In an appearance on MSNBC on Tuesday, Judith Sheindlin made a weak case for Bloomberg and against Biden and Sanders
Judge Judith Sheindlin—better known as Judge Judy—appeared on MSNBC on Tuesday to advocate for her preferred "Democratic" candidate, Mike Bloomberg.
As well as being an actual judge, Judge Judy has won over 25-years of daytime TV viewers by dispensing no-nonsense "justice" in a "small claims court" that essentially awards small cash prizes to people willing to air their dirty laundry in public. It was recently announced that this year will mark the final season of Judge Judy, but that doesn't mean that Sheindlin is done inflicting her pithy opinions on the public. Until her new show Judy Justice arrives next year, she will have to content herself with appearances on cable news in which—in her signature fashion—she can dispense with any suggestion of nuance and reduce complex issues to gut reactions and snarky quips.
Using those methods on MSNBC on Tuesday, Sheindlin quickly dismissed the candidacies of Bernie Sanders and Joe Biden. Sanders, in her view, only offers "a fantasy," and Joe Biden is "a really nice guy" who will be vulnerable against "a street fighter" like Donald Trump. According to her, as soon as Trump gets on stage with Joe Biden, he will "bring up all the things that the other Democratic candidates at debates did not" and likely tank his candidacy. That may be true. Joe Biden is older than Donald Trump and has a history of supporting racist policies and interacting with women in ways that make them uncomfortable. Trump could use that ammunition to deflate enthusiasm for Joe Biden and undermine many of the strongest arguments against Trump himself. But what about Mike Bloomberg?
Somehow Sheindlin seems to have overlooked how all of these criticisms apply just as well—if not more so—to her favorite candidate, whom she refers to as "a man who knows how to see a problem and incrementally get it fixed." Not only can Bloomberg be attacked on the basis of a record that suggests both racism and sexism, he is also an out-of-touch Wall Street elitist who banned soda in NYC. On top of that, he has already shown himself ill-equipped to respond to those criticisms coming from the likes of Elizabeth Warren—so he's not exactly a "street fighter."
So why has Sheindlin decided to endorse a presidential candidate for the first time in her career? Maybe Sheindlin, who makes around $50 million a year as the star of Judge Judy, has another motive in supporting the only ultra-wealthy candidate who is still running as a Democrat. Hmm… Perhaps her opinions on Bernie Sanders will clarify things.
What would it mean if Sheindlin referred to Bernie's policy proposals as "fiscally impossible" and claimed that it has failed "wherever it's been tried on a large scale"—despite the fact that similar policies can be found functioning in nearly every developed nation on Earth? Could it be that Sheindlin is out of touch with the ordinary struggles she pretends to adjudicate in a fake court room for a salary of tens of millions? Is it possible she's just promoting the candidate she thinks will defend her nearly half-a-billion-dollars of wealth against the grubbing hordes she lords over on TV and in life?
Sheindlin went on to cite Bernie's limited electoral accomplishments as proof that he can't get things done, because he has only passed "seven bills in 30 years … [which] is not a really great track record." Having pushed for decades for the kind of sweeping change that was anathema to the political establishment, it's true that Sanders' name appears on far more amendments than full-fledged bills. While his supporters see this as an argument for giving him the power to force the establishment to grapple with his progressive ideas, to Sheindlin it means that Bernie is "fooling the people out there who are struggling into thinking that he's the answer. He's not the answer."
Whatever the case, 2016 proved that voters are not particularly impressed with people who "get things done" within a system the public sees as corrupt and diseased. While Sanders' electoral and political "revolution" may not come to pass, revolution of one form or another is far from "impossible"–it's inevitable.
During her appearance, Sheindlin noted that young people always seem to want revolution. As long as there is injustice, and as long as young people are divested from the status quo, that will be the case—as it was in the American colonies of the 1770s, France of the 1780s, Russia of the 1910s… Young people push for revolution, and every once in a while revolution actually happens. It's inevitable in every culture, and it's been creeping closer around the world. Short of political change on at least the scale of the New Deal, a generation faced with the prospects of catastrophic climate change and a lifetime of economic serfdom will not quietly settle for business as usual.
Revolution—in one form or another—is coming for your wealth, Judith. And Mike Bloomberg can't save you.
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The quarterback said "I will never agree with anybody disrespecting the flag of the United States of America or our country." And then he tried to apologize. And only made it worse.
Drew Brees, a man who makes literally millions of dollars for throwing a ball, has come under fire for insensitive comments he made about NFL players kneeling during the National Anthem to protest police brutality.
"I will never agree with anybody disrespecting the flag of the United States of America or our country," Brees said in the interview with Yahoo Finance. He clarified that this was in part because he envisioned his grandfathers, who fought in World War II, during the National Anthem. He continued, saying, "And is everything right with our country right now? No. It's not. We still have a long way to go. But I think what you do by standing there and showing respect to the flag with your hand over your heart, is it shows unity. It shows that we are all in this together. We can all do better. And that we are all part of the solution."
