Column: Lessons of the audio leak: Solidarity is dead. Let’s ditch the label ‘people of color’
The audio leak that revealed the names of three U.S. senators, including Bernie Sanders, has left a sour taste in the mouths of many. The recordings, which came to light after a series of tweets from Donald Trump supporters, reportedly took place during the 2016 Democratic Presidential Primary and involved a number of staffers working for Senator Sanders who were recorded allegedly making racially charged remarks to each other.
Now, the audio leak has come to light once again after another round of Trump supporters tweeted out a list of names of high-profile African-American politicians and staffers from the Democratic Party. The most recent audio recording released was a voicemail that took place between the staffer for U.S. Sen. Kamala Harris, Calif., and another staffer for U.S. Sen. Cory Booker, the New Jersey Democrat who was previously the target of a recording released by Trump supporters in the wake of the 2016 election, in which another staffer allegedly mocked a Muslim congresswoman over her ’Muslim ban’ comment.
Many have criticized Harris’s defense of Muslim Rep. Ilhan Omar, D-Minn., who faces criticism for a tweet she issued earlier in the day linking “anti-Muslim” politicians not to support Israel, but to support the Palestinian people. Those who have called on Harris to apologize for her tweet have been met with silence.
The Sanders staffers on the leaked voicemail list had apparently been targeted because of their race, and were clearly frustrated with their treatment by the senator as recently as a few months ago.
This latest audio leak and the controversy that has erupted around it are the latest in a string of controversies surrounding President Donald Trump, and how those controversies have affected the political views of minority voters, including marginalized and historically marginalized communities of color. Though some have argued that the racial controversies around Trump and his administration must be ignored in favor of the larger issues of his political views, or that this focus on race distracts from the larger racial issues Trump has and has had, the truth is that this controversy around the audio leak has exposed the reality of this administration’s racist policies – policies that have specifically targeted Democratic legislators and staff in order to undermine their support for the