Rantz: Progressive councilmember angry the woke mob he helped create finally came for him
Progressive King County Councilmember Dave Upthegrove has been abandoned and criticized by the woke, progressive activists he empowered. They are using the same identity politics he has embraced. Now, the woke mob is coming after him.
According to a new report, Upthegrove aggressively pushed back on far-left progressive groups who did not endorse him for his re-election. He questioned whether or not they went with his opponent because she is a Black, Muslim, female candidate, and he’s a “white guy.” He once told a group of Democrats that he recognizes his white “privilege,” but now he wonders if he’s being pushed aside from organizations that agree he benefits from privilege?
The organizations were absolutely influenced by his opponent’s identity, at least in part. Upthegrove pushed the very environment that allowed this to happen.
Upthegrove is your garden variety white guy
According to The Stranger, Upthegrove threatened retribution against organizations that didn’t endorse him. He accused one group of endorsing due to what the blog refers to as “reverse racism.” That has garnered significant pushback from the wokescolds in King County who don’t believe reverse racism is real. They feel justified in their anti-white postures.
OneAmerica Votes, Sage Leaders, The Urbanist, and the Transit Riders Union endorse Upthegrove’s opponent, community organizer Dr. Shukri Olow.
Melissa Rubio, the senior political manager at OneAmerica Votes, claims in an interview with The Stranger that Upthegrove “repeatedly” accused the group of endorsing Olow because he is a “white man.” She denied that, according to the report, citing Olow’s experience in working with them on issues that matter to the group.
According to Rubio, Upthegrove reacted to the disappointment by telling her that the group “would regret this” and that they are disappointing the immigrants and refugees he currently represents in the district.
The councilmember denies the conversation took place the way Rubio recalled.
But the report cites several other instances in which he made similar comments about his whiteness to an unidentified union member. According to that union member, and a separate, unnamed nonprofit director cited in the story, Upthegrove warned there would be political retribution for not endorsing him should he win re-election.
He denies these conversations took place, too.
I have no clue if Upthegrove made these comments. But I certainly believe his boring white guy identity played a role.
Identity politics reigns supreme
In King County, identity politics plays a huge role in which candidate an organization will endorse.
Progressives routinely demean people by judging them almost solely on characteristics that have nothing to do with their ideas. They are taught to see identities first, then judge. They present this as a way to defeat white supremacy they pretend permeates every American institution. But it’s just demeaning and bigoted.
When all is relatively equal between candidates — in this case, both Upthegrove and Olow are far-left progressives — intersectionality comes into play.
Upthegrove is gay, which earns him identity points. But he’s also a boring white guy. That loses him points, particularly in a district with so many minority communities. Olow is Black, Muslim, and female. She also is a Somali immigrant who immigrated here via a refugee camp in Kenya. That earns way more points than a boring white guy.
In this case, the endorsements make obvious sense. Olow identifies as a member of some of the very communities these nonprofits work to support. And the ones that don’t are run by people who love to view themselves as literal white saviors.
Olow is quite capable of governing in ways as far to the left as Upthegrove. And she appears competent by left-wing standards. So it’s easy for identity-obsessed progressives to support her instead of him.
Upthegrove shouldn’t be surprised
It seems like Upthegrove is shocked that the woke mob turned on him. He shouldn’t be. He helped create and empower them. Indeed, the councilmember is obsessed with race, doing what he can to appease the left-wing activists in his district.
Claiming the criminal justice system suffers from systematic racism, Upthegrove pushed to dismantle and reimagine policing. He acknowledged that he failed to stand up against the very institutional racism he said he would tackle. He thought he was pandering in a way that would earn him support, but it just gave a Black candidate the opening she needed to challenge him.
He also closely allied with the county’s anti-police oversight director (who was later pushed out of the county). That relationship helped reveal his disdain for the Burien City Council when he texted, “You couldn’t pay me to sit through an entire Burien council meeting.”
Despite being an anti-racist, he still committed himself and his staff to “undergo training to understand and combat institutional racism and implicit bias.”
He says we live on land that should be returned to Indigenous people, though he doesn’t really plan how to do that. And his campaign site is full of progressive buzzwords.
Did he actually campaign for his opponent?
The problem with being so focused on race is that you may make the pitch for your opponent. Upthegrove is a good example of this.
He told the King County Democrats that, “Everyone in the community—particularly those who have historically faced systemic barriers—must be part of decision making.” Like a Black, Muslim woman?
Upthegrove even bragged: “Delivering justice means listening to the voices of those most impacted by injustice. That’s why staying connected to community has always been so important to me.” Except when those same communities support your opponent?
“I know first-hand how critical it is for voices that have historically been marginalized to be included in every policy making decision,” Upthegrove notes on his website.
It sounds like he’s pitching his opponent.
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