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Privileged white voters must vote in solidarity with Muslim Americans in 2024
That's what the argument has been for the past decade, right?
The one year countdown until the 2024 elections begins on Sunday, so naturally I have begun thinking about who I will vote for. Longtime readers will know that this blog has always rejected voting for capitalists in presidential elections, but that I have also spent a lot of time grappling with Democratic arguments for supporting their party instead.
Tonight, I am thinking about one in particular: that I, as a white voter, have a responsibility to set aside my own preferences and vote in solidarity with oppressed minorities. This is an argument for identitarian deference, to use Matt Bruenig’s term, which means that it has all kinds of simple logical problems if you think about it for two seconds. But I have to admit, the argument does have a certain pathos. Here’s how Daily Beast columnist Michael Tomasky put it in 2016 when he argued that white Sanders supporters would
…be all right in their personal lives whether the president is Sanders, Clinton, Trump or Cruz...If you’re black or Latino, your personal day-to-day life might be very different indeed under a Republican president than under a Democratic one...And in state after state, these voters have sided with Clinton, usually in very large numbers (though Sanders did pull a tie among Illinois Latinos). It’s partly the history and partly their sense that she’s more electable.
The upshot, of course, is that instead of relying on their own sense of who was more electable, white Sanders supporters should defer to the judgment of minority voters who have much more at stake.
In the 2020 election, MSNBC pundit Mehdi Hasan relied on the same basic argument to whip votes for Joe Biden, though this time with appeals to solidarity with Muslim voters. Anyone who who refused to back Biden, he insisted, “didn’t give a damn about…Muslim refugees” — it was “all a joke” to them and evidence of their “indifference to Islamophobia & white nationalism.” And the reason they didn’t care, he added, was obvious: “It’s not lost on me that most of the ppl telling me they won’t vote against Trump are...white men. Surprise!”
In one particularly heated exchange, Hasan, appealing to his own background as a Muslim, again accused white men who refused to vote in solidarity with them of indifference:
The logic couldn’t be clearer: white leftists had a special responsibility to vote in solidarity with American Muslims, and if they don’t their are guilty of white supremacy.
Anyway, I bring it up because of a poll that’s been going around this evening:
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