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Black Lives Like My Father’s Should Matter. That’s Why I’m Endorsing Bernie Sanders


Black Lives Like My Father’s Should Matter. That’s Why I’m Endorsing Bernie Sanders.

Erica Garner

When I talk to other black voters about this year’s presidential election, some seem ready to dismiss it. Why, they ask, should we continue to put our faith in a system that continues to fail us? And why trust leaders who don’t care about our lives?

I understand.


Dear Ms. Garner: You are inspiring and so intelligent! Your father left a wonderful daughter behind.

To those in the forum who might wish to pursue this subject further, the link below is very moving and shows why a number of significant Black citizens are also supporting Bernie Sanders:


Thanks for the link. I have been inspired by Cornel West for many years and am pleased to be introduced and inspired by Killer Mike, Nina Turner and Erica Garner.


Beautifully written. I was and am saddened by her father's death, in fact I was pretty damn angry. He produced a very intelligent woman, which I am sure he knew.


Thank you Erica Garner for your wise and impassioned endorsement of Bernie Sanders. I too hope to see the day when the institutionalized racism, violence and ignorance of this country is gone and people of color no longer have to live with the daily oppression and fear that preys on every aspect of just being alive. I strongly believe that Bernie Sanders is the ONLY candidate who truly cares and has the strength of character and conviction to make sure that every black life in this country not only matters but thrives...this country will become stronger and a much better place for all of us as a result.


Thank you Erica; especially, after all you have been through, for a fine article.

I remember watching the T.V. when Bernie was in Seattle and Black Lives Matter's people took the stage and upstaged Bernie and Bernie was a perfect gentleman and let them talk on stage. That gave me a lot of respect for Bernie. In contrast, if that had happened to Trump, he probably would have called his security and have these people unceremoniously dragged off to jail.


Take the time to go to berniesanders.com and read about him, then you will know why this election matters. He marched with MLK and his commitment to people who aren't getting a fair deal, of any color, has never wavered over 30 years.


BRAVA Erica! There will come a time when people of color are not targeted by police for non-crimes. There will come a time when economic and educational opportunities will be widely available to people of color. There will come a time when Dr King's and Malcolm's and many others visions and work will be the norm. You are part of that vision so many in the Civil Rights Movement worked for and gave their bodies and lives for, and I hope to see a resurgence of such principled leadership from today's generations - you are clearly on that road.
I believe Bernie Sanders is also on that road as he has been for decades and offers the best chance for real change in our nation. Thank you and respect for all you have endured with your fathers unnecessary murder!




Palestinian lives matter too. Syrian lives matter too. Chinese lives matter too. Not enough space here to fill in all the names. He knows them.
Just tell Bernie for me!
Those who see will wait in hope, not for themselves but for USA. Heaven help Bernie if he cannot bring himself to acknowledge this.
For then he will just be another Obama and the USA will continue to be a nation of Nazi war criminals; the nadir of humanity.
NB: Fascist believes force is necessary for the furtherance of mankind. Nazi believes force is necessary for the furtherance of self.


Well said. Bernie does indeed seem to have tunnel vision when it comes to our foreign behavior, but a large percentage of his most ardent supporters here hope that we can broaden his horizons in this area if we can get him elected.


"Dear Ms. Garner: You are inspiring and so intelligent!"

Maybe you didn't mean it that way, but your above remark comes off quite wrong...


A great article except for the "yes we can" thing. Painful to be reminded of that person....


This is a Washington Post article that has undoubtedly been reprinted across the U.S.; thus, I doubt Ms. Garner will read the comments posted here. That said, the first thought that struck me, as I read the article, is that this young woman is more eloquent than I have ever been. My second thought was that her writing provides a glimpse of what her father must have been like; and, that is of interest to me, because of the extreme injustice he and his family have suffered by a New York City law enforcement and judicial system that appears to have little respect for human life. May Eric Garner rest in peace; and, may his daughter carry on.


I am glad to read this article...thank you so much, Ms. Garner. I do understand why Black people might be reluctant to trust (yet again!) another white guy.
Bill Clinton may, to some, have been "our 1st Black president", but he turned out to be just somebody who could make folks feel understood while putting 100,000 new cops on the streets and sending our jobs across the border, as well as overseas.
Having Obama actually being our first Black president has meant being understood in ways rarely seen in national politics...the Beer Summit, his comments about Trayvon Martin being a young man who "could have been my son"...as weak as these gestures and words were, again, making folks feel understood. This feeling of being moved, being understood is so rare, so fleeting, as a progressive, as an anti-racist, as a fighter for LGBT rights...it does feel way too good to have words of understanding.

Bernie seems like the guy you want to be your public attorney when you end up in jail. A guy with wild hair, a rumpled suit and a briefcase with papers flying out of it as he rushes through the marbled halls. Maybe this New Yorker turned Yankee has the spit and vinegar to get done the things that actually make things better, rather than just words making us feel understood.

I am so sorry for the senseless, needless loss of your father. Thank you for speaking out and fighting for the changes that might make such a tragedy less possible, and more punishable.


As a white person, I too, was outraged and continue to be outraged at the deaths, as well as the clearly racist treatment of so many citizens by our alleged "public servants." I am sickened and ashamed to hear people make excuses for the murderous "peace officers."
I am sickened and ashamed as well, by the national war machine that has little respect for those humans (of color as well), slaughtered by the state in other nations in the name of fighting terror. Like MLK said, "Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that."
Sadly, Obomba turned out to be a corporate shill and Constitutional liar, talking out both sides of his mouth as he led the nation further into fascism. (I stopped believing in him when he threw Reverend Wright, a phenomenal public servant, under the bus in favor of pleasing the corporate media.) I believe Bernie Sanders is the genuine article though, when it comes to real hope and change. His record shows it. Voting against the Iraq invasion was HUGE! Being outright in favor of healthcare for all, with NO exceptions, is HUGE! Being outright in favor for higher education for all is HUGE!
Thank you, Erica, for a great endorsement! I am so sorry about your father. I can't imagine what kind of pain you've suffered and still suffer with that kind of tragic, unnecessary loss. But I hope your father's death can inspire all of us to come together for the sake of making the nation a safer, better place for ALL Americans. I agree that electing Bernie Sanders is a great place to start.


Very touching and heartfelt, Erica. And, yes, your thoughts about your daughter's life 40 years from now, should concern you. It should concern all USains more than it seems to, actually. But many good people are trying hard and Bernie is merely orchestrating their efforts. The future is not set in stone but there is a hardening of hearts in this country regarding the huge role wealth plays in determining outcomes. It is not close to a level playing field, but Sen.Sanders is the most qualified candidate, to help tilt the world more in your, and your daughter's favor. Thanks for this.


Can't tell you how much I enjoyed that conversation. Thanks for posting the link.


Ms. Garner, you have articulated intelligently and powerfully the root cause of the inequities and injustices that are being perpetrated on peoples of all colors and stripes, though in greater proportion on black Americans, and it is structural. More to the point, it is the entrenchment of power in the hands of the few by design. It is an edifice built on wealth and privilege, and it seeks merely to sustain and grow that power by any and all means necessary.


Spot on. Beautifully written and eloquently expressed. And every single word was true. Have you considered running for something yourself - can't remember where you live - I'm in California - but I'd vote for you if I could.