Discussion: Sanders: I'd Improve Race Relations More Than Obama Did

Discussion for article #245929

That is nothing more than a bunch of right-wing nonsense that Obama has somehow damanged “race” relations or what not.

First we have endless “Bernie-splaining” on the part of his acolytes who need to condescend to POC, and now he’s going to mend relations as if everything is Obama’s fault. No, it’s that demon of racism that lies just beneath the surface in this country, evoked endlessly by the GOP and then laid at the foot of the president.

Every time I hear a white person say this, or a “Obama hasn’t done anything to lift up the black community!”, my blood just boils at the arrogance and presumption. Enough!


Because all POC are poor and once they get money racism is over.

Nope. That’s not how that works.


Right, and because having them hang out on street corners encourages racist thoughts.


Exactly. I think it was Chris Rock that recently got pulled over four times in one month in his neighborhood. Yeah, if only he had a better job.

It was a weird insertion of black respectability politics. I don’t think Sanders has a racist bone in his body, but I just don’t think he gets it.


“hanging out on street corners”
Really has a firm grasp of minorities issues from his highly diverse state of Vermont doesn’t he.


"Because what we will do is say, instead of giving tax breaks to billionaires, we are going to create millions of jobs for low-income kids so they’re not hanging out on street corners," he explained. “We’re going to make sure that those kids stay in school or are able to get a college education. And I think when you give low-income kids, African-American, white, Latino kids the opportunities to get their lives together, they are not going to end up in jail. They’re going to end up in the productive economy, which is where we want them.”

Bernie really needs to get to the “how” part of the equation. We need to do more than “say”.

“And I think when you give…” - Who is the “you”? What are they giving? How are they giving it?


It seems as if he’s saying that if we take money from millionaires and billionaires to give to minority youth, they will stop being delinquents like they are now, and racism will go away.

Which however well-intentioned on his part (and I have no doubt that it is) is condescending as hell.


"Because what we will do is say, instead of giving tax breaks to billionaires…

And back to the stump speech bullet points.


[Standard Disclaimer: This commenter wishes it to be known that in November he or she plans to vote for the Democratic nominee, whoever that turns out to be, and will encourage their fellow primary candidate supporters to do likewise.]


He seems to either be taking it as a given that the GOP will co-operate or expecting the Revolution to break out any second now.

Great Galloping Unicorns.


I really like Sen. Sanders – and I believe he’s sincere. I know he’s right about income inequality – it is immensely important to us right now because so many folks are barely making it with both heads of household working two or more jobs and raising a family. He is so right to fight this good fight.

That said, Sanders come off as if he’s race-baiting here. I know he doesn’t mean it that way … but I can’t help but feel it. After this nation went through the worst financial crisis since the late '20s, of course it hit the lower income harder – but to say Pres. Obama hasn’t done well or done right by the African American community is just wrong. Please, Sen. Sanders, listen to what you’re saying.

Personally, I believe Senator Sanders is a much better advocate and asset in the U.S. Senate.

edited for spelling, grammar


That Obama. He just refuses to change the tax rates. He just refuses to improve public schools. He just refuses to create millions of jo…okay, well, he already did that one, but he refuses to create millions more.

Bernie listed some desirable goals, but there’s no hope of him doing any better on those than Obama did until the Dems regain control of Congress, and, even if he achieved those goals, I don’t think they have much direct impact on race relations.

My crazy idea for improving race relations is for the President and Congressional Dems and Dem Governors to start talking about and creating programs to address some of the problems that have increasingly affected lives and lifespans in white males in general and rural white areas in particular. These problems include rising suicides, drug addiction (including prescription drugs), stalled or decreasing lifespan, etc. My crazy idea probably looks as unrelated to race relations as Bernie’s list does. However, I think there would be a benefit to reducing some of the resentment that many whites seem to feel toward nonwhites due in part to the warped perception that the nonwhites are being coddled by government aid while the whites work to pay for it.

I can remember my father complaining to me some time in the late 1970s or (more likely) early 1980s that there were a lot of government programs for the “bad” kids, and close to nothing for the “good” kids. The thought that immediately went through my head was: “of course, it makes sense to put the resources where the problems are, where you get the best payback for the effort and expense.” I didn’t discuss of debate the issue with him, but his comment has stuck with me. I don’t think his perspective is rare.


This. The whole exchange struck me as completely discordant, a real-time illustration of his tendency to see everything in economic terms. I think Woodruff followed up (which they rarely did tonight) precisely because his answer seemed so off – I could swear I heard her thinking, “Senator, did you hear the question?”


I had the same reaction. Like I don’t think Sanders meant it in this way, but there’s definitely a part of the argument that’s blaming the victims in there.



In a way, that’s an amazing degree of consistency. And messaging-wise, it can be pretty effective. He’s offered a frame of mind through which people absorb his words and see the world, and then epiphany strikes – “now I finally get it, this is how the system operates, that’s the reason we suffer, therefore this system must be completely replaced.” I’m not saying he is necessarily wrong with his understanding of the distributive system. But I think he focuses too much on just one aspect of the reality and tends to talk about all the other aspects in terms of that one aspect. And as a result, he is off the mark about those other aspects now and then. This exchange about race relations was one of such off-the-mark moments.



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Horrible, horrible response. The only way race relations could be “improved” over what Obama has done is to sweep the problem back under the rug. Not acceptable.


Meh…he improves race relations solely by having possessed a white penis when he fell out of his mother. That, at the very least, will elicit an small autonomic sigh of relief from the GOP/Teatrolls. This is a fake issue and fake argument. There’s no magically improving relations with white fright race resentment, only treating it like a herpes flare up. It’s forever and subject only to management.


I like Sanders but some of his recent comments are purely BS. The continuing social problems in this country are the result of GOP obstruction of everything helpful the more progressive legislators have advocated. The GOP controlled Congress does not want any social progress at all. It is only breaks for the wealthy and sadly although that may be Sanders mantra, a President with a GOP Congress can’t do much at all. Obama has done more than most of us would have thought possible. We also have states, particularly in the South, that are inherently racist and the President has little influence in a lot of these bumpkin counties.


Hillary summed it up well when she said this campaign is more than a single issue. Sanders, though a good guy, sees everything through a single prism and it is more complicated than that. Hillary’s diverse experience make here better suited for the mutli dimensional aspects of the job of President. I think she also understands just how rotten and deceitful the GOP can be.