Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton are vying for the African-American vote ahead of Tuesday’s New York primary, both addressing Al Sharpton’s National Action Network convention this week. The venue gave them the chance to address the needs of the black community. In Sanders’ case, it was apparently also a chance to accuse Republicans of racism. He spent several moments railing against the GOP’s effort to usher in voter ID laws.
“We have a level of Republican voter suppression that is absolutely outrageous,” Sanders said. “You would have thought that after all we have gone through as a country to make sure that people have the right to vote, regardless of the color of their skin, that these Republican governors would show some mercy and not try to bring us back to Jim Crow days.”
When the senator was done skewering Republicans, he was ranting about income equality and the need to raise the minimum wage to 15 dollars. He also commented on the need to address the poor status of inner city schools.
Inner city schools are becoming “dropout factories,” the senator said.
Based on their applause, the crowd seemed mostly in agreement with his remarks. Clinton, meanwhile, has not been faring so well in her attempts to connect to the black community. First, her husband shouted at a Black Lives Matter activist. Then, she took part in a skit that included racially insensitive humor.
The media is noticing her struggles to reach black voters too. MSNBC, for instance, said she and her husband can't keep flip flopping on their support of the controversial 1994 crime bill whenever it's politically convenient.
New York votes next Tuesday, April 19.