Senator Bernie Sanders was criticized on Thursday for his remarks after stating that white Southern voters who choose not to vote for Black candidates are “not necessarily racist."
“I think you know there are a lot of white folks out there who are not necessarily racist who felt uncomfortable for the first time in their lives about whether or not they wanted to vote for an African-American,” Sanders said. “I think next time around, by the way, it will be a lot easier for them to do that.”
In a recent conversation with NPR, Sanders attempted to clean up his language by blaming any possible loss for both Abrams and Gillum on “racist” campaigns by Republican candidates.
"There's no question that in Georgia and in Florida racism has reared its ugly head. And you have candidates who ran against Gillum and ran against Stacey Abrams who were racist and were doing everything they could to try to play whites against blacks," he stated. "And that is an outrage, and we have got to continue doing everything that we can to fight all forms of racism."
“It is our job now to continue to offer an alternative to the hate-filled agenda of Trump and Republican operatives,” He shared in a statement on Twitter.
Let me be absolutely clear: Donald Trump, Brian Kemp and Ron DeSantis ran racist campaigns. pic.twitter.com/QwZtCe4xh3— Bernie Sanders (@BernieSanders) November 8, 2018
Back in 2016, the 76-year-old democrat pushed to gain Black voters but failed after saying Barack Obama’s “business model” was a “failure" during a speech on the 50th anniversary of Martin Luther King’s assassination.
Nah, no, nope...Bernie...didn't go down to Jackson...Mississippi...MLK assassination...50th anniversary...and try to drag...Obama...who ain't perfect...at all. But. Bernie...if you want more than 3 southern black folks voting for you...you TRIPPIN', 'white working class Bernie.' https://t.co/tGfUZRQbGc— Jeffrey Wright (@jfreewright) April 5, 2018
Sanders' most recent statements are obviously not being well-received.
.@BernieSanders says some people aren’t “necessarily racist” but were “uncomfortable” voting for people because they were black. Many would define not supporting someone based solely on race as racist. https://t.co/lxbmIha8pF— Yamiche Alcindor (@Yamiche) November 8, 2018
“... not necessarily racist...” “...felt uncomfortable for the first time in their lives about whether or not they wanted to vote for an African-American...”— zoé samudzi (@ztsamudzi) November 8, 2018
Bernie Sanders speaks about black people like he’s from a state that’s 1% black and so can literally avoid it if he wants https://t.co/YgZ71Jzpwm
Votes from Tuesday's midterm elections are still being counted in some states. Abrams has not conceded in the Georgia gubernatorial race against Brian Kemp, and Andrew Gillum is awaiting a possible recount.
Not today, Bernie.
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