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Popular black radio host wants to know: Why are black Democrats supporting the most racist candidates in South Carolina?


Interesting question

Heidi Gutman via Getty Images

Charlamagne Tha God is a host of "The Breakfast Club," a nationally syndicated radio show with a large black audience that broadcasts out of New York City. But he was born in the small town of Moncks Corner, South Carolina, and he has a question for Democratic voters in his home state: Why are you supporting the candidates with the most racist policies?

Charlamagne, during a segment on CNN's "Erin Burnett OutFront," was referring to former Vice President Joe Biden and former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, both of whom have some problematic racial policies and comments in their past.

"Old black people in South Carolina do love Joe Biden, but I would have to ask black voters the question — why do the old white men who have the most racist legislation toward black people, why are they the top two front-runners when it comes to black support? Joe Biden and Bloomberg."

A recent Quinnipiac poll has Biden leading with black voters in South Carolina at 27 percent, followed by Bloomberg at 22 percent.

Charlamagne said he believes Biden's success has been due to the "Barack Obama effect," which is somewhat wearing off now that black voters are looking more closely at Biden's record.

Bloomberg secured an endorsement from Steve Benjamin, the mayor of Columbia, South Carolina, and the first black person to hold that office — even though Bloomberg is completely skipping the South Carolina primary in order to invest in Super Tuesday states.

"Mike Bloomberg, he's a doer, he's not a talker," Benjamin told the Washington Post. "He puts his money where his mouth is, and he's shown a willingness to take on some of the most challenging issues of our time. He's not [un]willing to take the tough fight, so, that's why I'm in. That's why I'm in."

Biden has tried to apologize for his role in writing a now-controversial 1994 crime bill that established harsh sentencing guidelines and disproportionately impacted minority communities. He's also spoken a bit too kindly about segregationist lawmakers he has worked with in the past.

Bloomberg is well known for his execution of stop-and-frisk policing, which reached its peak in New York City under his watch. Stop-and-frisk is widely criticized for being used to target minorities and for reinforcing stereotypes about black and brown people as criminals — something Bloomberg has explicitly endorsed.

That doesn't mean these two politicians can't recover from those past beliefs or policies, but they do need to work to make them right, Charlamagne believes.

"The best apology for Biden or Bloomberg is, to me, a black agenda," Charlamagne said. "The same way that they sat around and they systemically created things to oppress and marginalize black people, they should sit around with some black folks and create a black agenda that will help uplift those same communities they once hurt."


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