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I Thought Sanders Was Bad for Black People. These Women Changed My Mind


I Thought Sanders Was Bad for Black People. These Women Changed My Mind.

Terrell Jermaine Starr

Six months ago, I was a Bernie Sanders skeptic. In July, I wrote about how Sanders had bungled his outreach to the black base.


Beautiful article! I would like to add that Bernie always states that black communities get the worst of income inequality and that he wants to end police brutality by making police forces mirror the population they serve. Bernie walked with Martin Luther King and fought segregation in his college. He has a wonderful idea for immigration reform and creating a pathway to citizenship. He wants to create a jobs program and he specifically states the unemployment rates among black men is 50% and his job program would directly turn that situation around. He is all about people, doesn't matter what color, race, ethnicity. Bernie cares and he has a track record to prove it!


As a member of another minority, I don't understand the attitude of this man and others like him at all, and it is usually men with this attitude. Women see right away what Bernie's platform could mean for them and their families and rush to tell other people to find ways to help him get elected. Black men want to be approached, cozied and coddled for their vote it appears. With Bernie's campaign starting almost from nowhere only about six months ago, he has had to organize and plan while at the same time serving as a senator. He has not had time to reach out personally to every group. If Black men would only take the little time it takes to look up berniesanders.com and learn about Bernie and his platform, they would see how these policies can make a huge change for the better for Blacks and all people.


Women of all colors tend to be better than men of all colors in multitasking and seeing the big picture. I believe that this is largely driven by women being more engaged in front line child rearing than men. Anybody who has raised kids knows how many moving parts and moving targets are involved. I am a man so I am not man bashing.

Racial issues are multidimensional and driven more by income and wealth equality issues than any other factor. We will never resolve racial issues until we reverse burgeoning income and wealth inequality.

I suspect that many of the black men you refer to likely view racism existing in a vacuum and not in the broader context of an economic system that by design uses racism as one of many tactics to divide and conquer.


Fair observations, but another, more direct way of looking at the question of black people deciding who to support is simply, who is more credible on connecting with black Americans, Sanders or Clinton. I only see Clinton as connecting with Wall Street - whatever she's said as support for black people she has never delivered on. Sanders is worth backing.


I get the problem with Sanders' messaging, and the sometimes tiresome Whitesplaining from his supporters. But if you look at his record vs. Clinton's, there's really no comparison. Clinton has consistently supported policies (mostly her husband's, but she did vocally support them) that disproportionately harm blacks. "Welfare Reform," tough-on-crime policies, etc. Clinton is probably going to get a lot more photo ops in southern black churches, but that's politics, not policy.

I (an oldish white guy) was upset when Sanders was interrupted by BLM activists in Seattle. Since then, I've come to see that incident as a huge positive, both for the Sanders campaign and the overall discussion on race. I think Bernie got the memo.


Gee the WaPo publishes someone damning Sanders with faint praise: “He’s good, but needs to do more”.

Surprised that Common Dreams ran this.

No Sanders is not a perfect person, but he sure is better candidate than Hillary Clinton, unless...


You do realize the Seattle interrupters called the audience "white supremacists"?


And your point is what? If there is a point.


Yeah, I thought the writer lacks the guts to write as he might've had actually felt, without the buts and other well-worn caveats.


Are you serious?

You can't figure out that the BLM Seattle event made BLM (Seattle at least) look really bad, and that it's not an example of Bernie doing anything particularly wrong regarding Black Lives Matter.


I'm very glad to read your take on changing your way of viewing it's very hard to admit that in a public eye forum. I think it is safe to say that Sanders doesn't have time to pander to any specific voting block. He figures correcting the issues will be fair to all. Making the issue know making a plan and asking people think a little bit on how that changes their lives shouldn't be radical or seen as ignoring issues. He's just plunging ahead and waiting for others to see the direction and follow.


Sanders leads and asks others to see the truth and justice and common dreams he advocates. Sanders leads and hopes others will see the reality of who the common enemy/usurer of the 99% of all ethnicity and genders and persuasions are; which politicians have consistently served the 99% and which politicians have consistently served the 1%, wealth and profits above the Common Good, paying only lip-service to the needs and lives of the 99%.

I am heartened at the awakening of people of color to the opportunity and truth Bernie Sanders represents and has fought-for for over 40 years. Bernie Sanders deserves much more than a "closer look" from Terrell and Black Americans, he deserves their earned support. The beautifully written words from Eric Garners daughter, Erica, speak openly and loudly on why Bernie Sanders deserves their support and that of all Americans.

"I want a leader who truly cares about justice for my family, for black people and for all Americans." - "I trusted establishment Democrats who claimed to represent me, only to later watch them ignore and explain away the injustice of my father’s death. I trusted the system; then I watched as politicians on both sides of the aisle — from Chicago’s Democratic Mayor Rahm Emanuel to Michigan’s Republican Gov. Rick Snyder — disregard the will of the people they were elected to represent and abdicate their responsibility to protect them. I’ve watched as our system criminalizes blackness while allowing Wall Street to bilk the American people with impunity" - Erica Garner


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I think Bernie views America similarly to Howard Zinn. America is first and foremost class based society where the rich have always worked hard to impoverish a significant proportion of the country. Once that number gets too large and a potential uprising is spotted, the rich then use race to divide the poor, diffuse energy and to maintain power. It is what the political elite that support Hillary Clinton are currently doing by highlighting Bernie's presumably "Black" problem. Does anyone seriously believe that Hillary Clinton is going to help out poor black communities? I think we all know that answer.


An Observation: I am starting to smell Agent Provocateurs posing as the "Bernie Bro" on all Bernie Articles written by African American writers or on websites geared toward black readers. As has been mentioned, I have seen "whitesplaining" such as (embarrassing) "you need to read/see insert ____ that said white person feels is a helpful black thing" from the left, but as the race gets closer aka: Bernie is doing better, a whole new breed of overt racist, often angry / insulting #BLM comments have appeared. This doesn't really make sense, as usually when a sport team does well etc.moods rise, fans are pretty happy, not more entrenched and resentful spewing bile. I also was cringing after the Netroots takeover by the supporters comments that tended to be more on the "You need to LOVE BERNIE he MARCHED with DR. King" that birthed the comical "BerniesoBlack" Twitter site. Out of nowhere, Bernie does better, rises in the polls and the comments are more angry,often overtly racist and quantify by the dozens.