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Killer Mike May Have Just Endorsed Bernie Sanders, But How Much Longer Will Black Voters Settle for the Lesser of Two Evils?

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With every presidential election, it seems that Black voters are left to choose the lesser of two evils, and are often forgotten and left out in the cold.

Even in the case of President Obama, although the nation’s first Black president has had more leeway in his twilight years to address the needs of the Black community, in earlier times he received a healthy dose of criticism for being “a president for all America” and not Black America.  As other groups were benefiting from the Obama presidency, the Black community decried his lack of attention to their concerns, particularly the high unemployment rate, as he was often reluctant to address racial issues in a straightforward manner that did not offend whites.  As Wall Street and the auto industry rebounded through a government handout, Black America continued to flounder.

In the next election cycle and beyond, will Black voters be more mindful about holding their elected officials accountable?  When will we stop voting strictly along party lines or stop blindly casting our vote for someone without scrutiny?

A case in point is the ascendancy of presidential candidate Hillary Clinton, who is already receiving a high degree of unqualified, committee support. Granted, the former first lady, senator and secretary of state has been saying all of the right things regarding racial inequality, discrimination, the criminal justice system and police abuse in communities of color.

Moreover, Clinton enjoys healthy support in the Black community, according to an NBC-Wall Street Journal poll, giving her 95 percent of the nonwhite Democratic vote, and a New York Times-CBS News poll in which 57 percent of African-Americans had a favorable view of Clinton.  If she becomes the Democratic nominee, she would have to command Obama-level support from the Black community in order to win, which means high Black enthusiasm and most of all, turnout.

But should we not scrutinize Hillary Clinton, as opposed to crowning her?  After all, her eventual support for Obama notwithstanding, Black voters should not forget that Hillary (and Bill) Clinton on the 2008 presidential primary trail, claimed to best represent “hard-working Americans, white Americans” and implied Obama’s candidacy was symbolic like Jesse Jackson’s 1984 and 1988 runs.

In any situation, politics included, it is important to have options.  As was reported by Newsone, Sen. Bernie Sanders, who is enjoying support among white liberals and progressives, has a plan to win over voters of color.  A socialist who has addressed the progressive issues of wealth inequality and economic exploitation without emphasizing race in the early days of his candidacy, he is hoping that his support of ObamaCare and his involvement in the civil rights movement will allow him to make inroads in the Black and Latino communities.

“The American people are sick and tired of seeing the disappearance of the great middle class of this country,” Sanders told George Stephanopoulos of ABC News’ This Week. “They’re sick and tired of working longer hours for low wages while at the same time 99 percent of all new income generated is going to the top one percent.”

I have a long history in fighting for civil rights. I understand that many people in the African-American community may not understand that,” Sanders added. “Given the disparity that we’re seeing in income and wealth in this country, it applies even more to the African-American community and to the Hispanic community. And what we are going to do is make a major outreach effort to those communities, let people know my background, let people know my record.”

Meanwhile, The Guardian reported that while Clinton enjoys significant Black celebrity support from Beyoncé, 50 cent, Snoop Dogg and Ja Rule, rapper Killer Mike has endorsed Sanders for his support of the Voting Rights Act, which was gutted by Supreme Court in 2013.

“I cannot support another Clinton or [Bush] ever,” Killer Mike tweeted.  “I am beginning to see American political families like monarchs and I have no affection for monarchs,” he added.

Both Clinton and Sanders have much work to do before they earn the Black vote.  Whoever becomes the candidate of the respective parties—and even the third parties—Black voters should ensure they do not find themselves in the same situation, which is settling for one candidate for which they have little excitement, and another which, fresh out of the Tea Party, is morally and politically unacceptable.

What people are saying

16 thoughts on “Killer Mike May Have Just Endorsed Bernie Sanders, But How Much Longer Will Black Voters Settle for the Lesser of Two Evils?

  1. Jon Collins says:

    No disrespect to KM but if you're looking for a strong black voice back Bernie Sanders: http://www.salon.com/2015/06/24/bernie_sanders_cornel_west_the_radical_alliance_that_could_change_everything/

  2. Once people are exposed to Sanders, they will realize he is the best candidate just like I did. Black people vote their interestes but like everyone else, we can be fooled, hopefully not this time! Bernie 2016! Oh, and I donate to his campaign every pay cycle! It's my first time ever donating to any campaign. Bernie is the one!

  3. j Thanks for the thoughtful article. I m a supporter of Bernie Sanders and one reason is because he doesn't try to separate women and minorities from the rest of the country. While he has a strong Civil Rights record, he does not pander to blacks and latinos because he realizes we are all victims of the male white establishment. When I was younger and a job became available I would be told, "you are the best qualified but we have to hire a minority." Baloney. They hired one woman or minority and the other 9 jobs went to the sons of privilege and wealth. I don't know why so many in the black community have embraced Hillary Clinton. While Bernie co-sponsored a 5.5 billion dollar jobs bill aimed at reducing unemployment in minority neighborhoods, I can not recall anything Hillary Clinton has done for minority voters. (I am not trying to be mean, I honestly cannot think of anything…hopefully someone reading this can give me a long list of her accomplishments for minorities.) I hope everyone will read about the candidates and not base their vote for a candidate based on slick commercials. Black voters are too smart to fall for the same old same old campaign hype followed by no action.

