In response to a question regarding race relations, Democratic presidential hopeful Sen. Bernie Sanders spoke candidly about some of the racial blind spots he thinks the candidates, as well as some white Americans, may have.
“When you’re white, you don’t know what it’s like to be living in a ghetto,” the Vermont Senator said. “You don’t know what it’s like to be poor. You don’t know what it’s like to be hassled when you walk down the street or you get dragged out of a car. And I believe that as a nation in the year 2016, we must be firm in making it clear, we will end institutional racism and reform a broken criminal justice system.”
To further his point, the 74-year-old Senator told a story of a black newly elected congressman in Washington, D.C. who told Sanders he stopped taking taxi’s due to the embarrassment he felt when drivers drove pass because he’s black. Sanders also said a young Black Lives Matter activist told him he simply didn’t grasp how difficult it is for African-Americans on a daily basis to deal with police.
“You don’t understand the degree to which we are terrorized. … I‘m just talking about everyday activities where police officers are bullying people, ” Sanders recounted of the conversation he had with the young woman.
Sanders comments raised a few eyebrows on social media due to the connotation only black people live in the ghetto.
Besides Bernie’s comment about “living in the ghetto,” I thought his answer re: white privilege was solid. #DemDebate
— deray mckesson (@deray) March 7, 2016
Of course, many white Americans know exactly what it’s like to “live in the ghetto.” Many, including immigrants have, do and did.
— Joy Reid (@JoyAnnReid) March 7, 2016
While the race for who will be on the Democratic ticket continues, so far African-American voters aren’t completely feeling the bern and the scales, along with electoral votes, are tipping in favor of Sec. Hillary Clinton.