Senator Bernie Sanders, the Vermont independent making another bid for nomination as the next Democratic presidential candidate, gets a jolt from hecklers during the ‘She the People Presidential Forum.”
She the People, a nationwide network of advocacy groups comprised by women of color, hosted a forum in Houston last Wednesday, featuring eight (8) of the 2020 Democratic presidential candidates. However, young voters coming from Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU) who attended the forum gave Senator Sanders a heckling. They made it clear that they were not thoroughly satisfied with his rousing speeches.
Even before the holding of the forum, students were already of the mindset to hear candidates discuss specific plans for addressing current issues faced by women of color. As one computer science student said prior to the event
I’ve seen the rhetoric, but I haven’t seen the policies.”
What Most African American Students Want to Hear
Mr. Sanders was quite eloquent with his speech, to which he emphasized the importance of party unity in order to succeed in ending Trump’s Administration. He mentioned that Trump’s presidency had worsened racism, homophobia and sexism. He also gave assurance that even if he does not win the nomination, he pledges to give all out support to whoever will be chosen as 2020 presidential candidate.
However, as gave out anecdotes and indirect answers to questions asking for specifics on how he intends to address issues he mentioned, dissatisfaction became evident when the crowd started to boo and heckle.
Someone in the crowd shouted,
“What about black women?”
The question almost went ignored, but was pushed back by one of the forum moderators, Joy Reid of MSNBC. She nudged Sanders into giving a response by restating the heckle to a formal question and as follow up to Sander’s mention of social justice:
“For black women in particular?”
In response, Senator Sanders simply said
“Black women will be an integral part of what our political campaign and what our future administration is about.”
The response only drew more heckling from the dissatisfied crowd.