By Dr. Cornell West
The future of American democracy depends on our response to the legacy of Martin Luther King, Jr. And that legacy is not just about defending civil rights; it’s also about fighting to fix our rigged economy, which yields grotesque wealth inequality; our narcissistic culture, which unleashes obscene greed; our market-driven media, which thrives on xenophobic entertainment; and our militaristic prowess, which promotes hawkish policies around the world. The fundamental aim of black voters—and any voters with a deep moral concern for our public interest and common good—should be to put a smile on Martin’s face from the grave.
The conventional wisdom holds that, in the Democratic primary, Hillary Clinton is the candidate who will win over African-American voters—that her rival, Bernie Sanders, performed well in Iowa and won New Hampshire on account of those states’ disproportionate whiteness, and that Clinton’s odds are better in the upcoming contests in South Carolina and Nevada, two highly diverse states.
But in fact, when it comes to advancing Dr. King’s legacy, a vote for Clinton not only falls far short of the mark; it prevents us from giving new life to King’s legacy. Instead, it is Sanders who has championed that legacy in word and in deed for 50 years. This election is not a mere campaign; it is a crusade to resurrect democracy—King-style—in our time. In 2016, Sanders is the one leading that crusade.
Clinton has touted the fact that, in 1962, she met King after seeing him speak, an experience she says allowed her to appreciate King’s “moral clarity.” Yet two years later, as a high schooler, Clinton campaigned vigorously for Barry Goldwater—a figure King called “morally indefensible” owing to his staunch opposition to the Civil Rights Act of 1964. And she attended the Republican convention in 1968! Meanwhile, at this same moment in history, Sanders was getting arrested for protesting segregation in Chicago and marching in Washington with none other than King itself. That’s real moral clarity.
Read more at Politico.com
One thought on “Why Brother Bernie Is Better for Black People Than Sister Hillary”
I like Hillary Clinton. I’ll vote for her if she is the Democratic nominee, and I believe that is likely, because like everything else in our “democracy,” the Democratic Party has become an insular institution more concerned with protecting its own power base than our traditional Democratic values.
I don’t care what anyone says: Hillary is still the best Republican candidate in the race. When I hear her talk about “incremental change,” I’ve heard all that I need to hear to know that she is completely out of touch with the harsh economic realities faced every day by millions of working class Americans.
American families struggling to survive don’t have well-funded political machines working for them. They aren’t being backed by Wall Street hedge fund managers and powerful unions and political PACs.
Working American families are drowning financially, a fact that candidate Clinton doesn’t seem to get. They can no longer afford to be satisfied with easily made political promises of change. The clock has run out on all of that. Working class Americans no longer have the luxury of patiently waiting for “incremental change.”
Bernie Sanders understands that.