Spike Lee believes Bernie Sanders will do the right thing if he is elected the next president of the United States.
The filmmaker, who rose to prominence in the 1980s with indie features like She’s Gotta Have It and Do the Right Thing, expressed his support for the Vermont senator by releasing a radio ad for his campaign in South Carolina, according to CNN.
In the new spot which was released just days ahead of Saturday’s Democratic primary in South Carolina, Lee appeals voters to stop supporting “corporate puppets” who were responsible for the “Great Recession of 2008” — a culmination of corporate greed and market imperialism — the effects of which are still being felt by millions of people across America.
“Wake up! Wake up, South Carolina! This is your dude, Spike Lee. And you know that I know that you know that the system is rigged! For too long we’ve given our votes to corporate puppets. Sold the okie doke. Ninety-nine percent of Americans were hurt by the Great Recession of 2008, and many are still recovering. That’s why I am officially endorsing my brother, Bernie Sanders. When Bernie gets into the White House, he will do the right thing!”
— CNN (@CNN) February 23, 2016
Spike Lee’s endorsement for Bernie Sanders could be a much-needed boost for the Vermont senator, who has struggled to get black voters on his side despite striking a chord with Millennials on the strength of his issue-based presidential campaign. Sanders has not quite been able to mobilize his supporters among the minorities, a trend which needs to change quickly if the senator is serious about beating Hillary Clinton for the nomination.
According to a recent CNN/ORC South Carolina poll, Hillary Clinton boasts a 65 percent support among black voters in the state, while Bernie Sanders commands a mere 28 percent support among black voters. Although Sanders has attempted to gain the trust of black supporters by meeting Al Sharpton and other black community leaders over the course of the last few months, he still has a long way to go in convincing minority voters to vote for him.
In fact, as outlined by Vox, Clinton’s memo to supporters states that she aims to win the nomination on the back of her “high levels of support in the African American and Hispanic communities.”
While that might be a strategically sound game-plan, it is also equally true that Hillary Clinton boasted of the same sort of support among minorities in Iowa and New Hampshire.
For this very reason, Spike Lee’s support of Bernie Sanders comes at a crucial time for the Vermont senator, with Sanders hoping to bounce back in the South Carolina primary.
“Bernie takes no money from corporations. Nada. Which means he’s not on the tape, and when Bernie get’s into the White House, he will do the right thing,” Lee said. “Enough talk. Time for action.”
Meanwhile, in an earlier interview, Lee had emphatically claimed that he does not see Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump as a serious contender in the race.
“Look, there’s no negating the fact that [Trump] is a great showman. But we’re talking about the highest office in the United States of America. This is not a TV show.”
It remains to be seen if Spike Lee’s endorsement of Bernie Sanders can lead to a tangible result for the senator in South Carolina, but if Sanders hopes to wrestle the Democratic nomination away from the clutches of Hillary Clinton, he will know that black voters need to be on his side before it is too late.
[Photo by Ethan Miller & Pascal Le Segretain/Getty Images]