Yet, it’s only when there are female or nonwhite candidates that voters are told that gender and race shouldn’t matter.

Well, let’s be honest about why that is. When candidates talk about whether or not race matters, they’re talking about which criteria we should use to distinguish the candidates from one another. They’re not saying sex and race don’t matter in general. They’re not saying sexism and racism are not issues worth caring about. They’re just talking about distinguishing themselves from the other candidates.

And when all the candidates are all old white men, race and gender do not factor into that at all. Because a group of old white men can’t be distinguished from one another on race or sex.

So of course it’s only when women and people of color are on the ballot that you hear that point being made. Because that’s the only time that the point is applicable.

Politicians can’t afford to brush off what’s happening in the U.S. around race and gender right now.

Sanders understands that just fine. I think there are very few Democrats who can match Bernie’s track record for defending civil rights for minorities.

Don’t assume he doesn’t understand or care about these issues just because he’s a white guy.

Which is not to say that I’m planning to vote for him.

As I recently told someone else: I welcome women and people of color to challenge Sanders in the primary. And if I like their policies, I’ll gladly vote for them.

At the moment, I’m planning to vote for Warren, because I like her ideas more than I like Bernie’s ideas.

This week, Elizabeth Warren and Kamala Harris both indicated that they would support reparations for black Americans, a welcome and proactive stance.

Reparations are a tricky subject, but I actually don’t support them. (Please hear me out before deciding that’s a racist opinion.)

Let me begin by saying I absolutely agree with many of the arguments laid out for why we need reparations. Slavery, and the way black people in the U.S. were maligned and mistreated after it was abolished, both had a tremendously negative effect on the black community that is still being felt today. As much as many white people would like to dismiss it as ancient history, it’s not — the ripples from it are still in effect even today. The poverty rates for black Americans are about two and a half times higher than for white Americans.

Now, with all of that said: poverty is a huge crisis that affects people of all races. There are 17 million white Americans living in poverty, along with 9 million black Americans, and nearly 11 million Hispanic Americans.

I would rather we focused on trying to improve the lives of all Americans living in poverty, rather than selectively targeting based on race.

Writer.

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