Ed Schultz. Michael Moore. The Huffington Post. Shaun King of New York Daily News. Prominent Bernie Sanders backers in the media and culture have for some time been perpetuating the reprehensible idea that black voters - who delivered 30, 40, 50 point wins for Hillary Clinton in southern states don't count because their states are likely to vote for the Republican in the general election in November.
But it isn't just his prominent supporters. The Sanders campaign has itself repeated that message, albeit in more subtle forms. After Hillary Clinton won seven out of 11 states on March 1, Sanders senior adviser Tad Devine and campaign manager Jeff Weaver sent the message that the "calendar" ahead didn't look good for Clinton, intimating that the black-heavy southern states where Clinton racked up big margins were about done voting (well, that prediction didn't work out too well).
It was only a matter of time before a prominent Sanders backing organization would do something like this:
Progressive Democrats of America is an ultra ideologue Leftist organization that backed Bernie Sanders' candidacy early. After Sanders lost 5 out of 5 states on Tuesday, PDA has taken the logical next step to what Bernie's mouthpieces have been doing for more than a month: they have gone from minimizing the black vote as insignificant because they live in "red states" to minimizing them as part of the confederacy.
That is outrageous. The people providing Clinton's huge margins, black voters, are by and large descendants of slaves, and to associate them with the confederacy is a disgusting display of racism.
PDA issued the following statement, which they called an "apology."
I am uncertain if this is an apology or more of a pile-on. Saying that "confederacy" is just an "emotionally charged" term fails miserably to even acknowledge the deeply disturbing and bigoted nature of associating black voters with the confederacy. This is not primarily about emotions. This is about historical revisionism and deep seated racism paralleling that of Donald Trump's.
But PDA wasn't the first. Previewing what is now the standard Sanders campaign line, various versions of "this primary begins on March 16", Bill Curry of Salon wrote the following on March 8.
Jeff Weaver, Bernie Sanders' campaign manager said just yesterday that post-March 15 states are more favorable for Sen. Sanders "in terms of the geography." Republicans wish they could come up with a better dog whistle.
This is deplorable. This is insane. This is ugly, bigoted, reprehensible. This is Donald Trump's dog whistles without the physical releasing of the hounds. And this is coming on the heels of Bernie Sanders' wife giving an on-camera platform to America's most racist law enforcement officer in Arizona.
Bernie Sanders must take personal responsibility. Bernie Sanders must denounce the groups and individuals using disgusting language and delegitimizing the black vote. Bernie Sanders must reject all campaign support from groups like PDA and media support from publications like Salon.
Failing to do so will be seen for what it is: his quiet consent to use racism as a campaign weapon.