Sanders' Remark on 'Ghetto' Causes a Stir

Suggests white people don't know what it's like to be poor
By Newser Editors,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 6, 2016 10:06 PM CST
Bernie Sanders makes a point during the debate.   (AP Photo/Carlos Osorio)

(Newser) – It seems the line from Sunday night's debate causing the biggest amount of buzz on social media came from Bernie Sanders when talking about race in America. After Hillary Clinton said that she, as a white person, has "never had the experience" of so many African-Americans in regard to discrimination, Sanders tried to amplify the point:

  • "When you are 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 are walking down a street or dragged out of a car." (Here's the video.)

His use of the word "ghetto" in particular had critics in motion:

  • "Saying 'ghetto' is ... not a great moment," writes Maggie Haberman on the New York Times debate blog. "It's also not that far off from Trump saying 'the blacks.'"
  • "He knows that all Black people don't live in ghettos, right?" tweets Jonathan Capehart of the Washington Post.
  • But it wasn't all bad: The Hill notes that Black Lives Matter activist DeRay McKesson was sympathetic. "Besides Bernie's comment about 'living in the ghetto,' I thought his answer re: white privilege was solid," he tweets.
  • "As (journalist Joy) Reid suggested, it's true that black Americans disproportionately suffer from poverty. But it's just not true that all minorities' experience is defined by poverty," writes German Lopez at Vox.
(Read more ghetto stories.)

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