Trayvon Martin’s Mom Takes Aim At Sanders’ “Ghetto” Comment For Clinton Campaign

During Sunday’s Democratic debate in Detroit, Bernie Sanders slipped up in a major way when he was asked what his racial blind spots were. He started by talking about the day-to-day discrimination and terror that black communities face, but went on to say:

When you’re white, you don’t know what it’s like to be living in a ghetto. You don’t know what it’s like to be poor. You don’t know what it’s like to be hassled when you walk down the street or you get dragged out of a car.”

The comment baffled a lot of viewers (All white people don’t know what it’s like to be poor? All black people know what it’s like to live in a “ghetto”?), and tried to clarify the statement to NBC, saying:

What I meant to say is when you talk about ghettos traditionally, what you’re talking about is African-American communities. I think many white people are not aware of the kinds of pressures and the kind of police oppression that sometimes takes place within the African-American community.”

But the equivalence of “ghetto” and “African-American community” just served to set Sanders back again. Hillary Clinton’s campaign has taken advantage of the backlash against his comment by sending out a press release condemning Sanders’ position on gun control and featuring statements from Trayvon Martin and Davis McBath’s mothers, Sybrina Fulton and Lucia McBath, both of whom endorsed Clinton in January. In the release, Fulton describes the problem with Sanders’ comments as she sees it:

“We need a president who understands Black families don’t all live in ghettos – and who has a plan to end the racial violence that too often plagues families like mine – not someone who says that ‘guns from Vermont are not the same thing as guns in Chicago’ because they are not ‘used for kids in gangs killing other kids or people shooting at police officers.’ Hillary Clinton is the only candidate who doesn’t reduce our community to a caricature, which is a key reason why she must be our next president.”

The position Sanders took on gun control was that gun manufacturers shouldn’t be held legally responsible for the actions of gun users, much the same way Buck Knives can’t be sued if someone uses their knives to assault or murder someone else. The attack on Sanders’ gun control position from the Clinton campaign is a little opportunist and out-of-context, in other words — but so have Sanders’ attacks on Clinton and her husband.

Democratic primaries in Michigan and Mississippi take place today, in both of which states Clinton has maintained a commanding lead over Sanders in the polls.


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