When Keith Ellison — a candidate backed by Bernie Sanders — lost the DNC chair race on Feb. 25, he immediately signaled toward unity with newly-elected chair Tom Perez, saying: “If you came here supporting me, I’m asking you to give everything you’ve got to supporting Chairman Perez…We don’t have the luxury to walk out of this room divided.”
Trump is used to getting whatever he wants. Not anymore. Democrats are united. https://t.co/ouZwy2PkVK
— Rep. Keith Ellison (@keithellison) February 26, 2017
In turn, Perez immediately selected Ellison as deputy chair. As Darren Hutchinson observed, “One thing seems clear: Perez and Ellison are not engaging in the petty warfare fueled by many of their respective supporters. KUDOS.”
We're friends. It's ok. https://t.co/xdllbgFN9S
— Rep. Keith Ellison (@keithellison) February 16, 2017
Unfortunately, this deep admiration and respect between these two men has not stopped hardcore Bernie supporters from crying foul. Blogger Matt Bruenig blamed the “establishment” for Ellison losing, saying “If they do not care about the left, the left should not care about them.” Sanders himself even said the day after the race that he would not hand over his email list to the DNC (ironically, he heads up Democratic Outreach).
Indeed, there is still work to be done to sow some of the divisions within the progressive movement (which may have also been fueled by Russian propaganda). And Ellison has no time for that petty bullshit. The Young Turks, a media company that has arguably added fire to a lot of these resentments, spoke to the congressman on March 4, and Ellison did not mince any words:
People who are thinking of quitting political engagement or going third-party, I’ll simply remind them, you’re interviewing me in Selma, Alabama. This is the place where people have paid the price far superior to any price we’re paying right now. I mean, these people were shot, killed, murdered, bombed, you name it, it happened. It never stopped them from fighting. And so, don’t tell me because you’re frustrated about what happened in my DNC race, or Bernie’s race, or anyone else’s race, that you’re gonna throw your hands up. That’s a bunch of crap right there. Buck up.
Watch @keithellison deliver some truth & perspective to those frustrated about how his race, Bernie's, or anyone else's ended.
"Buck up" pic.twitter.com/bdnugR1pyF
— HawaiiDelilah (@HawaiiDelilah) March 11, 2017
Thank you, Rep. Ellison. This is exactly the kind of perspective and leadership we need right now. And to put an even finer point on the deputy DNC chair’s message…
White liberals: "Gee, fighting oppression can be so exhausting"
The rest of us: "No shit, motherfucker. Is this your first day?"
— Boney Hurdle (@eclecticbrotha) March 11, 2017
Fellow white liberals (I’m including myself here): Shut the fuck up and just keep fighting.