Why Bernie Sanders Is Only Preaching to White People


Most people believe that Government cannot fix the system in the way we would truly want.

That can only come through innovation, technology, business and good fortune.

At best Government provides a floor so at least most people don't end up on the streets until things get better.

Great points!
That's exactly why tons of BLM activists are starting to say, "don't take my vote for granted. Don't vote for any candidate that isn't vocal in support of BLM". They understand this, and are starting to leverage it.
Bernie might not appear to be offering a better deal to minorities than Hillary appears to be offering. That sales pitch needs to be made, or he will never get to see how he would do in the general.
Or maybe BLM ought to examine Sanders' record to see if he is actually a racists bigot.
That's a joke (above) of course.

The irony is that if BLM actually made specific demands of Sanders they'd see that 98% of those items have been on his agenda for years.

Attacking Sanders is asinine and shows total ignorance.
And there's a dash, oh perhaps 1/4 teaspoon, of ground anti-semetic seeds in this stew as well.
Dear Charles,

Your analysis, whatever its merits, centers on a demonstrably false assertion: that Sanders "is only preaching to white people." (1) He has an extensive platform on his campaign website that addresses racial injustice and violence; (2) He just hired Symone Sanders, a BLM activist, as his national press secretary.

Do some homework next time.
@6: Bullshit. I love Bernie, but he has been spectacularly absent on several really important issues (both to folks in the BLM movement and other progressive movements). He may well have been very sympathetic, but he's not been a leader. He has been one of those progressives whites who has adhered to the "class trumps race" view when that is manifestly and abundantly not the case. To Bernie's great credit he -- unlike some of his vocal supporters -- is listening really closely to folks associated with BLM and is responding to their critique. The shift in the political landscape since last Saturday at Westlake is noticeable.
Bullshit back to you gnossos. You know nothing of Sanders' record. Go back and give us some examples where Sanders' is a racist.
@10 wait.. did gnossos call bernie a 'racist' ? i read what he stated a few times but i missed the name calling part.
@10: Gnossos did not say sanders was a racist, Gnossos he said Sanders "has been spectacularly absent on several really important issues (both to folks in the BLM movement and other progressive movements)."

And that is correct, it is also correct, that to his credit, Sanders has responded to this critique, Sanders has shifted since Saturday
If Bernie is not a racist then why the fuck would anyone hijack his rally? It would be idiotic to make an ally look like a wimp, which Sanders does.

Obviously the women think that Sanders' is a racist. And Gnossos backs them.

Got it? rev dr
How has Sanders changed his positions since Saturday?
(And no crap like "They added a link on their web page.")
Details, please.
Otherwise your assertion is bullshit.
@9, Co-sign on everything.
caution&daring...you should try a little more caution and dial back the daring. Re-read what I posted. I said love Bernie. Do I strike you as the kind of person who would love a racist? I am a deep admirer of many of his positions. When it comes to the drug war and mass incarceration (to cite just two examples), however, Sanders has been pretty much MIA. He has largely ignored criminal justice, policing, drug war, and civil liberties matters, and when pressed on these issues during his campaign he consistently responded with tone deaf economic answers.

I also did not say that Sanders had changed his position. I said the political landscape had shifted since Saturday. As examples, Sanders explicitly addressed BLM issues in every speech since then and Clinton met privately with folks from BLM. Expect Rand Paul to return to his early rhetoric. And Martin O'Malley (who developed good criminal justice talking points after the Netroots disruption) will probably do the same.
Sorry gnossos, you are talking nonsense with your "the political landscape had shifted since Saturday." How?

If it has changed, it is because it has hugely weakened Sanders such as Trump's remarks.