This isn't the first time Brees made it clear that he cares more for the idea of a make-believe unified America than he does for actual human lives. In 2016, he criticized Colin Kaepernick for kneeling during the anthem, saying it was "disrespectful to the American flag" and "an oxymoron" because the flag gave critics the right to speak out in the first place.
Colin Kaepernick kneeling in protest of racist police brutality
Of course, the flag's alleged ideals have been proven to only be applicable to wealthy, white men—men like Brees. Sure, his grandfathers did a noble thing when they fought under the US flag during WWII, and no one, including Kaepernick, has ever said that sacrifice isn't worth respecting. Thanks to the sacrifices of many people (including the enslaved Black backs upon which this country was built, including the scores of routinely abused Black soldiers who fought for American lives), America has offered opportunity and peace for many, many people. In particular, Ole' Glory has been very kind to men like Brees: rich, white men who still control the majority of the power and the wealth in the United States.
But what about the rest of us, Drew? What about George Floyd whose neck was crushed by a police officer who kneeled on him so casually that he didn't even take his hand out of his pocket? What about Ahmaud Arbery, who was shot for the crime of being Black and going for a jog? What about Breonna Taylor, a black woman who was murdered by police in her home in the middle of the night for a crime that had nothing to do with her? What about Tony McDade, Drew–have you heard his name? Have you heard about the 38-year-old Black trans man who was gunned down in Florida last week? Do you understand why these people's family's may harbor just a bit of disrespect for your precious flag?
Is it possible for you to realize, Drew, that your wish for "unity" is not a wish for progress, but a wish to maintain the status quo? When you call for unity under the American flag, you're talking about your flag, the flag that represents a long, sordid history of racial oppression and violence. There is no unity where there is no justice. When you say that "we are all in this together," what you're saying is that we all have roles to play in the version of society that has served you so well. For your part, you'll be a rich, white man, and for Black people's part, they'll continue to be victims of state-sanctioned murders– but hopefully more quietly, hopefully in a manner that doesn't make you uncomfortable?
When you say, "We can all do better. And that we are all part of the solution," what you mean to say is that POC and their allies are at fault. Sure, you probably agree that Derek Chauvin took it a bit too far, and you probably feel a little self-conscious that he's brought all this "Black rights" stuff up again. But when you say "all," you place blame on the victims who are dying under a broken system. And what, exactly, do you expect POC to do differently, Drew? Ahmaud Arbery was just out jogging, and still he died. George Floyd was just trying to pay a cashier, and still he died. POC and their allies try to peacefully protest by marching in the streets or taking a knee at a football game, and still white people condemn and criticize. Still the police shoot.
After much criticism, Brees did attempt an apology on Instagram, where he posted a hilariously corny stock photo of a Black and white hand clasped together. His caption, though possibly well-intentioned, made it even clearer that his understanding of the movement for Black lives is thoroughly lacking.
Highlights of the "apology" include his immediate attempt to exonerate himself from culpability, claiming that his words were misconstrued, saying of his previous statement: "Those words have become divisive and hurtful and have misled people into believing that somehow I am an enemy. This could not be further from the truth, and is not an accurate reflection of my heart or my character." Unfortunately, Drew, white people like you are the "enemy," as you put it, because by default you are at the very least part of the problem. No one is accusing you of being an overt racist, Drew; no one thinks you actively and consciously detest Black people. But your lack of empathy, your apathy, and your unwillingness to unlearn your own biases are precisely what has persisted in the hearts and minds of well-meaning white Americans for centuries.
Next, you say, "I recognize that I am part of the solution and can be a leader for the Black community in this movement." No, Drew. Just no. Black people don't need white people's savior complexes to interfere in their organizing; what they need is for us to shut up and listen. What they need is for us to get our knees off of their necks.
Finally, you say, "I have ALWAYS been an ally, never an enemy." This, Drew, is suspiciously similar to saying, "But I'm one of the good whites!" The fact of the matter is that feeling the need to prove your allyship is not about helping a movement; it's about feeding your own ego. Not only that, but your emphasis on "ALWAYS" does a pretty good job of making it clear that you don't think you have a racist bone in your body and that you have taken great offense at any accusations to the contrary. I have some news for you, Drew: Every white person is racist. Sure, the levels vary, and while you may not be actively and consciously discriminating against POC, you have been brought up in a racist system, and your implicit biases are as strong as any other white person's. Your job now is to unlearn those biases and confront those subtle prejudices in yourself and in other white people. Maybe the first step in doing so is just shutting your f*cking mouth about kneeling at football games. Maybe you should even consider taking a knee yourself.
For other non-BIPOC trying to be better allies, check out one of these 68+ anti-racism resources.