In what some are calling, myself included, one of the most incredibly tone-deaf moves ever, the organizers of the Women’s March have invited Bernie Sanders to be their keynote speaker on the first night of their three-day convention in Detroit that starts on October 27th. Rather than a woman, they chose a white male to address the thousands of women that were supposed to be in attendance. How and why they made that choice has left many questioning their motives and their politics since that white male is Bernie Sanders.
This is the first “women’s” convention in 40 years and in a place of honor they put a man. A white man. A man that millions of women didn’t vote for and had a huge problem with. This choice is a political one and many of us who didn’t vote for Bernie and who are interested in moving on see this as a big f**k you. For those of us who aren’t millennials and who still live and breath and plan to be around for the next twenty to thirty years much of the response has been downright insulting. One of the organizers, Piper M. Carter posted the following on Feminism on Facebook,
Sen. Sanders has done an amazing job of empowering millennials and creating a space where so many youth and adults feel welcomed. In many ways, his views and policies speak to the future and what the next generation is seeking from a political leader.
The issues that we as a nation are dealing with go beyond electoral politics so having a high number of elected officials has never been our focus. We want to influence policy, which is why we have created panels and workshops that are issue focused and geared towards activists and organizers.
My response was to suggest that the organization showed a complete and utter lack of understanding of the depth and breadth of the constituency they claim to represent. The choice of Bernie demonstrates a political will that has no place in this convention. Women of all ages need female voices to look up to and be inspired by. This isn’t just about twenty-year-olds.
The choice of Bernie was a political calculation that backfired.
Whether it was Linda Sarsour who was a Bernie backer and is a founder of the Women’s March or Nina Turner who influenced this poor decision the backlash has been overwhelming. A petition has been started to remove him. Twitter is aflame. Even many who supported Bernie in the primary are questioning the logic and reasoning behind such a horrific choice.
After all that women are going through at the hands of the Republicans and Donald Trump, after all of the news that daily reminds us of how women suffer at the hands of men, and so often at the hands of white men to make this choice means only one thing – these women and one man, the organizers- are interested in one thing only – a big f**k you to Hillary Clinton and the women that supported her. – And if I am wrong then give me one good reason why with all of the magnificent powerful women out there you chose a 74-year-old white man.