Black feminists have found themselves questioning whether a 74-year-old white man named Bernie Sanders is the most revolutionary and progressive candidate in the election.
While many would assume Black feminists would automatically extend their support to Hillary Clinton, many women are surprisingly indifferent.
“I’m definitely weighing my options,” said activist, Bracey Sherman in an interview with MSNBC‘s Irin Carmon. “A lot of my beliefs on economic policies fall in line with Bernie Sanders. However, he is not able to connect the way that gender and race intersect with economic inequality the way Hillary does.”
On the contrary, Shanelle Matthews, lead communications strategist for Black Lives Matter shared that Hillary may be trying too hard to identify with the plight of the black woman, an existence in which she could not possibly fully comprehend.
“…Frankly, I’d like to stop being lectured by white feminists who would boorishly call themselves my ally while also paternalistically scolding me for not bending toward their political ideologies” said Matthews.
Both candidates have been feverishly trying to prove to that they have a proven track record of taking a stance on issues of interest to black voters which includes mass incarceration.
While Hillary may tout in a new ad, narrated by Morgan Freeman that she helped to “reform the juvenile justice system in South Carolina”, she’s also referred to disenfranchised males in gangs as “super predators” as seen in a 1996 speech.
Her seemingly different and enamored disposition towards African American women, including the families of police brutality victims have resulted in the former Secretary of State being referred to as “flip-flopper” by Erica Garner and the “Milli Vanilli of politics” by Dr. Cornel West.
“It’s hard for me to champion a Clinton prosperity narrative as proof of electability of another candidate when I feel like it decimated the black community and criminalized black men,” said University of Pennsylvania professor Salamishah Tillet, who described herself as undecided but says she’s leaning towards Sanders.
Tillet however did commend Clinton for doing her research on the black feminist movement and using the phrase “intersectional framework,” a term coined by law professor Kimberlé Crenshaw in the 1980s which refers to how overlapping identities shape marginalization.
Following Sander’s primary loss in Nevada, preliminary polling is in favor of Clinton for the February 27th South Carolina primary. In a state that’s approximately 30% African American, it’s still up for debate whether Sanders can make some last minute in-roads with voters.
To learn more about on the conflict moving through Black feminist circles and to read the rest of Carmon’s interview, visit MSNBC.com.
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