Bernie Sanders political outsider savviness was his strength and weakness | Derecka Purnell
A democratic socialist, Senator Bernie Sanders’ campaign amplified and projected ideas that radical grassroots organizers have been demanding for centuries in this country. His surrogates gave fiery, mesmerizing speeches at rallies that featured crowds larger than 25,000. Now, he has suspended his presidential campaign. This was his second run for the Oval Office.
Sanders’ political outsider savviness was his strength and weakness. He was sometimes criticized for not having specific plans for black people. I agree with a more nuanced version of this claim: Sanders did not demonstrate how he would prevent racism from impeding the universal programs that would help black people. While disappointing and warranted, his shortcoming mostly provided an easy cover for liberals to undermine his political ascension. Former vice-president Joe Biden authored a devastating crime bill that increased policing and mass incarceration, but that was smoothed away with his “We Know Joe” slogan aimed at black communities. The California senator Kamala Harris laughed about threatening to prosecute poor black mothers for school absenteeism, but also made punchy race soundbites during debates that went viral. Even the Massachusetts senator Elizabeth Warren’s defense of capitalism and neoliberal ideas was obscured by her larger pronouncements to protect black women in hospitals and the workplace – bastions of capitalist exploitation. But Sanders’ wise refusal to pander to black voters manifested in a perhaps unwise polar extreme: an unarticulated specific response to black plight.....
Read full article here