Posted on August 11, 2020

How Affirmative Action Hurt the Bernie Sanders Campaign

Chris Roberts, American Renaissance, August 11, 2020

On February 22, Bernie Sanders won the Nevada caucus, and many analysts were convinced he would win the Democrat nomination. Six weeks later, he suspended his campaign, ending as a distant second to Joe Biden. Many people have examined his sudden fall, but only one account mentions diversity. Angela Nagle and Michael Tracey, writing in The American Affairs Journal, note that because the 2016 Sanders campaign was criticized for being too white and male, it hired a more “multicultural” staff in 2020.

This badly hurt the campaign in South Carolina, the first state Sen. Sanders lost outright:

Much of the day-to-day logistics of the Sanders South Carolina campaign were run de facto by Nina Turner [a black woman], a talented orator and popular media surrogate, but someone whose skill set was clearly not suited to bolstering the image of a socialist from Vermont among southern black voters. For one thing, Turner’s political background was in metro Cleveland, which provides no necessary insight into best practices for winning over elderly, churchgoing black Democrats in the Deep South.

In November 2019, Turner installed Jessica Bright [another black woman] as state director. Former staff members said Bright, who served as a Hillary Clinton delegate at the 2016 national convention, was hired in large part because her mother had filled the seat of Clementa Pinckney—the state senator killed in the 2015 Charleston church shooting. The idea was that such a transactional arrangement might compel the mother to endorse Sanders. “She couldn’t spell, she couldn’t speak coherently, and her mother ended up endorsing Biden,” one anguished former staffer recalled. Not only did basic tasks go unfulfilled, phone-banking and canvassing data were outright fabricated, multiple former staffers alleged, and sent to the national campaign headquarters to give the false impression of good progress being made in the state. “But you can’t say anything,” one staffer recounted thinking, “be­cause you’d be called a racist.” Communicating rationally with the twenty- and thirtysomething campaign staffers who dominated the South Carolina operation, this person said, was virtually impossible—almost like some kind of impenetrable generational and ideological divide had been erected. “I felt like I was in a daycare facility. These kids were just so clueless, and so full of themselves,” the person lamented. “It was a really dystopian feeling to work there, it was not like anything I’d ever been involved with.”

This staffer also found it “ominous that all of our rallies were attended by white people, even though we had this large black staff . . . We could see that this was a train wreck.”

Nina Turner

Nina Turner (Credit Image: Sara Mossman via Wikimedia)

The allegation that data were “outright fabricated” helps explain why, just before the vote, the Sanders campaign believed it was within four points of Joe Biden. Mr. Biden crushed Sen. Sanders, 48.4 percent to 19.9 percent, with the former vice president winning at least 61 percent of the black vote and perhaps as much as 85 percent. Just as the Left hurts itself by “cancelling” other leftists who break from orthodoxy even mildly — thus creating a class of antognistic “unemployed intellectuals,” the Left also hurts itself by sabotaging its own operations by hiring incompetent non-whites in the name of diversity.