Politics

Ex-Sanders Spokeswoman: We Don't Need A White Leader

| by Robert Fowler

Symone Sanders, former press secretary of Independent Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont when he had mounted a presidential bid, is skeptical that several of the Caucasian men vying for the Democratic National Committee chairmanship are representative of the party's coalition.

On Nov. 23, Sanders stated that she believes the next DNC chair should be an ethnic minority.

"In my opinion, we don't need white people leading the Democratic Party right now," Sanders told CNN.

The former spokeswoman added, "The Democratic Party is diverse, and it should be reflected as so in our leadership and throughout the staff at the highest levels from the vice chairs to the secretaries all the way down to the people working in the offices at the DNC."

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Following the Nov. 8 presidential election, Democrats have been scrambling to determine who will become the next DNC chair and help move the bruised party forward.

Former Democratic Gov. Martin O'Malley of Maryland and Democratic Party Chairman Jaime Harrison of South Carolina have thrown their names in for consideration, but Sanders' stance would dismiss them as more of the same, both racially and politically.

Sanders' comments would likely be categorized as a call to identity politics, an approach that was recently blasted by her former boss, Sen. Bernie Sanders.

On Nov. 20, Sen. Sanders called for the Democratic Party to be less concerned with identity representation during a discussion with students in Boston, Massachusetts.

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"One of the struggles that you're going to be seeing in the Democratic Party is whether we go beyond identity politics," Sen. Sanders said, according to Vox.

"I think it's a step forward in America if you have an African-American head or CEO of some major corporation," Sanders continued. "But you know what? If that guy is going to be shipping jobs out of this country and exploiting his workers, it doesn't mean a whole hell of a lot if he's black or white or Latino."

In what has been widely perceived to be a knock against former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, Sen. Sanders said, "It's is not good enough for someone to say, 'I'm a woman! Vote for me!'"

He later added, "What we need is a woman who has the guts to stand up to Wall Street, to the insurance companies, to the drug companies."

Sen. Sanders is backing Democratic Rep. Keith Ellison of Minnesota, an African-American Muslim, for the DNC chairmanship, according to NBC News. Former DNC chair Howard Dean has also thrown his hat into the ring, touting his past record of successfully getting Democrats elected.

Symone Sanders is against Dean's return, asserting that he is not aligned with young people and racial minorities.

"I want to hear more from everybody," Sanders said, CNN reports. "I'm here for the millennials and the brown folks."

Meanwhile, officials associated with President Barack Obama's inner circle hope Labor Secretary Thomas Perez makes a bid for the DNC chair.

"He's very connected to the experience of everyday working-class people, and he has a connection to immigrant communities, as well," former Obama strategist David Axelrod told The New York Times. "He comes to this with a lot of assets if he were to step forward."

Perez has yet to announce if he will run for the job.

Sources: CNN, NBC NewsThe New York Times, Vox / Photo Credit: Gage Skidmore/Flickr

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