I’m Done Being a Democrat

“The Democratic Party is the graveyard of social movements.”

Following the info dump of leaked DNC emails, it’s clear that the allegedly neutral Democratic Establishment colluded with the Hillary Clinton campaign to ensure her nomination for President.

It’s also clear that the DNC has been trying to corporatize the Movement for Black Lives by vetting high profile organizers DeRay McKesson and Brittney Packnett as potential surrogates, and by systematically ignoring grassroots hood niggas in favor of the primped and polished Black bourgeoisie.

At last week’s Democratic Convention, we saw history made. Sec. Hillary Clinton — the first woman to ever win a major party nomination — was the star of a festive showcase that brought together an eminent collective of renowned political operatives, celebrities, and social commentators. President Obama delivered one of his best speeches to date, First Lady Michelle spoke boldly of her Blackness, Sen. Bernie Sanders called for Party unity, and former President Bill Clinton told us of the nominee’s decades-long resume.

But the neoliberal pageantry was deeply disturbing to me. I was unimpressed, uninspired, and unwavering in my commitment to Black Liberation. When I gave my life to pro-Black, queer-centered radical militancy, I untrained myself in considering compromise, gradualism, and reform as commendable tenets of social justice.

Compromise dilutes the gravitas of holistic freedom. Gradualism enables bureaucracies to better hide their anti-Blackness. Reform is too easy to rollback. 

The Democratic Establishment champions half-measures to placate Black voters. We are their mules they take for granted; they tout the overt racism of the Republican Establishment as a justification for our expected loyalty. They want us to ignore their complicity in anti-Blackness, their neoliberal imperialism, and their dastardly subservience to operational white supremacy.
Black Mules

They want us to disregard their pursuit of anti-Black classist welfare reform, their cowardice in mounting an impenetrable defense against the racist attacks against Obamacare, and their war-mongering. They want us to be proud of their lackluster commitment to fighting climate change, their politically expedient acceptance of LGBTQ marriage rights, and their invisible war against the undocumented.

Many Black people identify as Democrats. I’m a registered Democrat and have voted religiously along the Party line. This blind allegiance stops this year.

As a radical, I believe in dreaming big. I am liberated from the confines of pragmatism — a notion of guised fear — and instead am committed to creating a world I believe in.

It is time to divest from the Democratic Party.

This Party has capitalized on my desire for social good, has pandered to my People, and has reinvigorated the white supremacist status quo in ways more deadly than wolfish Republicans.

The Democratic Party has co-opted many organic social justice movements and has entrenched its leaders into its neoliberal realm. The Democratic Party has served as an impediment to radical change, has talked from both sides of its mouth, and has paid lip-service to the most vulnerable and marginalized of us.

I am now committed to building independent political power. I believe in more robust and accurate representation. I believe that Black folk deserve a genuine political formation built on steadfast pro-Blackness.

Developing an independent political party will not be easy. It requires immense adjustments in the electoral system, the development of a robust national infrastructure, extreme labor in grassroots outreach and political education, and expertise in scalable fundraising.

But it’s not impossible.

Featured Image Credit: www.wamc.org

photo 1Arielle Newton. Head Girl of Ravenclaw. Get at me @arielle_newton. Get at us @BlkMillennials.


7 responses to “I’m Done Being a Democrat

  1. Really? So you would rather accept a Republican leadership that will change nothing and worst case nominate conservative judges to the Supreme Court? Statements like this really anger me – it’s better to have someone in a leadership position you can work with as someone who won’t give a damn for the next for years! It’s called political realism!


  2. “Developing an independent political party will not be easy. It requires immense adjustments in the electoral system, the development of a robust national infrastructure, extreme labor in grassroots outreach and political education, and expertise in scalable fundraising.”

    It also requires more time than this next election cycle in November! I agree that an independent approach will serve us and I am willing to work for it! I am not willing to have to fight Donald Trump and an ascendant GOP because we declined to support Hillary! There is pragmatism that must be served this November. VOTE!


  3. What about the green party? They’ve already got a growing infrastructure of people as dedicated to the same core principles as anybody you’ll meet trying to build a new party….

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I would LOVE to vote third-party. At this point in the presidential race, having someone from a third party winning seems unattainable and unfeasible. To me, it seems like a shame to “waste” my vote.
    In all honesty, I feel like Trump and Hillary are exactly the same, with only a few teeny tiny things that set them apart. To me, I am voting because I am choosing the “lesser evil.” Should it be that way? No. Definitely not.
    I saw a picture once where it was comparing Trump and Hillary. It said “How do you want your racism, blunt or systematic?” Could not agree more.

    However, I do feel like it is too late for this campaign. With Bernie, I was very hopeful, as he does come from a third party but registered as democrat to be able to appeal to more voters. I hope that in the future, as more millennial are able to vote, we can get to the point where we realize that what we have been doing is not working out. The past few centuries have not and have never worked out. Not for POC.

    I will be begrudgingly going with Hilary this term. But I do hope that the way “democracy” works in the US changes. It seems hopeless if it does not.


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