For some strange reason, a few DC journalists seem to think that Bernie Sanders has a problem talking about race.
It's bizarre, given how intimately many of our racial problems are tied to economic inequality -- Dr. King was assassinated while fighting for black sanitation workers in Memphis -- and Bernie was personally very active in the civil rights movement, as he noted in a recent Medium article.
Yesterday, Bernie spoke about issues of mass incarceration and police brutality in Des Moines, Iowa. He highlighted the grotesque statistic that America incarcerates more citizens than China, as well as called for the demilitarization of local police forces and for law-breaking cops to be held accountable. He was also explicit in declaring that lethal force should only be used in extreme cases.
From Ferguson to Baltimore and across this nation, too many African-Americans and other minorities find themselves subjected to a system that treats citizens who have not committed crimes as if they were criminals and that is unacceptable.
It is worth listening to all of this in context, though, in order to understand Bernie's thinking on justice and policing issues -- and their impact on the black community -- more holistically (discussion starts about 1:07:08).
By addressing links between class and race throughout his time in the Senate, Bernie has always spoken the language of the #BlackLivesMatter movement, but yesterday he was also explicit in declaring that policing in America must change -- and law-breaking cops be held accountable for their actions.