gray. “I do find it fascinating that racist liberal whites seem to love them some Bernie Sanders, consistently.” Johnson said. “And always have a problem with any person of color who doesn’t want to follow with the orthodoxy of their Lord and Savior Bernie Sanders.”
“The man cares nothing for intersectionality,” he continued. “And I don’t care how many people from the island of misfit Black girls that you throw out to defend you on a regular basis, it doesn’t mean that your campaign is serious.”
And while there was an apology issued, that doesn’t lessen the cut of the knife.
Last year, Senator Kamala Harris’ Blackness was questioned after a series of, what appeared to be internet trolls or bots, attempted to push a false narrative that senator didn’t represent Black Americans because her father is a native of Jamaica. Sen. Harris is American, born in Oakland, California, and of Jamaican and Indian descent.
Donald Trump’s former campaign spokeswoman, Katrina Pierson also tried to assert that Harris was not Black enough to run as a minority presidential candidate, as reported by The Huffington Post. She tweeted at the time that although “while Obama is actually African-American — Harris is not.”
The onslaught against Black women, particularly within the Democratic party, is deplorable.
Democratic National Committee Chairman Tom Perez tweeted in December 2017 that “Black women are the backbone of the Democratic Party, and we can’t take that for granted. Period,” but it appears that this statement has become insipid because folks are fearless when taking aim at these women who deserve way more protection than they have been receiving.