It's not easy to get to the left of Bernie Sanders. He is a self-described socialist, after all. But hats off to Chuck Todd: he's managed to do it! On today's Meet the Press, Todd, citing Ta-nehisi Coates, challenged Sanders: why aren't you for reparations . . . because of slavery for African-Americans when you're calling for economic justice on so many other levels? Why do you stop short on that issue?"
Sanders gave a long-winded answer offering his solutions for African-Americans and pointing out that President Obama and Hillary Clinton also oppose reparations. But Todd wasn't ready to let go: "you still haven't answered the question why you weren't in favor of reparations." Sanders' is well-known to have relatively weak support among African-Americans. Todd was clearly picking on a sore spot. Somewhere Hillary Clinton is smiling.
Note: as of late, it seems that Todd has been on Team Hillary. This past week he bizarrely claimed that General Petraeus mishandling of emails was "worse" than Hillary's.
CHUCK TODD: Well, you have been calling for political revolution and there have been some critiques over it, though, that you're sort of narrow in where you call for revolution. Ta-nehisi Coates, one of the more respected thinkers in the civil rights movement these days wrote in the The Atlantic why aren't you for reparations for having to -- because of slavery for African-Americans when you're calling for economic justice on so many other levels? Why do you stop short on that issue?
BERNIE SANDERS: Well, for the same reason that Barack Obama has, the same reason I believe that Hillary Clinton has. That is that it's absolutely wrong and unacceptable that we have so much poverty in this country and it is even worse in the African-American community. That African-American kids between 17 and 20 who graduate high school have unemployment rates and underemployment rates of 51%. That 36% of African-American children are living in poverty. This is an issue that we have got to address. And my intention as President of the United States is to be very aggressive in dealing with those issues. To put our kids to work rather than see them go to jail. To improve our schools. That's what we have to do and I think that's what the American people want.
TODD: I understand that. But the question was why you were -- why you weren't in favor of reparations?
SANDERS: Well, again, it's the same reason that the president is not and I think Hillary Clinton is not.
TODD: What is that reason?
SANDERS: We have got to invest in the future!