Black Voices: Bernie Sanders Should Address Racial Injustice



Comments (42)

Comment Feed

Is that really an accurate

Is that really an accurate portrayal? Sanders posted his racial justice policies and opinions on his website before Clinton ever said anything.

Drew more than 1 year ago

When I heard Sanders speak in

When I heard Sanders speak in Denver, long before the BLM "controversy", he spoke at length about the issues facing African-Americans, including the issue of police violence against black people and the lack of accountability.

Bernie Sanders is all over this. He always has been. The fact that BLM weren't listening has nothing to do with Bernie. He's the best friend they've got.

I was sitting next to a black dude, for what it's worth, just sayin.'

I had another black dude come up to me and high-fived me for my Sanders shirt in the grocery store.

I agree with BLM on their concerns- they are right, and the conversation they've provoked is important.

But they're also stupid. They seem narcissistic, and to be enjoying the attention a little too much. I think they have leadership issues.

Andy Lewis more than 1 year ago

Everyone knows religion and

Everyone knows religion and sexism and racism are tools of the one percent to divide and conquer bernies plan includes education and decriminaLization and he's the only candidate talking issues they are wrong if that is why they do not or if they do not support sanders

Joann Conrad more than 1 year ago

It is simply not true that

It is simply not true that Bernie Sanders is not addressing these issues and in particular he has been vocal about police and misconduct. What??????????

L Ellen Mellon more than 1 year ago

Have you not listened to his

Have you not listened to his speeches?

Rosemary more than 1 year ago

Bernie has addressed these

Bernie has addressed these issues, and I know he will do more than Hillery. I have been following Bernie for a few years now, he doe's bring them up, so why are you all saying he is not.
I was at the phoenix event and he brought it all up there from police misconduct to racial inequities and umemployment for blacks and usually before his campaining always said it as black employment being off the charts,

Clinton will not do more for them than Bernie would, remember she is for the establishment.

Bernie Sanders 2016

l.s. more than 1 year ago

I get the frustration. I am

I get the frustration. I am upset every time I hear about any black person that is killed by police or any racial injustice. This is real.. Real sad that in 2015 some things havent changed. I get it seems to be over looked because other than media coverage there has been no legal steps to eradiate it. So I get the movement, I am all for the movement. What I am not all for is how the movement decided to go about getting the issue discussed. It was very rude &

bothersome that they decided to yell, make jokes & dismiss bernie association with any civil rights events. It was like they took all of their frustration, well deserved, at bernie. I would have rather someone brought it up as a discussion bc im sure it would have been more productive. If he referred back to economics then explain thats its deeper than that. But dont berate the guy. He has taken great steps to improve upon his mistakes and shies promise to improve on his knowledge about racial issues & solutions but its still seems not good enough. I know for a fact that bernie sanders is the best candidate for our black community. I am all for challenging him. He will continue to improve as he is continually challenged. But challenge him fairly, in a productive manner that leads to a disscussion & help him understand deeper rooted issues. Dont yell and berate him. Please dont think that one group or one person represents the whole black community because I for one, although upset at racial injustice, am a black voter for bernie sanders & i know many others. Hillary is history for me.

B more than 1 year ago

In 1963, when it still

In 1963, when it still demanded some courage, Bernie Sanders joined the March On Washington to see Martin Luther King, jr. lay out his vision for a just and equal society. He has stood with minorities ever since.

Hillary Clinton was a Goldwater Republican back then. In 1964, Senator Goldwater was able to win five Deep Southern States by standing tall ("Extremism in the defense of liberty is no vice … and moderation in the pursuit of justice is no virtue.") against President Johnson's Civil Rights legislation. The infamous Sothern Strategy originated in the 1964 campaign, when Hillary Clinton actively supported Goldwater.

Given this background, don't you think your position is just a tad disingenuous? Instead of passive-aggressively attacking Mr Sanders for not being outspoken enough on issues that were demonstrably always near and dear to him - something you must be aware of, even when the average voter may be not - why don't you go ahead and educate people on both politicians' history? Don't forget Hillary Clinton's campaign in 2008 and its racist dog whistles against Obama - minority voters didn't, either.

