Sunday’s nights CNN Democratic Debate between former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Senator Bernie Sanders was not just a show of Democratic agreed policies. No, the two candidates help define the differences between each other. One exchanged though, has captivated social media and has people talking. With only two days until the Michigan primary, the two candidates showed impatience towards one another, showed their differences on policy and at times they seem to be tiring of one another.
It was one question in particular that has sparked interesting exchanges on social media. The question, what racial blind spots so you have, and how are you racist? both candidates said that there are experiences they will never understand as white people. Clinton replied that “Being a white person in the United States of America, I know that I have never had the experiences that so many people in this audience have had,” she said. “What I have been trying to talk about during this campaign is to urge white people to think about what it is like to have “the talk” with your kids, scared that your sons or daughters, even, could get in trouble for no good reason whatsoever like Sandra Bland and end up dead in a jail in Texas.”
But Sanders made an unforced error when he used the antiquated word “ghetto”: “When you’re white, you don’t know what it’s like to be living in a ghetto. “Continuing he said as white people “You don’t know what it’s like to be poor, you don’t know what it’s like to be hassled when you are walking down a street or dragged out of a car,” Sanders said. Is Senator Sanders suggesting that in the United States there are no poor people? Social media lit up over this quote. People want Sanders to know yes there are poor people in America. According to Census figures in 2013, 18.9 million whites are poor. AP News states that “While racial and ethnic minorities are more likely to live in poverty, race disparities in the poverty rate have narrowed substantially since the 1970s, census data show. Economic insecurity among whites also is more pervasive than is shown in the government’s poverty data, engulfing more than 76 percent of white adults by the time they turn 60.”
Senator Sanders needs to educate himself about poverty. Poverty does not discriminate. Children and families in poverty are of all races, religions and backgrounds. Food banks have become a regular part of life for some families who can’t by on wages that do not lift them out poverty. Senator Sanders needs to be educated and work on raising people to livable wages for all Americans.