Bernie Sanders and the Black Vote

The New York Times has the Op Ed Bernie Sanders and the Black Vote.

The author of the article doesn’t offer any hints for a solution for Bernie Sanders’ “problem”. However, I found one comment to be instructive. As you read this comment, try not to start mentally refuting it as you read it, but try instead to understand how Ahmina could have formed her opinion.

Ahmina Detroit September 13, 2015

As an African-American woman I will vote for whichever Democratic candidate ends up on the ballot, because I know in the end my community will fare slightly better under a democratic president. However I am under zero illusions that Bernie Sanders is the saving grace for blacks in America. His analysis is one based solely on income, and he only added race to his agenda because he was pressured into it. When he was really confronted with the issues of race and racism, in Seattle and at Netroots, he reacted as most white liberals do – with arrogance and anger. White liberals are worst than conservatives when it comes to race because they truly believe they have it all figured out, and that they stand beside us in equal condemnation of “those” racist, conservatives. When in reality they stand atop us in condemnation of “those” others, propped up by their own white privilege and society’s emphasis on white supremacy. Class, income, and whether someone is middle class WILL NOT alone solve the issues of racism in this country, and as long as liberals continue to believe this we will never be a united left. For those who would like to discount my last point please research environmental justice, mandatory minimums (i.e. crack vs cocaine), and the prison industrial complex before wasting my time.

I believe part of the problem is that when Bernie Sanders is confronted about his problems with garnering more votes from people of color, he immediately jumps to income inequality and minority unemployment. By the time he gets to the issues of concern identified by Ahmina, he has already lost the attention of the audience he needs to be addressing.

I intend to do more outreach to the African American community to find out if my analysis is a correct one. I have heard from some black people that I may be on the right track.

I was pleased to see that handing out Bernie Sanders flyers in Worcester yesterday, I had little difficulty handing them out to minority voters. I only had a few people who did not want a flyer.

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