Minority populations are usually more liberal on economic issues than non-hispanic whites, so there's no doubt in my mind Bernie Sanders will impress them just as he did all audiences so far.

Aufklaerer more than 1 year ago

Bernie Sanders has been

Bernie Sanders has been fighting his whole life for equality. He even walked with MLK.

North East more than 1 year ago

I think your overall point is correct, but I don't think it's fair to say that Sanders has "ignored African-Americans". See for example this bill that he is co-sponsoring with John Conyers. It's a very specific plan, unlike what is coming from other candidates, Clinton included.

I still agree with you that Sanders needs to make this subject (and not just this one bill) a more prominent part of his speeches and message.

fnord12 more than 1 year ago

I've wondered about this too.

I've wondered about this too. Today I saw a picture of a rally of progressive activists in California addressed by Sanders, and didn't see one person of color in the crowd. Maybe one reason why Sanders finds it difficult is that it's a bridge too far for a candidate already tagged as radical to point out that there's a class war being waged against Those People in this country, with African Americans representing the most visible and essential component, thus symbolic of, Those People.

Phillip Wynn more than 1 year ago

Bernie Sanders has been

Bernie Sanders has been addressing these issues since he marched with Martin Luther King. Bernie Sanders has been the most vocal candidate on the subject, including last weekend's impassioned speech in Des Moines IA about what he wants for young black men: JOBS, not jails.
He was also the first--and only so far--candidate to call the mass shooting in Charleston a terrorist act. The letter he sent the day after the shootings included a plea to his supporters for them to donate to the AME Emanuel Church Community.
The list goes on, but also check out his ratings on civil rights:
There may never be enough any of us can say about how much #BlackLivesMatter, but Bernie Sanders has always been an advocate for racial justice and continues to be today.

Alice McCombs more than 1 year ago

This is not an accurate

This is not an accurate account of where Sanders stands on race...shoddy journalism.

Eloise Engman more than 1 year ago

I believe this will happen if

I believe this will happen if he becomes president. The problem is he needs to win over a lot of unhappy white conservatives, who are often likely to be at minimum mildly racists. Wealth disparity is something 99% of the people should be able to get on board with.
Sadly, fixing racism won't draw those voters. I do however to believe he would pursue race inequality and racism as strongly as Obama has.
Just my opinion.

Rik Van Horn more than 1 year ago

So the new method of

So the new method of attempting to discredit Sanders is to cleverly claim that he isn't progressive enough. Seriously? Where has this publication been? He has come out with statements about racial injustice and about South Carolina's recent massacre by a white supremacist. Are you all corporate Hillary supporters? Get it right, please.

AkiraBee more than 1 year ago

No disrespect to the author

No disrespect to the author but He has been addressing these issues for years. Not only did he sound the alarm regarding the militarization of the police in this country hes has spoken to mass incarceration as well. Now I give you credit you are correct they have to do more to reach out but honestly I think they are still trying to catch up they didn't see the revolution coming.

Denise more than 1 year ago

Vote for Hillary if you want,

Vote for Hillary if you want, or vote for the man who desegregated student housing at the University of Chicago, was at the March on Washington, and is the only candidate to call the shooter in Charleston what he is, a terrorist, and to raise money to help the families there. Maybe you should reach out and take a closer look at him.

Catherine Love more than 1 year ago

Bernie does not focus on the

Bernie does not focus on the marketing of any race, color or religion. He sees and views all humans equally. We as a so called advanced species should follow suit and stop attempting to box in or classify humans as a different species based on skin color. This should no longer be a conversation or given energy or we promote segregation and division which fuels the racial issues of today still primitively engrained from yesterday.

Bill D. more than 1 year ago

Dr. Lusane,

Dr. Lusane,

I think it is unfair to criticize Sanders for "avoiding" issues of racial inequality.

