Quick Takes: More Brexit Fallout

* Apparently British Labour Party MP’s are not happy with their leader Jeremy Corbyn.

At an extraordinary meeting of the Parliamentary Labour Party in the House of Commons Monday, Jeremy Corbyn fought for his political life.

MP after MP lined up to attack the Labour leader and demand his immediate resignation, according to several MPs who were at the meeting. Corbyn point blank refused…

The Labour Party now faces an internal constitutional crisis, unable to remove a leader his MPs will not serve.

MPs emerged shell-shocked from the meeting, and told POLITICO they were contemplating the very real possibility that it will have to split. The Parliamentary Labour Party is now considering electing its own leader in a move which would essentially create a separate party. This nuclear option is being referred to by MPs as a “universal declaration of independence.”

* Here is some fallout from the Brexit vote that isn’t getting enough attention:

Despite being an issue that knows no borders, affects all, and is of vital interest to future generations, the environment was low on the agenda ahead of the United Kingdom’s historic vote to leave the European Union.

The short answer to what happens next with pollution, wildlife, farming, green energy, climate change and more is we don’t know—we are in uncharted territory. But all the indications—from the “red-tape” slashing desires of the Brexiters to the judgment of environmental professionals—are that the protections for our environment will get weaker.

There is one immediate impact though, right here, right now: The crashing financial markets will damage the huge investments needed to create a cleaner and safer environment and will dent the nation’s fast-growing green economy, one economic sector where the UK could lead.

* Jamelle Bouie explains why the Brexit vote doesn’t necessarily signal that Donald Trump will do well in the 2016 presidential election.

Here in the United States, our polls show a substantial Trump loss in the general election against Hillary Clinton, just as they showed a substantial Trump win in the Republican presidential primaries. The chief reason is that, unlike the U.K., the U.S. has a large voting population of nonwhites: Latinos, black Americans, Asian Americans, etc. In Britain, “black and minority ethnic” people make up about 8 percent of the electorate. By contrast, people of color account for nearly 1 in 3 American voters. In practice, this means that in the past two national elections, there has been an electoral penalty for embracing the most reactionary elements of national life. And we see this in the polling between Trump and Clinton. If the United States were largely white—if its electorate were as monochromatic as Britain’s—then Trump might have the advantage. As it stands, people of color in America are acting as a firewall for liberalism—an indispensable barrier to this surge of ethno-nationalism. Complacency isn’t called for, but confidence isn’t wrong either.

* This weekend Hillary Clinton surprised some folks by marching in the NYC Gay Pride Parade.

According to what Barney Frank says in this video, this was not a first for Clinton – that came back in 2000. Still, this one goes down in the history books as the first time a presumptive Democratic presidential nominee marched in a Gay Pride Parade.

* Other than their historic abortion ruling today, the Supreme Court made a couple of other important decisions. First of all: “In a 6-2 decision, the Supreme Court on Monday ruled that reckless domestic assaults can be considered misdemeanor crimes to restrict gun ownership.” Secondly, they decided NOT to hear a case on a challenge to the Dept. of Labor ruling that extended minimum wage and overtime pay protections to home care and domestic workers. That means that the rule championed by Labor Secretary Tom Perez will go into effect.

* Last week Kevin Drum wrote this about his response to Brexit:

I don’t have any personal axe to grind on Brexit. Except for one: I am sick and tired of watching folks like Boris Johnson, Marine Le Pen, Donald Trump, and others appeal to the worst racial instincts of our species, only to be shushed by folks telling me that it’s not really racism driving their popularity. It’s economic angst. It’s regular folks tired of being spurned by out-of-touch elites. It’s a natural anxiety over rapid cultural change.

Maybe it’s all those things. But at its core, it’s the last stand of old people who have been frightened to death by cynical right-wing media empires and the demagogues who enable them—all of whom have based their appeals on racism as overt as anything we’ve seen in decades. It’s loathsome beyond belief, and not something I thought I’d ever see in my lifetime. But that’s where we are.

In response, Steve Randy Waldman wrote this:

It may or may not be accurate to attribute the political behavior of large groups of people to racism, but it is not very useful. Those people got to be that way somehow. Presumably they, or eventually their progeny, can be un-got from being that way somehow. It is, I think, a political and moral error to content oneself with explanations that suggest no remedy at all, or that suggest prima facie problematic responses like ridiculing, ignoring, disenfranchising, or going to war with large groups of fellow citizens, unless no other explanations are colorable…

I don’t mean to pick on Kevin Drum, whom I’ve read for more than a decade, and whom I really like a great deal. But it seems to me that the alleged “good guys” — the liberal, cosmopolitan class of which I myself am a part — have fallen into habits of ridiculing, demonizing, writing off, or, in our best moments, merely patronizing huge swathes of the polities to which we belong. They may do the same to us, but we are not toddlers, that is no excuse. In the United States, in Europe, we are allowing ourselves to disintegrate and arguing about who is to blame. Let’s all be better than that.

I certainly don’t think that Drum was ridiculing, demonizing, writing off, or patronizing people when he pointed out that they are being frightened by “cynical right-wing media empires and demagogues” with appeals to racism. But that kind of push-back happens a lot – even from colleagues on the left – when we name racism.

* All of that is a perfect lead-in to my final pick-of-the-day. Last night at the BET Awards, Jesse Williams – who is best-known for his role in “Grey’s Anatomy” – received the Humanitarian Award for his advocacy with the Black Lives Matter movement. His speech has gone viral today. I’d like to highlight one line because I really do get tired of admonitions about how painful it is for white people to be called out on racism. Williams said, “The burden of the brutalized is not to comfort the bystander. That’s not our job.”

You really should watch the whole speech. He speaks in anger. That might make some of us uncomfortable. But until we’re able to actually hear people like Jesse, there really is no remedy.

Nancy LeTourneau

Nancy LeTourneau is a contributing writer for the Washington Monthly.