Anyway, I am gone to work, I don't think you have any facts or insights worth consideration but you have only just a bunch of BS. So sayonara, friend.
Oh, one last thing,
Watch Thom Hartman on Hijacking Bernie:
@13.. i don't think it's 'obvious' that these women or anyone else thinks that sanders is a rascist.. well anyone other than you.
How would Bernie Sanders even preach to black voters if he wanted to? Is this literally a reference about going to black churches?
most politicians are whores for corporations, but they'll gladly lie to your face about how much they'll help you while insider trading with the money they got bribed with. pretty sure most people know this by now
@17, You are the dumbest box of rocks to roll through here in the 7+ years I've been reading this blog.
The headline and the tone make it sound like Bernie Sanders is the one seeking out white-only groups, and ignoring mixed (or predominantly black) groups; I think this fundamentally and incorrectly re-frames the phenomenon, at least in terms of causality. The issue is, that for the most part, the people he draws are middle-aged whites. I think his BLM hire is smart, because he does need to reach out - for name recognition if nothing else...something Bernie doesn't have any of with minority members of the coalition. I agree his policies will be completely agreeable to them.
Valid points, Charles, though the hint of neoliberalism I'm hearing in some of BLM's recent communiques and commentaries is disconcerting, to say the least. Is this a thing? A new exception to the rule you've articulated? Gawd help us if so.
Thank you #13 for posting the video from Thom Hartman. I am abroad right now and had yet to see any video footage of the event. After seeing that I have to question why the Slog hasn't posted any links to footage of the Fake BLM interruption before. Look at how they were verbally and physically dominating a septuagenarian for the microphone! In all the still pics provided by Slog in the past not one brings across the brazenness of their actions here. It might have been different if they did that to, I dunno, Maria Cantwell or basically anyone under 60. But to get up in that grandpa's face snd scream epithets at him until they get their way? No. Fuck those cunts. Textbook narcissistic personality disorder. Where are the still picures of Whatsername manhandling the event organizer? If the situation had been reversed and an elderly white man had so much as grazed a young black woman giving a speech in trying to take over the mic you better believe that it would be the only still image you would ever see in print. Seriously Slog, get your shit together.
@7: there is no such word as "anti-semetic". Does your spell checker not underline it in red when you type, like mine does?
@24, If you're running for president of the United States of America, but only drawing audiences that represent one particular type of American, you're doing it wrong. I agree with just about all of Bernie Sanders' positions, but he has not been proactive enough in reaching out to voters who are not white liberals. "He gave a speech and invited everyone to come, it's not his fault that the only people who showed up were white" is not good enough, he needs to do better than that.

I went to the rally in Portland on Sunday and I've literally never seen so many white people in one place in my life.
I disagree with the premise here. I don't think Bernie is preaching "only to white people". I do think he is focusing primarily on economic issues because it is the underlying, unifying issue for people across all demographics. It's a trick business building a coalition that includes people who don't necessarily always get along.

One thing I've noticed during voter outreach is that black voters -- I don't have evidence for this other than anecdote -- show an incredible amount of solidarity when it comes to voting. I think it's because, in the segments of the African-American community that are inclined to vote, community structures are still functioning. Most of the time this is embodied in the local church, but sometimes not. White society seems to be much more fragmented. I suspect that being a disenfranchised minority has a lot to do with that.

I would not say that they always vote for their economic interest, though. The black vote went to Bill Clinton during the 1992 Democratic primary, and we all know how that went (I still don't understand his popularity with African-Americans).
Jesus. RFA.

90% of the people commenting didn't read the article.
I agree with you. Charles' premise/posting title is mistaken.

Three things:

1) I don't agree with Sanders. I'm not a Socialist. But, he's a US Senator running for POTUS. He deserves to be heard/read. I disagree with the BLM protesters at Westlake.

2) I categorically disagree with Charles that Sen. Sanders only speaks to whites. He largely speaks to whites. But so did Obama and even Jesse Jackson when they ran for President. All candidates do by & large. The audiences may be ideologically diverse or not. It will depend.

3) Agree with you that African-Americans anymore than whites or others don't necessarily vote in their best interests. Up until roughly the 1930s, they voted largely Republican. Now, they vote largely Democrat. I think the reason you cite in your second paragraph is accurate.
Black people vote in large numbers for a Jew? Do they not know he's Jewish, or something?
I would think that fighting for education, against youth unemployment, for better wages, etc is preaching to all poor people to show up at the voting booth so it seems rather odd to conclude that Sanders isn't preaching to black people. The Sanders campaign may need to evolve on tackling institutional racism but let's not throw the baby out with the bathwater.

