Last Sunday the two remaining candidates in the democratic party, Sen. Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton, squared off for a debate in Flint, Mich. The debate, which primarily focused on the Flint water crisis, was pretty much the same boring dialogue that we have become so acquainted with throughout this campaign season. However, one answer from Sen. Sanders stood out to me. Sen. Sanders was asked a question regarding what racial blind spots he has. Sanders answered the question by claiming “When you are white you don’t know what it’s like to be living in a ghetto, you don’t know what it’s like to be poor.”
Bernie has seemed to have developed a complete disregard for facts.
According to the Huffington post more white people are beneficiaries of the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program than any other race. 40.2 percent of SNAP beneficiaries are white and only 25.7 percent of the beneficiaries are black. Contrary to what Bernie believes, more white people rely on the government for assistance than black people.
Bernie’s comment about ghettos being a place for only blacks is also completely inaccurate. Ghettos have never been a place exclusively for blacks as many white people also live in ghettos. This comment even sparked criticism from the mothers of Trayvon Martin and Jordan Davis. Sybrina Fulton, Trayvon’s mom said, “Sen. Sanders is wrong to suggest that the concept of the ghetto is inextricably connected to Black America.”
Bernie’s comments are not only completely fallacious, they are also inherently racist. To make a blanket generalization and suggest that only black people know what it’s like to be poor and live in a ghetto is the definition of racism. Likewise, to suggest that all white people are immune to poverty, solely because of the color of their skin, is also blatantly racist.
Bernie demonstrated just how out of touch he is with race in America and his miserable attempt to pander to the African American voters with this atrocious answer was not only misleading and irresponsible, but racist. In Bernie’s fantasy world facts take a back seat to narrative.