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 SandersSchiff blasts Trump for making 'false claims' about Russia intel: 'You've betrayed America. Again.' Buttigieg campaign claims 'irregularities' in Nevada caucuses Poll: Sanders leads 2020 Democratic field with 28 percent, followed by Warren and Biden MORE’s (I-Vt.) presidential campaign said that former Vice President Joe BidenJoe BidenButtigieg campaign claims 'irregularities' in Nevada caucuses Poll: Sanders leads 2020 Democratic field with 28 percent, followed by Warren and Biden More than 6 in 10 expect Trump to be reelected: poll 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 John TrumpSchiff blasts Trump for making 'false claims' about Russia intel: 'You've betrayed America. Again.' Poll: Sanders leads 2020 Democratic field with 28 percent, followed by Warren and Biden More than 6 in 10 expect Trump to be reelected: poll MORE,” Turner wrote.

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“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 HillClarence Thomas breaks his silence in theaters nationwide Anita Hill to Iowa crowd: 'Statute of limitations' for Biden apology is 'up' Sanders campaign official: Biden 'actively courted pro-segregation senators' to block black students from white schools MORE when she accused then-Supreme Court nominee Clarence ThomasClarence ThomasClarence Thomas breaks his silence in theaters nationwide First, we'll neuter all the judges Supreme Court allows Trump administration to move forward with 'public charge' rule 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.

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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 Devi HarrisClyburn: Biden 'suffered' from not doing 'enough' in early debates Sanders is a risk, not a winner House to vote on legislation to make lynching a federal hate crime 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.