  4. Sanders was in Selma with MLK and has consistently supported the issues that are most important to black america (he wants to kill the prison industrial complex, end our constant wars, provide single payer insurance, make public college free, and strengthen bargaining positions of poor people). Unless you know something I don't, this article makes no sense.

  5. Necie Mosley says:

    I know he is good for our community that's why he gets my support and my very limited money and I have made it a personal crusade to talk to people that look like me about him….

  6. Necie Mosley says:

    Charlotte Scot it's name recognition nothing more. You are correct she has done nothing to help communites of color (at least that I know of) But we have been hearing her name for years now. I know about Bernie because I have been a fan for years but trust me I am in the minority (no pun intened) and I know that.

  7. Necie Mosley Thanks for confirming by worst fears. i.e.. she has done nothing (except be married to Bill Clinton. We need to get the word out that she is not the sister people think she is. Being sponsored by Citibank, Goldman Sachs is outrageous. If I remember correctly these were some of the banks which were caught redlining in black communities. I 'm glad you are a Bernie fan… the man speaks the truth and is afraid of no one.

  8. Most of us commenting are white. Sad. 🙁 I wish I could spread the word, but I don't have contacts to spread it to. Thank you Atlanta Black Star!! I really believe Bernie will be best for minorities too.

  9. Shana July says:

    Yes, because I get my endorsements from hip hoppers who sag and call us n*****s…

  10. Shana July says:

    U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders is talking like he has congress in the palm of his hand. He should run as what he is: an INDEPENDENT. Why is he trying to be a Democrat without joining the party? He WILL NOT HIJACK THE DEMOCRATIC PARTY PRIMARY…

  11. Stacey Hopkins says:

    As an African-American Sanders supporter, it wasn’t hard for me to get behind his campaign or connect the dots between his platform and the issues on the table for Black America.

    When you look at the unfinished business of MLK’s Poor People’s Campaign and how Sanders’ economic platform calls for a national public works program to rebuild our nation’s deteriorating infrastructure and creating public sector jobs; the recognition for the need to strengthen America’s labor unions, who provide a rung on the ladder out of poverty with living wage jobs with employee protections – past or present; his legislative initiatives such as the recent introduction of a youth employment bill with Rep. John Conyers to address the lack of employment opportunities and training for those low-income youth who have been left behind; his support and legislation in support of raising the minimum wage that would help lift millions of low-wage workers in the Black community out of poverty (his amendment to the GOP’s 2015 budget was blocked by Senate vote in March of 2015) – he’s clearly showing that he not only recognizes the problem facing the Black community, he’s providing solutions that shows a fundamental understanding that #BlackWorkMatters.

    He wants to address the militarization of our law enforcement agencies and police reform policies, as noted earlier by another commenter.

    He supports restoring and protecting the right to vote by supporting the Voting Rights Advancement Act that would reverse what the Supreme Court weakened the discrimination protections in the Voting Rights Act of 1965 with its Shelby County ruling in 2013. He has a long record of civil rights activism that goes back to the days of MLK and SNCC.

    The man even co-sponsored a resolution recognizing Juneteenth as a historical end to slavery in 2008.

    His education policies will definitely benefit Black students who are incurring massive amounts of debt to attend college by proposing debt-free public higher education and is the only candidate who offered a proposal to pay for it by taxing Wall Street with a “Robin Hood” transaction tax.

    He wants to break up the big banks that were responsible for the 2008 economic and housing collapse which wiped out a generation of Black wealth in one day due to subprime lending practices that disproportionately targeted Blacks and other communities of color.

    So, there’s quite a bit of reasons why the Black community should pay attention to Sanders’ campaign and not just wake up and smell the coffee, but drink the entire pot. From #BlackLivesMatter to immigration, the man gets it and is the best candidate poised to help advance the agenda that directly impact Black Americans. We need to begin looking with better eyes and help others to connect those dots so that we don’t get hoodwinked and bamboozled by candidates seeking money and power and who will be beholden to donors and special interests over the actual people who elect them.

  12. Tammy Keller says:

    Necie Mosley you are not in the minority…10,000 showed up yesterday in WI…talk about him we have lots of time..it is our time to do this..

  13. David Patton says:

    We love Bernie in Atlanta. His message resonates with many, many, many of us…no matter how many political types may seem to suggest that our political support is already locked up for someone else.

  14. Shana July – He caucuses with the Democratic party. Running as a indepindependent will split the liberal vote. It's fairly common for independents to run with either of the two parties when they share a common "enemy" as the party they are running with. A smart move.

  15. Look at Bernie’s record. He has been a civil rights supporter all through his political career.

  16. Here we go Bernie will save us with white liberal socialism no such thing ! Amerikkkanized KneeGrowpeans always vote themselves into the next round of impotency !!!!! The white establishment didn't give Pres.Obama a free pass neither will they give Bernie or Billiary a free one either , don't be decieved ….

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