Sanders campaign official: Biden 'actively courted pro-segregation senators' to block black students from white schools

Sanders campaign official: Biden 'actively courted pro-segregation senators' to block black students from white schools
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An official with Sen. Bernie SandersBernie SandersOn The Money: Democrats deals to bolster support for relief bill | Biden tries to keep Democrats together | Retailers fear a return of the mask wars Democrats cut deals to bolster support for relief bill Hillicon Valley: High alert as new QAnon date approaches Thursday | Biden signals another reversal from Trump with national security guidance | Parler files a new case MORE’s (I-Vt.) presidential campaign said that former Vice President Joe BidenJoe BidenThe West needs a more collaborative approach to Taiwan Abbott's medical advisers were not all consulted before he lifted Texas mask mandate House approves George Floyd Justice in Policing Act MORE “actively courted pro-segregation senators” to block black students from white schools.

Nina Turner, the Sanders’s campaign national co-chair, said African American voters have a “consequential decision to make” when deciding between the top two frontrunners, in an op-ed in The State, a newspaper based in Columbia, S.C.

“By supporting a racial justice champion like Sanders — and his popular progressive agenda — black Americans will forge a multiracial, multigenerational working-class alliance that will generate the high turnout necessary to beat President Donald TrumpDonald TrumpHouse passes voting rights and elections reform bill DEA places agent seen outside Capitol during riot on leave Georgia Gov. Kemp says he'd 'absolutely' back Trump as 2024 nominee MORE,” Turner wrote.


“In standing with Sanders over Biden, we will declare that we are not going backward — we are going forward into a future of empowerment and equality for all,” she added.

The former Ohio state senator contrasted Biden and Sanders throughout her piece, saying that Biden started his career with personal letters to pro-segregation senators to support legislation preventing black students from attending schools with white students. She wrote that Sanders instead began his career protesting in desegregation movements.

Turner also condemned Biden for his treatment of Anita HillAnita Faye HillMore than 1,000 Black women urge Biden to appoint more Black female Cabinet members The overlooked significance Kamala Harris brought to the Biden-Harris ticket Anita Hill says she'll vote for Biden MORE when she accused then-Supreme Court nominee Clarence ThomasClarence ThomasVernon Jordan: an American legend, and a good friend Kavanaugh dismays conservatives by dodging pro-Trump election lawsuits Laurence Tribe: Justice Thomas is out of order on 2020 election MORE of sexual harassment. 

She criticized the vice president’s earlier ideas surrounding welfare reform, crime reform and economics as a Delaware senator, saying that Sanders was on the right side of history by disapproving of Biden’s approaches. 

“And today the differences between Biden and Sanders remain stark,” she wrote, citing their views on marijuana legalization, Medicare for All and student loan forgiveness.


The op-ed was published in one of the early voting states with a high amount of African American voters. So far in polls, Biden has maintained a plurality of African American support and the lead in South Carolina.

Sen. Kamala HarrisKamala HarrisMichelle Obama says 'everyone was concerned' about potential violence at Biden inauguration Ella Emhoff, inauguration designer join forces on knitwear collaboration Who is the Senate parliamentarian and why is she important? MORE (D-Calif.) targeted Biden in the first presidential debate for his opposition to busing in the 1970s. Biden at the time called the senator's comments a "mischaracterization" of his views, saying he took issue with the Department of Education managing the busing policies.

Harris saw increased support after the first debate, but dropped out of the presidential race after it lagged.

In 1974, Sanders told the Middlebury College campus newspaper that he believed busing risked producing racial hostility where it didn't previously exist.

"The government doesn't give a shit about black people," he said.

--This report was updated at 1:24 p.m.