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Bernie Better for Blacks

Bernie Sanders

If Bernie Sanders got half the black vote, he’d beat Hillary Clinton hands down, in my not-so humble opinion. The Southern states have killed him, but Michigan seems to have been a game changer. Hillary was counting on a victory there to consolidate her candidacy and move forward to the nomination.

Hillary Clinton

But a funny thing happened on the way to the debate forum at Flint. Blacks began to see the light, and two days later, they voted less overwhelmingly for Hillary. She had been getting percentages of the Southern black vote in the 80s and 90s, but the gap narrowed to 68 percent. Wayne County is the home of Detroit, which is 40 percent black, and Clinton won by only 60 percent in that county. In the state overall, Sanders received 30 percent of the black women vote, compared to no more than 20 percent in the South. And all this was after Clinton had spent much time in heavily black Flint railing against the water crisis.

Blacks reappraising Hillary

Maybe blacks are beginning to perceive Hillary’s dishonesty. For example, she claimed that Bernie voted against the auto bailout. In fact, he voted for the bailout, but then the Republicans attached it to a bill supporting a bailout of Wall Street banks and insurance companies. Bernie refused to bail out Wall Street. Hillary distorts the truth – anything to win. Bernie doesn’t sacrifice his principals. He could be making hay with her emails, but has refused to take advantage of the situation.

Blacks are more familiar with Clinton from her 20 years in Arkansas with hubby Bill. But as The Nation magazine said in February, she doesn’t deserve the black vote. Michelle Alexander, a black journalist, wrote:

Michelle Alexander

“What have the Clintons done to earn such devotion? Did they take extreme political risks to defend the rights of African Americans? Did they courageously stand up to right-wing demagoguery about black communities? Did they help usher in a new era of hope and prosperity for neighborhoods devastated by deindustrialization, globalization, and the disappearance of work? No. Quite the opposite.”

Clinton folds

President Bill Clinton, Alexander wrote, “capitulated entirely to the right-wing backlash against the civil-rights movement and embraced former president Ronald Reagan’s agenda on race, crime, welfare, and taxes—ultimately doing more harm to black communities than Reagan ever did.” Clinton “vowed that he would never permit any Republican to be perceived as tougher on crime than he,” and, as Arkansas governor while campaigning for the presidency, boasted about having signed the execution order for a mentally impaired black man.

President Bill Clinton

“Bill Clinton presided over the largest increase in federal and state prison inmates of any president in American history,” Alexander wrote, pointing out that he worked for a number of measures cracking down on crime and sending blacks to prison, penalizing them for drug use in far greater numbers than whites, who were at least as guilty. And Hillary, the writer said, was behind her husband in all of it.

President Clinton dismantled the federal welfare system, and Hillary “ardently supported” the move and characterized it as a success as recently as 2008, even though extreme poverty doubled to 1.5 million in the 15 or so years after the law was passed.

“From the crime bill to welfare reform, policies Bill Clinton enacted — and Hillary Clinton supported — decimated black America,” Alexander wrote.

There is much more in the article in The Nation, which can be accessed at


“To be fair,” Alexander writes, “the Clintons now feel bad about how their politics and policies have worked out for black people.” But, she says, “you’ll notice that Hillary Clinton is still singing the same old tune in a slightly different key. She is arguing that we ought not be seduced by Bernie’s rhetoric because we must be ‘pragmatic,’ ‘face political realities,’ and not get tempted to believe that we can fight for economic justice and win.”

(Similarly, Hillary has apologized for her vote in favor of the Iraq war. But she apparently didn’t learn anything from her mistake, later pushing for intervention in Libya, which likewise turned into a fiasco. And she favors a no-fly zone in Syria, which President Obama has declined to impose.)

Bright blacks back Bernie

Danny Glover

Spike Lee

Note that many educated blacks are informed on history and know that the Clintons largely worked against them in pandering for votes. Actor Danny Glover and movie producer Spike Lee are prime examples. Yet most blacks in Congress back Hillary. They are members of the Democratic machine, of which the Clintons are key cogs. Notable exceptions include U.S. Rep. Keith Ellison. Other important black figures, including former NAACP head Ben Jealous, also are aboard the Bernie boat.

Keith Ellison

Colonel West

Former Princeton professor Colonel West, a prominent black author, said he’s siding with Sanders “because he is a long-distance runner with integrity in the struggle for justice for over 50 years. Now is the time for his prophetic voice to be heard across our crisis-ridden country … .”

Bernie needs time, so the black masses, who have been hoodwinked by the Clintons’ rhetoric championing them, come to realize that words do not equal actions, and the Clintons have fallen woefully short. It’s Bernie whose deeds have matched his public pronouncements.

#BenJealous #MichelleAlexander #KeithEllison #BernieSanders #SpikeLee #Democraticmachine #HillaryClinton #Flint #DannyGlover #TheNation #ColonelWest #BillClinton

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