Ironically, that "extensive platform on his website addressing racial injustice" didn't appear there until the day AFTER the BLM disruption in Seattle, and a good 3 weeks after the previous BLM disruption of his speech in Phoenix. As others have pointed out, Sanders' entire philosophical approach is rooted in an economic paradigm, which, although they often correlate with racial concerns, are not one and the same. This is what BLM and other minority critics have been repeatedly pointing out: that there are very specific issues relating to systemic racism that can't be addressed from a purely economic perspective; and, to his credit, Sanders does seem to be responding to these critiques - NOW.
@31: I have to nitpick here. Bernie Sanders is not a "socialist"; he describes himself as "democratic socialist" and the media just hacks off the first half. The distinction is significant. There is nothing in his policy platform about nationalizing industry, nor about workers controlling the means of production. Almost all of what he advocates is simply taken from center-left parties in other industrial nations, especially Europe (as he's explained: https://youtu.be/3bd76sSrcEo).

Things like a universal healthcare system and breaking up too-big-to-fail corporate institutions have been standard American progressive fare since Theodore Roosevelt (that notorious socialist!). Essentially you have a free market society whose excesses are curbed by sensible regulation where necessary (e.g., disallowing commercial banks from gambling with peoples' money). You use progressive taxation to create a significant social welfare system that ensures a level playing field for success within that economy.

In many ways, Bernie Sanders envisions a MORE free market than what we currently have. Ending corporate welfare, tax preferences, trade agreements, bailouts, etc. removes major distortions from the market that are anathema to a truly competitive market.
Gah, this makes two times I've agreed with Mudede. Very disturbing.
Bernie looks tired.
Why, you stupid idiot? Because White People vote more, more often, and of a higher percentage of their population. They vote more in City, County, State, and National Elections.They give more money That's why. Fuck, you're stupid.
It doesn't make much sense to spend time with people that don't vote that much. Not in any numbers that count politically on a national scale. Nor give amounts of money that big enough to spend time with people who, in reality, can't do much for you. Except get you some good photo ops.

Otherwise, why bother.
I disagree with the notion that he is only preaching to white people. `indeed, racial inequality has always been a part of his stump speech, and I am sure you have read all the articles about his life-long activism for civil rights. Maybe he needed to be more forceful, but in any case he has done the right thing in making Racial Inequality a major theme and focus. This is because in order to get to the general election, he has to defeat Hillary in the Primary. And there is already a MASSIVE campaign to discredit Bernie and to say "Bernie Sanders has a Race Problem." Google that phrase, for example, and you already have 6 MILLION hits. There is a massive smear campaign underway against Bernie, and the meme is something like: "B;access won't come out and vote for Bernie, so elect Hillary as the nominee."

And frankly, articles like yours, though perhaps well-intentioned, are not helping!!!
I meant to say ""Blacks won't come out and vote for Bernie, so elect Hillary as the nominee."
Charles- You nailed it. While everyone seems to think that the key to victory for Bernie is winning over the Voters of Color, the reality is that the largest untapped voting block out there is the White Working Class and if he can tap that Class he will be the Democratic nominee and probably the next Prez.
I have only been paying attention to Bernie Sanders for over a decade and his issue/platform remains the same:
>>>Jobs, minimum wage, Unions, increase job creation and productivity, ending sending jobs overseas, ending disastrous trade polices such as NAFTA, CAFTA, PNTR, assistance for people wanting to start their own business, women's right to equal pay, "health care is a right of all and not a privilege", higher education, consistent exhortations against the growing gap between the haves and the have-nots, restore the nation’s bridges and roads, put an end to seniors living in poverty, etc.

I realize that Black Lives Matter is new, but I wished they had educated themselves about Bernie BEFORE interrupting his speech.

For those that have been following Bernie, we KNOW who he is and what he stands for. He has been working for people such as me and there are MILLIONS - just like me!