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February 17, 2016 -- Bernie Sanders is a vociferous anti-racist; at least he claims to be. 

Black activists in Sander's home state of Vermont tell a different tale. 

One black leader said of their Senator, “[Bernie Sanders] was just really dismissive of anything that had to do with race and racism, saying that they didn’t have anything to do with the issues of income inequality.” 

The quote was reported by The Daily Beast. 

Sha’an Mouliert, an activist who founded the African-American Alliance of the Northeast Kingdom, recalled approaching Sanders at a state fair and asking him about a bill sponsored by Michigan Rep. John Conyers that would have examined the issue of reparations for the ancestors of slaves. Sanders, she says, was dismissive, telling her that he didn’t and wouldn’t support it.

“I felt completely negated. Like I was invisible,” she recalled. She later invited him to speak at her organization. Sanders cancelled, she said, due to weather, and then never tried to reschedule.

“I think Bernie tends to run away from racial and ethnic issues,” said Vaughn Carney, a corporate lawyer and a leader in the state’s black community. Carney has voted for Sanders in every election but is backing Hillary Clinton this year.
“I think Bernie tends to run away from racial and ethnic issues,” said Vaughn Carney, a corporate lawyer and a leader in the state’s black community.
“Racial profiling is a fact of life here. Vermont incarcerates people at the fourth highest rate in the U.S., but no one talks about that. I have been beating on that drum for a while now, and I hoped that Bernie would up that mantle, but he has not. He is like a lot of Vermonters who like to congratulate themselves on how progressive they are but sweep these issues under the rug.”

Carney met with Vermont’s other senator, Patrick Leahy, as well as the state’s lone congressional representative about these concerns. Sanders’ office didn’t respond to his efforts, Carney said.

Other civil rights leaders said much the same—that Leahy seemed far more responsive than Sanders. “Overall we felt as though Sen. Leahy was interested in keeping informed on our issues,” said Reed, a compliment he did not pay to his other senator.

When the state was in danger of losing its charter to the United States Commission on Civil Rights, Reed said he and others scrambled to keep it. —

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Image credit: The Daily Beast ####

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  1. so, thats actually a plus.

  2. I am glad to hear this. This makes me more enthusiastic about Bernie Sanders.