Fight the power: Public Enemy joins forces with Bernie Sanders

Nii Ntreh Feb 27, 2020 at 04:00pm

February 27, 2020 at 04:00 pm | News, Opinions & Features

Nii Ntreh

Nii Ntreh | Staff Writer

February 27, 2020 at 04:00 pm | News, Opinions & Features

Surprisingly, the announcement of Public Enemy's support of Bernie Sanders has divided opinions on social media.

Legendary hip-hop group, Public Enemy, will headline a concert for Bernie Sanders in southern California on Sunday, March 1, the Sanders presidential campaign announced on Wednesday.

The Los Angeles Convention Center is the venue for the event that will also see comedians and fellow Bernie Sanders supporters, Sarah Silverman and Dick van Dyke.

Although it was not said in the announcement, there may also be appearances from some of Sanders’ big names in Hollywood.

Public Enemy becomes the latest African-American rap individual or group who have intimated their support of Sanders for the presidency in 2016 and/or 2020.

That list includes Killer Mike, T.I., Bun B, Lil Yachty, Cardi B, Anderson Paak and Boots Riley.

In the last few days too, senior civil rights figures, Rev. Jesse Jackson and Rev. Al Sharpton, have also talked up the merits of voting for Sanders.

At a National Action Network (NAN) event in South Carolina on Wednesday, Rev. Sharpton said of Sanders’ presidential bid, “They accused Dr. King of being a communist.”

“Every major leader in the 60s they tried to call socialist or communist. Whatever you decide to do on Saturday, do not go by those that use the ‘socialist’ tag to try to separate us from what we need to do for this country… And we are not that stupid to allow you to tell us who is what.”

On his part, Rev. Jackson, a man whose own presidential bid was supported by Sanders in 1988, said of Sanders’ politics, “What Sanders represents is not the left-wing. It’s the moral center.”

Rev. Jackson was, however, not enthusiastic about Joe Biden, who Jackson described as politician on the “right wing”.

In spite of what seems like a conjunction in opinions from black artistes and civil rights activists, there are a few African-Americans who do not delight in the support Sanders has gained.

Like some who took to Twitter to confront Chuck D of Public Enemy:

Sanders’ rise to popularity among African-Americans has been rocky. In 2015, he was chided for failure to understand the nature of systemic racism although he preached economic justice.

Currently, the Vermont senator is leading in national poll among African-Americans, according to a Reuters/Ipsos national poll released on Tuesday.

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