Ta-Nehisi Coates, a far-left writer and a famous national correspondent for the Atlantic magazine, has endorsed socialist Bernie Sanders for president.
“I will be voting for Senator Sanders,” Coates said Wednesday in an interview. “I have tried to avoid this question, but yes, I will be voting for Senator Sanders.”
A once obscure writer on culture and race, Coates became famous among the highbrow denizens of contemporary liberalism and after the 2014 publication of his treatise, The Case for Reparations.
Still, Coates has castigated Sanders, who said he would not support reparations for slavery.
“One can be very, very critical of Senator Sanders on this specific issue,” Coates said. “One can say Senator Sanders should have more explicit anti-racist policy within his racial-justice platform, not just more general stuff and still cast a vote for Senator Sanders and still feel that Senator Sanders in the best option that we have in the race.”
“But just because that’s who you’re going to vote for doesn’t mean you then have to agree with everything they say,” Coates added.
His endorsement of Sanders in the New York Times came less than 24 hours after the 74-year-old socialist Senator trounced Hillary Clinton in the New Hampshire primary.
Sanders, who broke bread with liberal activist and MSNBC anchor Al Sharpton Wednesday, needs support from black voters in coming primaries states, such as South Carolina, where a larger share of the electorate is nonwhite.
Clinton has a near-30 point lead over Sanders in the Palmetto State.
Coates concedes that he is “surprised that an avowed socialist to actually contending for the Democratic party nomination.”
“But I think it’s awesome,” he added.
Coates sited “concerns” about issues that have dogged Hillary Clinton’s campaign among far-left voters; her support for stricter law enforcement in the 90s and her highly lucrative speeches for Wall Street banks.
“You know, like a lot of people, I’m very concerned about where her positions were in the 1990s, when we had some of the most disgusting legislation in terms of criminal justice really in this country’s history,” Coates added. “I get really, really concerned when I see somebody taking $600,000 in speaking fees from Goldman Sachs and not release what they’re actually saying.”