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At The DNC, Black Women Stayed The Course

Ignore the booing, but pay attention to the women on — and off — stage

In a week of Bernie Sanders supporters booing Hillary Clinton's nomination for president and the Democratic National Committee tossing its chairwoman, it turns out that, once again, it's going to be up to black women to hold everything together.

Hillary Clinton is the Democratic Party nominee for president, but Michelle Obama and other black women from across the Democratic Party told the party faithful at the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia — or, in the case of Sanders supporters, not so faithful — to act like they've got some goddang sense. Marcia Fudge, an Ohio Congresswoman, chair of the Democratic National Convention, and a woman with whom one should not trifle, told the crowd that it was high time they "act like" Democrats, even as some continued to boo. Off stage, Donna Brazile, who took over the chairwomanship of the Democratic National Committee from Debbie Wasserman Schultz, apologized for the emails released by WikiLeaks that indicated heavy support for Clinton over Sanders. Black women, the group most concerned about what a Donald Trump presidency could mean for their families, were the ones willing to do the hard work on Monday night in Philadelphia. They demanded to be heard, they demanded respect, and they demanded that the Democratic Party and Sanders holdouts alike shut the fuck up and listen.

It shouldn't be like this, you know. It shouldn't be on black women, or black people, or any one group to stand up to Trump. A vast majority of Democrats recognize that nominating Hillary Clinton is no tragic loss. Ninety percent of Sanders supporters plan to vote for Clinton in November. But you wouldn't know that from a small contingent of convention attendees closest to microphones — those most unwilling to accept compromise, and those who appear to most underestimate the impact of a Trump presidency.

Perhaps it's because, for the #BernieOrBust crowd, for the people willing to vote for Trump not for ideological reasons but out of spite, a Trump presidency would have little impact. But for most of us who aren't white, or straight, or living in liberal enclaves, for the black women in that overheated arena in Philadelphia, the impact would be unbearable. So black women stood up against the booing and the chants from ten people closest to well-placed microphones. And they got back to doing the work that needed to be done: electing a president.

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