White Progressives Withholding Our Votes From Democrats is Peak White Privilege
If we’re truly progressives, who is harmed by our protest votes should be the first thing we think of, not the last.
Some white folks on the left think the Republican and Democratic Parties are “the same.” They say they might not vote “bcuz what’s the diff?” When we’re white, we don’t experience the GOP’s growing white supremacy in the same way Black people do. Maybe self reflect on this: withholding our vote to protest the failings of the Democratic Party is totally an act of white privilege. Which in turn means, it’s racist.
When I say withholding our votes is racist, I don’t mean “we hate Black people.” It’s racist because our advantages and privilege as whites within American society insulates us, makes us able to ignore the harm done by this choice.
The fact that the option even exists for white progressives to value our frustration with the Democratic Party above the real world impacts witholding our votes has on BIPOC, exists BECAUSE we’re white. We don’t fear the GOP like we should. The long standing white privilege which underpins our (false) sense of safety means the existence of our “choice” is rooted in our white skin.
I’m a white male progressive. Before I even consider casting a third party vote or not voting as a protest, I ask myself: Will GOP state and Federal majorities harm:
The answer is YES. A GOP majority will continue to bully, oppress and murder these populations on an increasing scale.
If I oppose the GOP, but withhold my vote from Democratic candidates in the 2022 midterms, one can only presume I still don’t feel enough personal threat from the increasingly extremist GOP. Which is crazy because they’re coming for all our rights. But this is the thing about white privilege. It can blind us not only to the threats Black folks, LGBTQI people, and immigrants live with every day, but to the threats we face as well. At a fundamental and often deeply unconscious level, we believe our white skin will continue to protect us, because it always has.
I wouldn’t bank on that going forward.
The Democratic Party is in no way perfect. I share others’ deep frustrations with what remains to be done, but I also see real and substantive progressives rising in the Democratic Party. But we absolutely must understand that the GOP has crossed over into white supremacist authoritarian madness. So, please self reflect. See the imminent danger to us all.
Here is the central question: If I refuse to vote for the Democratic Party in 2022, and the GOP wins a majority, who will punishment rain down on first?
A coordinated campaign to create raging ferocity against the Democratic Party from “the Left” is out there, driven by bots and trolls intent on amplifying discontent among young white progressives. Think this through. Don’t fall for it. Be a part of the #BlueWave2022, then we’ll all continue to move the Democratic Party towards even more progressive positions.
Do otherwise and there won’t be any more progress for anyone.