Bernie Sanders doesn’t support reparations for slavery, but one of his key African-American surrogates says blacks should vote for him anyway.
That surrogate is rap artist Michael Render, also known as Killer Mike, who took to Twitter Wednesday after the Atlantic published a piece titled “Why Precisely Is Bernie Sanders Against Reparations?” In the piece, author Ta-Nehisi Coates — one of the country’s foremost thinkers and writers about racism — argues that Sanders’s slate of radical positions is noticeably lacking when it comes to policies that would address centuries of violence and discrimination against blacks in the United States.
To Coates, the way forward must involve reparations, which he called the “indispensable tool against white supremacy.”
“If not even an avowed socialist can be bothered to grapple with reparations, if the question really is that far beyond the pale … if this is the candidate of the radical left — then expect white supremacy in America to endure well beyond our lifetimes and lifetimes of our children,” Coates wrote.
Here’s a shorter version of the argument from the New Yorker’s Jelani Cobb:
Killer Mike, who supports reparations, responded to Coates (and later Cobb) on Twitter:
He went on, identifying what he sees as a double-standard in play against Sanders:
It sounds like Killer Mike and Coates talked Wednesday afternoon. Here’s what they said afterward on Twitter: