On Biden, Sanders, and anti-racism

I begin this the night after Bernie Sanders ended his 2020 campaign, making Joe Biden the de facto winner of the 2020 Democratic primary for President of the United States. It is essentially a blog post, which I would normally put on Facebook. I’m making it an unlinked-to page here on my site, Unlikely Stories, because my opinion on Sanders and Biden arguably violates Facebook’s terms of service.

Biden beat Sanders according to the stated rules of the primary, in a series of legal and reasonably fair elections. (I say “reasonably” because a national Primary Day would be more fair, and Instant Runoff Voting would be much more fair.) Biden won largely because of black voters.

Individual decisions to vote for a specific person are often nuanced, sometimes nebulous, and always hard to summarize. That said, when listening to black media voices and individual black people in my orbit, a couple of subjects consistently arise. First, that Joe Biden, while his 1994 crime bill certainly exacerbated the existing racism within the justice system, spent eight years as a proud second fiddle to a black man, without ever disrespecting or usurping him. Very few white men have shown such an inclination. Second, there is the popular opinion that Biden is the candidate most equipped to defeat Donald Trump. Neither of these attributes will dismantle white supremacy, but together, they significantly reduce the amount of white supremacy coming out of the White House.

This is neither anti-Sanders nor anti-progressive. It is not ill-informed, ignorant, deluded, or otherwise stupid. It is a thought-based and logical attempt to reduce the power of white supremacy in the United States.

It is a thought process with which I disagree. Nazis now openly walk the streets of American towns and cities, claiming that they are American patriots. I do not believe that Biden is competent to this challenge. I believe he will try to reason with, not Nazis, but Nazi-enablers such as Lindsay Graham and Laura Ingraham. I believe this will allow the further mainstreaming of Nazism, leading to a more Nazified Republican Party, until we’re dealing with President Stephen Miller and Latinos in cattle cars. Primarily for this reason, I prefer Bernie Sanders, who I believe would reject Nazis more thoroughly and harshly.

This difference of opinion is based on different life experiences. Black people are used to dealing with one face of white supremacy; I am used to dealing with another. Both opinions are fact-based and logical. Both opinions are compatible with progressivism, however unprogressive Biden might be in some ways.

Many Sanders supporters who are more passionate than I are in real pain right now. That’s understandable, and they have the right to that pain. Electoral politics can be very painful for the losers. Biden supporters who mock or belittle this pain are behaving in a counterproductive, anti-political way, and are also assholes. They should stop that. Assholes.

Many white Sanders supporters are taking this time to say that Biden is racist, sexist, and a rapist. Biden has been credibly accused of sexual assault. That said, I am not interested in who white people consider racist. Black voters have been very clear.

Sanders is now 78. We’ll never know if he or Biden would be more effective at fighting white supremacy. I certainly hope Biden becomes President, and I certainly hope he does well in this fight. I’ll vote for him in the general election—it costs me nothing but a few minutes to do so, and he is the superior choice in the context of our incredibly dysfunctional and antiquated two-party system. Furthermore, although I’m disappointed as a progressive, I’m not deeply disappointed as an anti-racist, because neither Biden nor Sanders are preaching the correct way to deal with Nazis.

The correct way to deal with Nazis is to kill them. The correct way to deal with people who wear the Iron Cross, or people who dress up as Nazis on Halloween, is to beat them savagely until they dare no longer play those games. Violence is the only tactic that has been proven to work against this particular disease of the soul. The killing of a Nazi is always self-defense; the hospitalization of “nazi punks” and other Nazi-adjacents makes the world safer for everyone. This has been demonstrated time after time, in city after city, in subculture after subculture.

Polished, hipster Nazis like Richard Spencer or Stephen Miller are not different. They do not stand for free speech, as they claim to. They are deliberately and methodologically dismantling liberal democracies by using the tools and weaknesses of said democracies, as the original Nazis did. The primary difference between Spencer and a nazi punk is that Spencer can take fewer punches.

This rant is not intended to tell you to vote, or who to vote for, or why to vote. There are other people with more nuanced and eloquent takes on this matter than I am prepared to deliver. There’s only so much time I want to devote to electoral politics. But I have an endless appetite for stopping the Nazis, and it’s time we frankly discussed how that’s done.