Cornel West Says Black Lives Matter Warming to ‘Brother Bernie’

AP Photo/Elaine Thompson
AP Photo/Elaine Thompson

Media darling and Princeton professor Dr. Cornel West told UK newspaper The Guardian he is sure that Black Lives Matter supporters will vote for Bernie Sanders, whom West referred to as “Brother” several times in the interview.

West – who has participated in Black Lives Matter and Occupy Wall Street protests – enthusiastically supported Jesse Jackson’s presidential bid decades ago, but he is even more enthusiastic about socialist Sanders’ agenda. As The Guardian reported:

But “the Sanders campaign is even more progressive than Jackson’s was, because his critique of Wall Street is more direct,” West said in an interview last week.

What Jackson had – and Sanders does not – was strong black support. But, said West, “that’s what we are going to get – once black people find out who Brother Sanders is.”

West made it clear he believes that “Brother Bernie” has a well-formed, explicit socialist agenda that would appeal to Black Lives Matter’s leadership and black Americans in general, despite a claimed predisposition to reject Sanders on account of his race:

West said he thought African Americans would rally behind the white guy from the Ben and Jerry’s state who is not “a household name” when they discovered he was for economic reforms such as free tuition at public universities, single payer healthcare and “closing tax loopholes for oligarchs,” he said.

“In my mind, the leaders of the Black Lives Matter movement will recognize that Brother Bernie is much stronger on people, on economic justice, and on racism than any other candidates,” West said.

Black Lives Matter activists have shut down Bernie Sanders’ events in a very public way twice in recent months. In incidents in Arizona and Washington, “Brother Bernie” was forced to leave the stage after screaming activists announced they were taking over appearances by Sanders.


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