Daniel Cohen, who is president of Indivisible Houston, called me up a few days ago. He was irate that many who label themselves as progressive were not overtly vocal in condemning the recent anti-Semitic speech given by Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan.
Cohen was explicitly upset that Tamika Mallory, a leader and organizer of the Women’s March, was “fraternizing” with Farrakhan. Mallory spent a lot of time defending her attendance.
“I have a response that I need to get out,” Cohen said to me.
Soon after, I received a very long essay from Cohen, in which he methodically deconstructed the behavior of the Women’s March national leadership before, during, and after the speech.
Cohen received a lot of pushback from purported progressives, who accused him of creating disunity and fostering division within the progressive movement and the Democratic Party.
At Netroots Nation 2015, the most significant gathering of progressive bloggers and activists in the world, Black Lives Matter disrupted the event to confront Democratic presidential primary candidates. To my surprise, a large plurality of these progressives objected to their tactics. These are the same progressives that were all in with the Occupy movement, as well as the disruption it created.
My disappointment led me to write an article, where I reminded these liberals that:
Every year some form of protest occurs at Netroots Nation. It is an activist group. After-all, its genesis lies with activist bloggers. Politicians seek us out because it is at the center of the energy of the Democratic Party. While some may not have heard of the DailyKOS, the most traffic Liberal site, or Netroots Nation, much of the Liberal narrative is driven by those that write or are somehow affiliated with them. …
The disappointment with some of my Netroots Nation brothers and sisters was their willful inability to empathize. Activist liberals that have stood for civil rights, that have marched for civil rights, that have had their skulls cracked for civil rights were now either dismissive or critical of a group whose mission is noble.
I tried to implore them to look through the eyes of those that they claim to be fighting for, as opposed to their own.