CNN's Hill Advises Sanders to 'Combat White Supremacy,' Clintons 'Terrible to Black People'

Appearing as a guest on Wednesday's CNN Newsroom with Carol Costello, liberal CNN political commentator Marc Lamont Hill advised that Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders needs to show a "vision to combat white supremacy" and "talk to our racial pain" if he wishes to win black voters. The Morehouse College professor also hit Hillary Clinton from the far left as he declared that "the Clintons have been terrible to black people" because of President Bill Clinton's support for the 1994 crime bill.

After CNN host Costello asked if it was "important" for Sanders to receive an endorsement from far-left civil rights activist Al Sharpton, Hill brought up "white supremacy" as he responded:

You want Al Sharpton to not be pushing back against you on the race issue, but ultimately Bernie Sanders is going to have to meet with more than Al Sharpton, he's also going to have to talk to black voters. He's also going to have to speak to black issues and not just talk about an economic plan, but also a vision to combat white supremacy. If he can do both of those things, he's on to something here.

A bit later, after Costello raised the 1994 crime bill that is "responsible for putting more minorities behind bars," Hill brought up "racial pain" and ended up slamming the Clintons. Hill:

The thing is, Bernie Sanders has to put himself in a position where black voters see him as the conscience choice, see him as the one who reflects their sensibilities. He has not done that purely by talking economics. He also has to talk to our racial pain, our racial realities. Because if he tries to run a race-neutral campaign or just, you know, carefully throw things out strategically, we're not going to buy it.

The liberal commentator added:

And it's not because Hillary Clinton's been good to black people. The Clintons have been terrible to black people when it comes to crime reform, welfare reform, three-strikes, prison litigation reform act, we can go on down the list. But they know the Clintons, they don't know Bernie, and that's going to be a challenge for him.

Below is a transcript of the relevant portion of the Wednesday, February 10, CNN Newsroom with Carol Costello:

9:23 a.m. ET
CAROL COSTELLO: But clearly Bernie Sanders needs African-American support to win South Carolina or he wouldn't be meeting with Al Sharpton this morning, if he didn't, Marc. Is that an important endorsement for him to have -- Al Sharpton?

MARC LAMONT HILL, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Oh, I think any endorsement is important, but what we have to remember is, black voters do not follow one particular person. Al Sharpton, as much as I like Al Sharpton, is not the President of black people, you know. So what you want is Al Sharpton to have a strong presence.

You want Al Sharpton to not be pushing back against you on the race issue, but ultimately Bernie Sanders is going to have to meet with more than Al Sharpton, he's also going to have to talk to black voters. He's also going to have to speak to black issues and not just talk about an economic plan, but also a vision to combat white supremacy. If he can do both of those things, he's on to something here.

I think that South Carolina is an important test for him. Even if he doesn't win it, does he get completely trounced on the racial demographic? If he does, as he did in Iowa which he almost won -- if he does, then he's going to have a significant challenge moving forward to Super Tuesday

COSTELLO: And, you know, it was interesting to listen to his acceptance speech last night, Paul, because he talked about the incarceration rates of blacks and Hispanics, right? And he's sort of intimating about, you know, that 1994 crime bill that President Clinton pushed through that Hillary Clinton supported. And, by the way, nobody really realizes that Bernie Sanders also voted for, but that bill is responsible -- that law is responsible for putting more minorities behind bars. So how do you wiggle your way around that, Paul?

[PAUL STEINHAUSER, NH1 NEWS]

HILL: No, that's absolutely true, but, I mean, again, he did well in Iowa, and he wins New Hampshire. Those are two of the whitest places in America. At some point, you've got to go someplace where black people know you and recognize you. What helps him is that he did win Iowa and New Hampshire. Remember, Obama was polling fairly evenly with Hillary Clinton until he won Iowa because, again, once black voters saw that, "Hey, he can win this thing, now we can vote our conscience."

The thing is, Bernie Sanders has to put himself in a position where black voters see him as the conscience choice, see him as the one who reflects their sensibilities. He has not done that purely by talking economics. He also has to talk to our racial pain, our racial realities. Because if he tries to run a race-neutral campaign or just, you know, carefully throw things out strategically, we're not going to buy it.

And it's not because Hillary Clinton's been good to black people. The Clintons have been terrible to black people when it comes to crime reform, welfare reform, three-strikes, prison litigation reform act, we can go on down the list. But they know the Clintons, they don't know Bernie, and that's going to be a challenge for him.

Brad Wilmouth
Brad Wilmouth is a contributing blogger to NewsBusters