As Bernie Sanders attempts to gain the black vote in his quest for the Democratic presidential nomination, he is encountering resistance from some radical black activists for his recent statements opposing reparations for slavery and his vote as a congressman to extradite Black Lives Matter hero, the convicted terrorist murder Assata Shakur.
Sen. Bernie Sanders is spending the day after his decisive New Hampshire primary victory over Hillary Clinton preparing for the South Carolina primary by aiming shoring up the black vote. Wednesday morning in Harlem, Sanders was cozying up to Rev. Al Sharpton and awaiting the potential endorsement of entertainer/activist Harry Belafonte.
However, Sanders has come under fire from some black activists for not being radical enough.
On January 19, Ta-Nehisi Coates penned a piece for The Atlantic entitled Why Precisely Is Bernie Sanders against Reparations? where Coates castigated avowed socialist Sanders for saying that the question of reparations for slavery is a divisive issue that had no chance of getting through Congress.
In his Atlantic essay, Coates writes: “Reparations is not one possible tool against white supremacy. It is the indispensable tool against white supremacy.”
Of course, Sanders is correct in saying that reparations is a divisive issue with almost no hope of success. But Coates went full Alinsky on Bernie Sanders and held him to his own set of standards, writing:
The spectacle of a socialist candidate opposing reparations as “divisive” (there are few political labels more divisive in the minds of Americans than socialist) is only rivaled by the implausibility of Sanders posing as a pragmatist. Sanders says the chance of getting reparations through Congress is “nil,” a correct observation which could just as well apply to much of the Vermont senator’s own platform.
Coates is just one of a number of new generation of high-profile black activists who want to push a radical black liberation agenda against “white supremacy”and see the Sanders candidacy is an opportunity to do it. They know that on a ideological level, Sanders agrees with their far left positions and they have seen firsthand that he can be screamed into docile surrender, as Black Lives Matter activists proved during their Seattle shutdown of a Sanders rally in 2015.
This new generation of radicalized black activist have been empowered by Barack Obama, and make no bones about their plans to push the Democrat party as far to the left as possible. They view the Democrats, including Sanders, as weak. Merely throwing entitlements at black voters for 50 years isn’t enough with the new black activist. Coates writes:
Sanders’s radicalism has failed in the ancient fight against white supremacy. What he proposes in lieu of reparations—job creation, investment in cities, and free higher education—is well within the Overton window, and his platform on race echoes Democratic orthodoxy. The calls for community policing, body cameras, and a voting-rights bill with pre-clearance restored— all are things that Hillary Clinton agrees with.
While many white Democrats bristle at referring to Black Lives Matter as “black radicals” it’s worth noting that Coates himself refers to them that way. Unlike the lily white liberals, Coates and his Black Lives Matter comrades tell it as they see it; they are going to confront, threaten and coerce white guilt liberals like Sanders into submission. Again quoting Ta-Nehisi Coates:
Some months ago, black radicals in the Black Lives Matters movement protested Sanders. They were, in the main, jeered by the white left for their efforts. But judged by his platform, Sanders should be directly confronted and asked why his political imagination is so active against plutocracy, but so limited against white supremacy. Jim Crow and its legacy were not merely problems of disproportionate poverty. Why should black voters support a candidate who does not recognize this?
This split between craven white progressives and muscle flexing black activists can also be seen on the issue of Black Lives Matter hero Assata Shakur.
The Black Lives Matter movement has made no secret of its love and admiration for convicted cop killer terrorist Assata Shakur, whose real name is Joanne Chesimard. Black Lives Matter cofounder Patrisse Cullors has stated publicly that they pay homage to Shakur at every single event by reciting “Assata’s Prayer” and Black Lives Matter activists are often seen wearing T-shirts that say “Assata Taught Me.”
Yet, the white liberal mainstream media almost never mentions Shakur in their glowing softball pieces on the Black Lives Matter movement.
That’s likely because those pale progressive reporters realize that the average Democrat would cringe at Black Lives Matter support for Shakur, who is currently on the FBI Top Ten Most Wanted Terrorist list after escaping from prison and holing up in Communist Cuba, where she lives today.
That’s because Assata Shakur is a loathsome, evil human being whose only accomplishment was being part of the Black Liberation Army, a group of black radicals that sprung up in the 1970s with the sole purpose of executing police officers.
This point cannot be overstated: prior to her arrest for the 1973 Assata Shakur had done nothing whatsoever except to be part of a group of cop killers. Shakur wasn’t a speaker, or an author, or intellectual…she was part of the Black Liberation Army. That’s it.
In his detailed chronicling of radical left groups in the book Days of Rage, author Bryan Burrough refers to the Black Liberation Army as “the logical culmination of the Black Power movement: After years of black ‘revolutionaries’ calling for armed attacks against the police and federal government, one group, the BLA, finally followed through.”
The Black Liberation followed through by killing cops. A lot of cops; the exact number isn’t clear, but the best estimate seems to be about 18 police officers, both black and white, were murdered by the Black Liberation Army. Along the way, they funded themselves by robbing banks and dealing drugs.
Any factual look at the life and deeds of Assata Shakur only reveals revolting, violent and deadly behavior, so it’s a story that the media doesn’t want to look into.
This is who the Black Lives Matter movement idolizes and it creates a problem for Bernie Sanders with this new generation of black activists because in 1998, Congressman Bernie Sanders voted to extradite Assata Shakur from Cuba.
An August 2015 article by Stephen Argue of the Revolutionary Party explains:
On other domestic questions, Sanders has been terrible as well. At an electoral rally, when anti-police brutality protesters joined him on stage, Bernie Sanders left instead of attempting any dialogue. There was a reason for this. Bernie Sanders has been a strong supporter of building up the American police state that guns down so many people in the streets. He supported Bill Clinton’s “Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act,” which greatly expanded the U.S. government’s war on Black and poor people by putting 100,000 more cops on the street and increasing the use of the death penalty. His response to outrage in Baltimore against the police murdering an unarmed man in custody was saying, “Being a cop is a hard job”. The Black lives Matter Movement is right to protest Bernie Sanders.
In addition to Bernie Sanders’ other crimes, he voted in favor of a Senate resolution that demanded Cuba return political refugee Assata Shakur to the United States. New Jersey governor Chris Christie holds the exact same position as Bernie Sanders and applies typical racist disrespect by using Assata Shakur’s discarded slave name in saying:
“So Joanne Chesimard, a cold-blooded cop-killer, convicted by a jury of her peers, in what is without question the fairest and most just criminal justice system in the world … is now, according to an official of the Cuban government, persecuted. These thugs in Cuba have given her political asylum for 30 years. It’s unacceptable.”
However, radical you may think Bernie Sanders is, it’s important to be aware that he is getting tremendous pressure from the even more radical left to prove that he’s really one of them.
There is a very real possibility that Bernie Sanders could win the Democratic presidential nomination. Even if he fails to do that, Hillary Clinton is now being pressured to move to the left of Bernie Sanders.
Seven years of Barack Obama have moved the window so far to the left that the only place to go is a full-throated embrace of revolutionary communism and black liberation activism. For those who don’t think the Black Lives Matter movement is anything to be worried about, guess again. They are the ones setting the Democrat agenda.
Coates endorses Sanders:
“yes, I will be voting for Senator Sanders” – TA-NEHISI COATES https://t.co/KTe4c2mUBC
— P. S. Kehal (@prabhbob) February 10, 2016