Does Presidential Candidate Bernie Sanders Have a #BlackLivesMatter Problem?

Democratic presidential hopeful remains the underdog as he rallies for African American voters

Bernie Sanders (Image: File)

Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders has gotten more than a bit of news coverage for his relationship with Black Lives Matter activists. Polls reflect Hillary Clinton is the favorite among African Americans (attracting an 80% rating), with Sanders lagging behind with a rating of 23%.

The Black Lives Matter movement which gained momentum on social media—with a hashtag that went viral after the death of Michael Brown—expanded into an organization of activists rallying for social justice after a series of shootings of unarmed black men by white police officers. It has become an influencing agent of dialogue and change, and recently interrupted two major Sanders events, demanding that Sanders directly address issues related to institutional racism in housing, education and criminal justice. Sanders has spoken about issues of police corruption and discrimination and has a history as a young radical promoting the civil rights movement in the 1960s, but some feel it’s not enough.

“This is something that the Sanders campaign is going to have to solve because it’s going to be problematic if he has any chance of winning the nomination,” Democratic Strategist and Pollster, Cornell Belcher, told Politico. “Because the truth is if you can’t compete and win black votes in a Democratic primary, you are not going to be the Democratic nominee. If you can’t compete for black voters this means you can’t win South Carolina, you can’t win NC, you can’t win GA, you can’t win Louisiana, you can’t win Mississippi.”

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4 Responses to Does Presidential Candidate Bernie Sanders Have a #BlackLivesMatter Problem?

  1. Pingback: Does Bernie Sanders Have a #BlackLivesMatter Problem? | Blackpride.in

  2. Pingback: Does Bernie Sanders Have a #BlackLivesMatter Problem? | Black News Post

  3. EuroYankee says:

    According
    to a profile article in Essence, Bernie met with Symone Sanders just days after
    being shouted down at the Netroots Nation in mid-July. During their initial
    meeting, the two had an hour-long conversation about how the Senator could stay
    in touch with the #BlackLivesMatter movement. She told him that there was a
    strong link between racial inequality and economic equality, which he has since
    integrated into his campaign. Bernie offered Symone the job as his Press
    Secretary at the end of their meeting. I would imagine her first job was
    helping to draft his platform on racial equality.A few days later, on 25 July,
    Bernie addressed the Southern Christian Leadership Council, one of the premier
    African-American civil rights organizations, of which MLK was head. I urge you
    to read Bernie;s address to the SCLC here:
    https://berniesanders.com/remarks-senator-sanders-southern-christian-leadership-conference/
    So Bernie was doing his homework, he was eating his vegetables. He was doing
    what he needed to do. HE GOT IT.
    He did not deserve to be ambushed by some self-described “agitators” in Seattle.

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