In Sanders' piece in Medium a week ago (available here:, he quotes Dr. Martin Luther King and links racial inequality to economic inequality (MLK: "What does it profit a man to be able to eat at an integrated lunch counter if he doesn’t have enough money to buy a hamburger?"), echoing King's sentiment that the long-term solution to racial inequality is reducing economic inequality. To divide the two issues is short-sighted. (To single out any progressive issues as unrelated to each other is short-sighted. Are transgender rights not beneficial for race relations? What about environmentalism?)

While introducing his youth jobs bill, Sanders references the high youth incarceration rate and the especially high minority youth incarceration rate, and the need to create jobs and rebuild infrastructure to help eliminate poverty and create real equality. In the short-term, Sanders has tweeted #blacklivesmatter and used associated language while calling for police training reform, police prosecution reform, and body cameras. He understands Ferguson, Baltimore, are mere powder kegs of long-standing racist actions and attitudes.

Maybe the mass media is to blame for avoiding the issues Sanders talks about and acts upon because he has certainly not been silent.

Tim more than 1 year ago

Hello Clarence, I would like

Hello Clarence, I would like to suggest you look at this video by Bernie Sanders in youtube here is the link:

Pedro R. Rivadeneira more than 1 year ago

Seriously? C'mon, many of the

Seriously? C'mon, many of the issues ARE economic. He's already talked about the criminal justice system and is against prison for non violent offenders. You want a president to go to bat for black voters? There is a black president in right now, what has he done for the black community besides make tensions worse making comments about police shootings before ever hearing the facts of each case? Bernie is the best candidate for the black community, if they do their research they will see that

Anonymous more than 1 year ago

Sanders marched with Dr. King

Sanders marched with Dr. King, lead sit-ins to protest segregation on his college campus and has been a fierce advocate of equal rights. The man needs campaign donations badly and still he requested that his supporters donate to the church that was just massacred. It blows my mind that you would suggest that he doesn't care about black lives. He has a 54 year record of fighting FOR equal rights.

The guy just proposed a jobs bill to put American youth to work, and he cites that 50% of black and brown Americans between the age of 18-24 are out of work! He goes on to say that he's proposed the bill, in no small part, to put those kids to work. He's all about defending those who are in the minority.

Black lives matter, and their rights, access to education and ability to earn a living wage matter just as much. Sanders cares about the quality of life as much as sustaining life.

I hate to insult you on a professional level, but I am terrified by the thought of your teaching college students while being so poorly informed.

Feelings and facts are two very, very different things.

Karissa more than 1 year ago

You really should do your

You really should do your homework before making these baseless statements. Senator Sanders had been fighting racial injustice for 50 years. His record is available for anyone to see. It is a shame that self-described progressives such as yourself feel the need to take cheap potshots at the first true progressive candidate we've had in decades.

chris silva more than 1 year ago

First of all do your research

First of all do your research before writing nonsense. Secondly, the Progressive editors should chec k facts before accepting such blatantly false articles. This is the kind of drivel one would expect to see from Ann Coulter.

Terry Fernsler more than 1 year ago

you said:

you said:
"He believes that the answer to all problems, racial or otherwise, is to address issues of corporate power and to grapple with wealth and income inequality. "
How would addressing income inequality for ALL PEOPLE fail to address it for specific slices of the population?
He believes we are all valuable, all deserve equal pay, equal rights, equal and fair treatment. That includes you, no matter who you are, no matter what color your skin, what church you might attend, what sex you prefer...

Maelyn Madre more than 1 year ago

Senator Sanders has been a

Senator Sanders has been a formidable force in the fight for racial equality in this nation for decades. He was one of the only people in public office to call the recent shootings in South Carolina for what they are: racially motivated violence. Your article reflects either a lack of sufficient research or an unsubstantiated bias. As an American University alum, I am saddened to read such an unfair assessment of Senator Sanders.

Forest more than 1 year ago

How about this article from

How about this article from the candidate himself on exactly this topic (from a week ago):

Or his history as an active participant in the civil rights movement?

BernBabyBern2016 more than 1 year ago

I found this in 1 second. Please do better research. He said in his campaign announcement speech that the unemployment in the black community youth is significantly higher than the media pundits would like the country to believe. You can Google his launch speech. I was there, and heard him say this multiple times. This is poor journalism.

