Sen. Bernie Sanders (D-Vermont) announced on Saturday that he will re-run for president in 2020. As with his last campaign, it’s important for Sanders to win Black votes. Judging by the revival of the 2015 hashtag #BernieSoBlack on Twitter, that may be a challenge.
Black Twitter called Sanders out in grand fashion for seemingly exaggerating his importance to the civil rights movement and his bond with the Black community. He has claimed to supposedly have marched with Dr. Martin Luther King, although there’s no evidence to prove it.
Here are some of the tweets:
Someone on Facebook points out #BernieSanders is having his Chicago rally at Navy Pier, in a neighborhood that is 4% black, that is basically inaccessible via public transportation & costs either $30 for parking or between $30-40 for an Uber ride. #BernieSoBlack #Socialism
— Peg Aloi (@themediawitch) March 3, 2019
Martin Luther King thanked Bernie for ending racism in America in 1963 when he was arrested once in Chicago.
"Free at Last, Free At Last. Thank Bernie Almighty, we're free at last. #BernieSoBlack
— Lanette Williams (@soulsister35) March 3, 2019
This Bernie Sanders interview was an INSULT to Black people.
At 18:40 he says he is AGAINST cash compensation as reparations and we should instead focus on "poverty" affecting LATINOS, NATIVE AMERICANS AND WHITES.
He's TRUMP-LITE.#BernieSoBlack indeed.https://t.co/PJkVgQQSTR
— Black Authority (@TheBlackChannel) March 4, 2019
In a 2016 New York Times op-ed by Charles M. Blow, he explained the concerns and the distrust that many Black people have toward Sanders.
“But then I am reminded that the idea that Black folks are infantile and must be told what to do and what to think is not confined by ideological barriers. The ideological difference is that one side prefers punishment and the other pity, and neither is a thing in which most Black folks delight.”
In a recent interview, Sanders stated he was against reparations for Blacks regarding slavery.
“I think what we have got to do is pay attention to distressed communities: Black communities, Latino communities, and white communities, and as president, I pledge to do that,” Sanders said when asked about the issue on ABC’s “The View” on Friday.
When asked point blank did he support reparations, his response: “I think that right now, our job is to address the crises facing the American people and our communities, and I think there are better ways to do that than just writing out a check.”
Blacks in this nation are still suffering from the residual effects of the enslavement of Africans and disaporans here in the United States.
Sanders’ attempt to connect with Blacks in Chicago was also a miss. Although he spoke of racial inequality by insinuating there would be a “political revolution” that would bring “real change” from “the bottom on up,” the crowd looked overwhelmingly not Black.
He did tout statistics on Black infant mortality rates and police brutality and murder. Sanders named a list of young Black men killed in police shootings, including 17-year-old Laquan McDonald, the Black teenager who was gunned down by a white Chicago police officer in 2014.
However, the rally took place at Navy Pier. Navy Pier is in the Streeterville section of Chicago. It’s population is 73% white and 4% Black. If Sanders really wanted to make an impact with Blacks in Chicago, why not have the rally on the South Side of Chicago?