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Opinion

Bernie Sanders Flips Off Black Voters On His Way Out the Door

On Thursday night, independent Vermont Senator and Democratic presidential runner-up Bernie Sanders continued his ongoing mission to alienate people who once had genuine admiration and respect for him with an address to supporters that we were told would not be a concession, but which, in fact, was an explicit concession that he is no longer trying to secure the Democratic nomination that he has lost to the first female presumptive nominee of a major party in American history, while still not conceding that Hillary Clinton is, in fact, the first female presumptive nominee of a major party in American history.

It took him ten full minutes to get to it, but here’s the important part, where Sanders says he’ll start helping her beat Donald Trump when he feels like it, maybe after he’s chosen some items off the wine list for Hillary:

The major political task that we face in the next five months is to make certain that Donald Trump is defeated and defeated badly. And I personally intend to begin my role in that process in a very short period of time.

But defeating Donald Trump cannot be our only goal. We must continue our grassroots efforts to create the America that we know we can become. And we must take that energy into the Democratic National Convention on July 25 in Philadelphia where we will have more than 1,900 delegates.

So to be clear, Bernie Sanders is going to delay getting into the fight against Donald Trump so that he can get a few good ideas, a few iffy ideas, and a few bad ideas into the Democratic Party platform, a document that is about as useful as a roll of Charmin, but considerably less soothing to the skin. Just for good measure, he wants to get rid of Superdelegates and open up the primaries, which will work out great for Bernie Sanders from a year ago, but which will suck the first time Democrats have to run a primary against an incumbent Republican president, and Republican voters decide to vote in Democratic primaries just to mess with us. Brilliant, but none of which required him to continue to slight Hillary Clinton, except he might make Susan Sarandon and her purse dog mad.

Instead, Bernie will wait until he’s good and ready to make a half-assed endorsement of Hillary Clinton that will succeed only in winning a news cycle or two for Donald Trump, as he and the media rehash every attack he’s made against her, and every painstaking yank of the pliers it took to extract said half-assed endorsement.

But there’s something even more revealing about Bernie’s speech to supporters, because wrapped around those relevant 107 seconds was about 22 other minutes of Bernie boilerplate that neatly laid out his priorities. Throughout this campaign, Bernie and his supporters have continually insisted that if black voters would only stop and listen and give him a chance, they’d be dazzled by his down-ness and abandon their habitual support for Hillary. So in his speech Thursday night, here’s what Bernie had for black voters:

That’s it. Black people got tacked onto a few lists of other things, and some lines about failing schools and criminal justice reform. Or to put it another way, what black voters could expect from a Rand Paul speech. Not a syllable about ending police brutality or racial profiling, nothing about the Voting Rights Act or any other Republican schemes to disenfranchise black voters, and those are just the easy ones. Fifty-six seconds out of 23 minutes, and none of the bullet points he rushed up onto his website when #BlackLivesMatter protesters hassled him almost a year ago. Yeah, black voters had Bernie all wrong, didn’t they?

This is an opinion piece. The views expressed in this article are those of just the author.

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