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Bernie Sanders Gives a Clear ‘No’ on Reparations, So He Has No Black Agenda

I have made many enemies with my vocal disdain for Bernie Sanders, his fanatics and his pseudo-progressive platform. The great white-haired hope ‘s appeal is lost on me. And as I am not in the business of lauding, celebrating or applauding white people for colorblind socialist rhetoric, I suppose I was never his target audience anyway.

I am not about the equality Sanders believes will fix this cesspool of racist capitalism and tyranny. Bernie’s constant rhetoric about a strong economy as a fix for racism is nothing but the progressive “we’re all human.” Until he’s ready to implement a plan of equity which results in America paying its centuries’ overdue invoice to the Black people it owes, I’m not interested in any of his agendas.

You cannot deconstruct a racist system without first addressing the inequity and exploitation that built that system. Therefore, talking points about ending the privatization of prison, the war on drugs and voter suppression are all just that. Sanders’ plan to mop up the puddle without out first stopping the leak and patching the hole is no plan at all.

And in an interview with The Breakfast Club, Sanders answered plainly with a “no” that he does not believe that African-Americans, the descendants of the Black people who literally built this country and whose free labor catapulted an infant country into a global economic superpower, should receive reparations in the form of cash payments. He went on to say, “Do you mean a check to every African-American? Well, then, that means a check to every Native American that were wiped out when the settlers came. I think the way we go forward is to build America together.”

The fact that this man thinks that having to also pay the descendants of Natives whose land was stolen, who were murdered en masse, who continue to be victims of genocide, police corruption, medical neglect and state violence is a convincing reason that the descendants of chattel slavery and the current subjects of the afterlife of slavery should not be paid compensation for the terror of four centuries says all I’ve ever needed to know about why he is anything but a typical white oligarch. Further, it’s unsurprising that his he plans to move forward by pardoning white America for its past and present terrorism committed against Black people.

I don’t give a fuck about a couple pictures of him at a protest march in his early 20s. I wouldn’t give a fuck if he’s said “Black Lives Matter.” Miss me with the bullshit about him being the only candidate to have any Black agenda. Bernie Sanders has no investment or interest in Black people or our plight because he has no investment or interest in reparations.

But honestly, any die hard Black fans of Bernie Sanders have already resigned themselves to the idea that American will never pay reparations. For them, a white person simply acknowledging, however tepidly and timidly, that racism still exists is reparation enough. They have been cajoled into abandoning a fight for what we are owed in lieu of white validation. They have been convinced that the latter is currency and a worthy trade for canceling America’s debt.

And if you have accepted that a white man yelling at rallies and town halls about bringing an end to the side-effects and symptoms of the disease of racism without first aggressively and completely remedying the cause of the disease is not just the lesser of two evils but the best, the most deserving, the most faithful of all, then I suppose a win for him is payment enough for you.

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Kinfolk Kollective avatar About the author: LaSha is a writer who’s obsessed with Black people. Find her work here of course, but also on Ebony, The Guardian, Essence, Salon, Everyday Feminism, Teen Vogue, HuffPo and For Harriett. She’s loves trap music & 90s R&B, watches Jeopardy faithfully and believes fried chicken is her soulmate. The clapback queen is loud and clear about loving her kids above all else and kinda digs her Yankee husband too. Anti-Blackness gives her hives. Get at her @lashawrites on Twitter.

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