The real deal about Bernie Sanders

00-apeterbaileyIt is time for a reality check on Bernie Sanders, the Brooklyn-born Vermont senator and registered Independent who campaigned for the Democratic nomination to run for the office of president of the United States.

The first reality is that Bernie benefited from one of the goofiest decisions I have witnessed since becoming aware of American politics. It allowed a registered Independent to run against a long-time registered Democrat for the position.

Right to support Hillary
The Democratic Party National Committee under the leadership of Debbie Wasserman-Schultz was absolutely right in supporting Hillary Clinton over Sanders since she is a registered Democrat and its mission is to get a Democrat elected president. To do otherwise would have been goofier than allowing Sanders to run in the first place.

The second reality check is that the large crowd at Sanders’ highly covered rallies were as White as the large Trump crowds. Just as Trump did, Bernie had a few Black folks to exhibit when necessary but the overall effect was a sea of mostly young White folks.

The third reality results from my being a Malcomite. Brother Malcolm use to tell us if anyone at one of our rallies or meetings shouts “We should bomb the subway,” that person should immediately be evicted from our meeting or rally because nine times out of ten that person is a plant of the Federal Bureau of Investigations or the New York City Police Department. The goal was for us to discuss such a suggestion so everyone there could then be charged with a conspiracy.

With this in mind, I am convinced that a significant number of the supposed Sanders crowd were or are actually covert Trump supporters out to disrupt the Clinton campaign.

Savior not coming
The lesson is to avoid the trap of looking for a White savior, including Hillary Clinton. No White Democrat or White Republican, no White liberal or White conservative, no White preacher or White professor, no White communist or White capitalist, will be a savior for us. We have much too often failed to deal with that concrete reality.

That’s why we must develop and financially support leaders who have commitment and talent and who have a concrete track record of promoting and defending Black economic and cultural interests.

Such a quest leaves out most of those smooth-talking, fast-talking, always-talking characters who have the label as ‘leaders’ today. They are just two or three steps above White saviors.

A. Peter Bailey’s latest book is “Witnessing Brother Malcolm X, the Master Teacher.” Contact him at


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