Kevin more than 1 year ago

Bernie: "For too many years,

Bernie: "For too many years, too many, mostly black, suspects have been treated terribly and in some cases murdered and police officers need to be held accountable for their actions." -----

Bernie on the economic and employment issues underlying the issues that Baltimore, Ferguson and other places suffer from.

retaliate more than 1 year ago, He has Talked about it, I guess you were too busy to notice

Bruce more than 1 year ago

Events are moving fast.

Events are moving fast. Bernie's working class based program will wreck Hillary's identity politics program before he is finished. Case in point: Pundits and establishment Democrats are saying things like "Well, Bernie is doing well among all those white people in New Hampshire and Iowa, but Hillary has the Black and Latino vote sewed up." Well, no. John Conyers supports Bernie. You know what that means.

In that regard, going into this coming weekend, Bernie will host an event in Charleston South Carolina where the state AFL-CIO Executive Board voted an endorsement, then reportedly was forced to retract. There must be a lot of Black workers on that Board. So he was scheduled to be hosted by the mostly Black Longshore Union in Charleston, but they moved the affair to a bigger venue in an all Black school in downtown Charleston. Pay attention carefully here, especially to who shares the stage. There will be serious political theater here. Bernie will demonstrate that the Empress has no clothes

race_to_the-bottom more than 1 year ago

As a former resident of VT &

As a former resident of VT & a long time Sanders supporter, I have been a resident of New Orleans for 26 years & completely agree - Sanders needs to get on this ASAP

Sally Stevens more than 1 year ago

Bernie address the issue

Bernie address the issue several times recently already, check out Youtube. He has sent out a letter regarding the issue also.

YourOverLoad more than 1 year ago

This article is is outright

This article is is outright deception, absolutely filled with lies. Either written by someone astoundingly incompetent, or is using propaganda to get Clinton elected. Here's Bernie in his own words:

Clarence Lusane, you should be ashamed of yourself. Promoting a corporate candidate and trying to wrap it in the guise of racial justice. What a disgrace.

Francis more than 1 year ago

I call bullshit on that...he

I call bullshit on that...he addressed the policing aspect of our inner cities and the deaths of people of color in WATERLOO, IA!

sarah more than 1 year ago

Not only did he write this

But he is talking about these things. Not only did he write this blog post last week:

But he talks about police reform and mass incarceration during his speeches:

doog more than 1 year ago

This is stupid. He wrote this

This is stupid. He wrote this less than a week ago.

doog more than 1 year ago


As Jessie Jackson consistently notes - "There are more white people than black, living in poverty".
As noted by many observant people, "a rising tide, raises all boats".
Thus - The more one group is singled out by any economic policies, the more another group feels slighted and makes a fuss.
Thus - Lets work on reducing economic inequality for everyone. By doing so, everyone gains.
Same for single payer and education.
Yes we must also strive for race and education equality.
However - A lot of racial inequality will fade, when there are major reductions in economic & education & medical inequality and all of society becomes more homogeneous.
Plus -
With major gains in economic equality, housing equality should also improve.

Eugene Barufkin more than 1 year ago

Sanders has addressed and

Sanders has addressed and does address most of these issues in his campaign appearances and in various interviews. He is adressing them more frequently as the campaign moves forward.

Charles Gravitz more than 1 year ago

Your ignoring the fact that

Your ignoring the fact that he organized students for the 1963 March on Washington and has been strong on civil rights ever since. A lot more than Hillary has done!

Michael Hertz more than 1 year ago

Your ignoring the fact that

Your ignoring the fact that he organized students for the 1963 March on Washington and has been strong on civil rights ever since. A lot more than Hillary has done!

Michael Hertz more than 1 year ago

Also, this is Bernie speaking

Also, this is Bernie speaking directly about #BlackLivesMatter, Ferguson, Baltimore, and others.
You will probably like what you hear, whether you are on the 'Right' or the 'Left.'


Brian Anderson more than 1 year ago

Built with Metro Publisher™