Why is Bernie Sanders Struggling to Win Over Black Voters?

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Cross-posted from Intersection of Madness & Reality

Because I’ll always be as real as the bumps on the back of Forrest Whitaker’s neck, I’m just gonna put this out here for y’all to ponder.

I wonder how many of the people trying to convince me to support Bernie Sanders that use the, “Well, you know Hillary is racist and called black people ‘super-predators’ back in 1995,” actually voted for her in 2008? Of course, none of them reading this today will answer or admit to doing so.

Which begs the question: Where was all this concern for black and brown folks then? I’m only asking because none of this talk about mass incarceration, welfare reform, Wall Street etc. and the Clintons were an issue then. Wassup with that? Why didn’t black lives matter then?

Of course, none of them reading this today will answer or admit to doing so. Which begs the question: Where was all this concern for black and brown folks then? I’m only asking because none of this talk about mass incarceration, welfare reform, Wall Street etc. and the Clintons were an issue then like it is in this current election cycle. Wassup with that?

Seems like the fact that with Hillary’s main opponent being a black guy named Barack Obama, these issues would’ve been a concern for many then. But, they were not. Instead, today we’re taking her to task and asking her for apologies for legislation signed into law by her husband.

Again, where were these concerns in 2008?

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I could be way off base with this – and yes, I’m sure that much of our consciousness as it relates to racial justice has been shaped by the Black Lives Matter movement. Yet and still, I’m at a place where I’m questioning the veracity of the people troubled by these issues today.

And yes, that means you too, black people.

Do you want to know the truth? The truth is that, collectively,  none of us black voters were offended by the use of the term “superpredators” to describe the hypercrimal activity of the nineteen-nineties. If you ask any of us old enough to remember, the one thing we remember most about the nineteen-nineties is the economic prosperity. For the most part, we all had jobs. And, we were making good money until George W. Bush and his Republican compadres came along and totally fucked everything up.

So, loyalty to the Democratic Party aside, quite naturally, Hillary Clinton has and will continue to garner majority support from black voters. This doesn’t mean that she hasn’t worked her ass off this election cycle to earn it. Insofar as her tying herself to Barack Obama and everything he has done, she has. In fact, I would argue that she has done more to earn the black vote than Bernie Sanders has. Unlike Sanders, Clinton has been on the ground in the right spaces properly communicating and articulating her political positions in a language easily understood by black folk.

Yes, believe it or not, when we black people wake up every day we’re not mad at Wall Street. Instead, we’re more pissed off because we’re not getting callbacks for job interviews. We’re not mad because one of our cousins got arrested for marijuana possession while nobody on Wall Street has yet to go to jail – if anything, we’re mad because that fool will try to blow up our phones with collect calls. No, we don’t think like that. See, we think about being able to keep what little shit we have without having to pay more for it while trying to come up in this world. And I’m sorry, nowhere in American history has anyone black looked to Wall Street as a symbol of racial oppression like we do “The Man”.

Wall Street didn’t bring down the Black Panther Party.

Wall Street didn’t kill Martin Luther King Jr.

I could go on and one with this but I’ll end it here. The fact that black folks are overwhelmingly supporting Hillary Clinton has nothing to do with us being mindless sheep or that somehow we’re all shills for Wall Street.

We work hard and pay taxes just like everyone else in this country. So, when someone comes along and talks about raising taxes on everyone to be able to pay for free stuff like college and healthcare – when you haven’t had a raise in ten years and you’re over forty-five and barely clinging to the job you do have – maybe, just maybe, we’re not buying into that hype. Yeah, and that whole idea of race relations in America “absolutely” being better under a Sanders administration? Yeah, well, we’re not buying that bullshit as well. Hell, Bernie might as say that we’ll all be white with him as president of the United States, and that’s why things will get better for us.

At the end of the day, to black folks, Hillary Clinton is like our old auntie – she’s been around the family for a very long time and we trust her. Bernie Sanders? Well, he’s like our momma’s new boyfriend just coming in and trying to be our daddy. And that’s really what it’s all about, folks.

Whether you hate Hillary or not, you can’t say that she’s over-promising.


RiPPa is the creator, publisher, and editor-in-chief of The Intersection of Madness & Reality. As a writer, he uses his sense of humor, sarcasm, and sardonic negro wit to convey his opinion. Being the habitual line-stepper and fire-breathing liberal-progressive, whether others agree with him, isn’t his concern. He loves fried chicken, watermelon, and President Barack Obama. Yes, he’s Black; yes, he’s proud; and yes, he says it loud. As such, he’s often misunderstood. Follow him on Twitter/@RippDemUp