Bianca, In 2016, progressives had a choice between a comprised hand puppet of the rich — too late and unconvincing to the progressive party to slough off her history of abuses against the LGBTQ community and people of color — HRC — and Sanders for the Democratic ticket.
I’m not going to apologize for Sanders’ remark. I don’t understand it. He says “first in importance” is fighting Trump on issues relating to various groups, then he says “equally, or more importantly” — just doesn’t make sense — and then “bread and butter” issues for “ordinary Americans”. The whole thing is muddled. As an intersectional progressive, I believe he thinks fighting for bread and butter issues for ordinary Americans includes the groups of people he claims are first in importance to fight for. You read it one way; I read it another. His policies certainly would have had a significant effect on oppressed people.
When he stood up to the corrupt DNC, he was bringing with him a package of policies which would help the strivers and the oppressed people. He would do that not only by focusing on issues important to them specifically, but by handling everyday people issues [people like you and me, not the wealthy 1%ers HRC and Trump court] in a way which builds our middle classes back rather than pushing us even further into feudalism.
I appreciate your bringing this critique forward. His language was not clear at all. On the one hand POC and LGBT and women deserve othering, and by that I mean the kind of attention in legislative matters to try to correct historical wrongs, but the language is tricky: the first sentence, which others them, is okay but the second sentence — which I am still not convinced doesn’t include POC, LGBT, women — uses that phrase: “ordinary Americans”, which we have heard way too many times from the right as a way of making folks feel “not like us”, “not ordinary”, “other”. While I’m no politician, I think your pointing this out helps me learn, and I hope Bernie hears it — I doubt he intended to dogwhistle.
Again: he says first in importance and then he says “equally, or more importantly”. It is just a confusing construction.
We deserve a candidate like him in 2020, just sure — whomever that is, the progressive needs to watch her language because the voices of privilege [of which I am one] and the right [of which I am not] have rigged language so much so that it is easy to step on a mine because they’ve placed so many mines all around in ordinary language that even a well-meaning person can take a step and hear that click sound which means the next move is kaboom.