Leftist writer Ta-Nehisi Coates has endorsed socialist Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) for the Democratic party’s presidential nomination. The enthusiastic Coates said of the transplanted New Yorker, “I will be voting for Senator Sanders.” He added, “I have tried to avoid this question, but yes, I will be voting for Senator Sanders.”
Coates, who is the son of a radical, emerged from obscurity upon the publication of his 2014 treatise, The Case for Reparations. He has since become celebrated for his writings on race and politics.
While he is now squarely in Sanders’ corner, Coates still criticizes the senator for failing to support reparations to be paid to the descendants of slaves. “One can be very, very critical of Senator Sanders on this specific issue,” Coates said. “One can say Senator Sanders should have more explicit anti-racist policy within his racial-justice platform, not just more general stuff and still cast a vote for Senator Sanders and still feel that Senator Sanders in the best option that we have in the race.”
“But just because that’s who you’re going to vote for doesn’t mean you then have to agree with everything they say,” Coates added.
Coates’ endorsement of socialist Sanders in the February 10 Democracy Now!
interview came less than a day after the septuagenarian senator defeated the presumed shoo-in for the nomination: Hillary Clinton. Sanders has since gone on to see a distinct uptick in donations.
Sanders had a meeting with radical activist Al Sharpton on February 10. The Vermonter was reaching out to Sharpton, who presumably holds the key to black voters in South Carolina, which is the next primary election venue. The Palmetto State has a larger quotient of African American voters than lily-white New Hampshire. In South Carolina, Clinton currently enjoys a near-30 point lead over Sanders.
Radical Coates mentioned his concerns over questions fellow leftists have about Clinton. He mentioned her support for stricter law enforcement during the 1990s while her husband was in office, as well as her pricey speeches for denizens of Wall Street. “You know, like a lot of people, I’m very concerned about where her positions were in the 1990s, when we had some of the most disgusting legislation in terms of criminal justice really in this country’s history,” Coates said. “I get really, really concerned when I see somebody taking $600,000 in speaking fees from Goldman Sachs and not release what they’re actually saying.”
Coates expressed delight over Sanders’ success. He said he was “surprised that an avowed socialist to actually contending for the Democratic party nomination.” “But I think it’s awesome,” he added.
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