Cornel West Endorses Sanders: ‘My Dear Brother Bernie Stands Shoulders Above Any Of The Other Candidates’

Philosopher Dr. Cornel West speaks onstage during the Black America Since MLK: And Still I Rise panel discussion.
Frederick M. Brown / Getty Images

In an interview with The Intercept published Thursday, philosopher Cornel West endorsed Bernie Sanders’ bid for the White House.

West, who endorsed Sanders in 2016 and campaigned for him, explained that the Vermont senator fulfils “Martin Luther King-like” criteria when it comes to issues of race, war, materialism, and poverty.

“And this is the first time I’ve had a chance to publicly endorse him again, but yes, indeed. I’ll be in his corner that we’re going to win this time,” he said, adding, “my dear brother Bernie stands shoulders above any of the other candidates running in the Democratic primary when it comes to that Martin Luther King-like standards or criteria.”

Bernie Sanders is often accused by his opponents — despite his activist past and lifelong dedication to civil rights — of having a “problem” with black voters. But according to Cornel West that will be a non-issue in 2020.

In 2016 Sanders was facing two major issues: The “Clinton machine” and lack of name recognition. Since then, African Americans have “had the chance to discover” who Bernie Sanders really is, according to the philosopher, and this is now reflected in the polls.

“They’ve seen the genuine conviction and commitment that he has against racism,” West said.

Indeed, according to a recently released Morning Consult poll, Bernie Sanders is leading all other announced candidates in support from African American voters. Twenty-eight percent of black voters support the self-described democratic socialist, according to the poll.

While Sanders’ name recognition has undoubtedly improved 2016, the “Clinton machine” issue, as West put it, will likely remain.

Hillary Clinton will have an “active role” in 2020, her advisers told The Hill, and try to “unify” the Democratic Party. The former secretary of state will seek to play an important role in the upcoming election, according to individuals briefed on the matter, although she will likely not run for president again.

According to Cornel West, Bernie Sanders’ policies against Wall Street, poverty, militarism, race, coupled with his overall consistency, demonstrate that he is the best Democratic presidential candidate.

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In his interview with the Intercept, West also discussed the issue of reparations, which appears to be evolving into a prominent theme in the upcoming Democratic primary, with some candidates promising reparations for the descendants of slaves.

But according to West, Sanders is right to suggest that “just writing a check” won’t solve anything. Racism and injustice, according to the philosopher, need to be addressed systematically.

“The core is ensuring that there’s fundamental transformation in the racist system under which we live so that the lives of black and brown and yellow peoples are much better,” he said.