Ta-Nehisi Coates, an award-winning author whose recent book “Between the World and Me” landed on The New York Times best seller list, just announced that he’s supporting Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders (I) for president — a major endorsement for the candidate.
“I have tried to avoid this question, but, yes, I will be voting for Senator Sanders,” he told Democracy Now. “I try to avoid that, because I want to write as a journalist — do you know what I mean? — and separate that from my role as, I don’t know, a private citizen. But I don’t think much is accomplished by ducking the question. Yes, I will vote for Senator Sanders. My son influenced me.”
Coates said it can be argued that Sanders should have a more explicit anti-racist policy in his social justice platform, but that the same person could still feel that “Sanders is the best option that we have in the race.”
“Just because that’s who you’re going to vote for doesn’t mean you then have to agree with everything they say,” he said.
Last month, Coates wrote a piece in The Atlantic challenging Sanders’ position on reparations for black Americans, which Sanders said he is not in favour of.
“Unfortunately, Sanders’s radicalism has failed in the ancient fight against white supremacy,” he wrote. “This is the ‘class first’ approach, originating in the myth that racism and socialism are necessarily incompatible.”
Sanders, who won the New Hampshire on Tuesday, has to pick up black votes in the South to have any chance of overcoming former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton (D) in the upcoming primaries.
In South Carolina, the next Democratic primary on the trail, Sanders trails Clinton by a 54-point margin with black Americans, per a CBS poll from January.
On Wednesday, Sanders met with the prominent black activist Rev. Al Sharpton in New York City. Sharpton has not yet made an endorsement in the presidential race.
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