Members of the Democratic Socialists of America (DSA) are urging the organization’s national political committee to withhold its endorsement of Bernie Sanders for president after he stated that he was not in favor of slavery reparations.
The DSA’s AfroSocialist and Socialists of Color Caucus wrote an open letter to the political committee criticizing Sanders’ failure to address “the unique experiences of Blacks in America” and not taking time “to inform himself on generations of work around reparations.”
“Should the organization move forward with an endorsement of the Sanders campaign, despite his failure to adopt specific policy stances to address matters of persisting racial injustice and despite his unwillingness to champion reparations to specifically address the experience of the descendants of African slaves, it will risk alienating not just members of color within the organization, but people of color in the communities in which the DSA works,” the letter reads.
Several of the candidates seeking the Democratic nomination in 2020 have come out in favor of reparations for the descendants of slaves including Massachusetts sen. Elizabeth Warren, who stated that “it’s time to start the national, full-blown conversation about reparations.”
Sanders was pressed during a CNN town hall in February to clarify where he stood on the issue. Sanders responded that “there are massive disparities that must be addressed” but questioned what exactly reparations mean. None of the presidential hopefuls who have advocated for reparations have detailed who would receive payment and who would be responsible for paying.
DSA’s March 12 poll on whether or not to endorse Sanders fell largely in his favor. He won 76 percent of the vote, according to Vox. The national political committee is scheduled to vote on his endorsement on Thursday.
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