Where Barber deviates from others, though, is in his analysis of why SDS failed: not because it became too radical and allied itself too closely with black power groups, as Gitlin argued, but rather because it did not accept the leadership of such organizations as the Black Panther Party or the concept of women’s liberation. SDSers’ insistence on their role as vanguards in the revolution and the importance they allocated themselves prevented them from ascending to a higher consciousness regarding chauvinism and racism. These stances rendered SDS mainstream and square, not radical or revolutionary. (…)
SDS did not simply think itself intellectually superior to black organizers; there is a good chance they firmly believed themselves better than most whites, as Michael Lerner observed in a 1969 article entitled “Respectable Bigotry,” published in The New Journal.
The conservative message is not, “OK, Hispanics, we have this plan for you. Women, we have this plan for you.” That’s what the Republican Party’s trying to do, and emulate group politics. And the history is that — you know, why be Democrat lite? Let them handle that.
Let’s go after the big tent that is the country, and let’s go get every person in this country — I don’t care what their race is, what their gender is, what their sexual orientation.