Senator Bernie Sanders (D-Vermont) recently sat down with Cardi B — arguably the most popular rapper in the country right now — and discussed issues important to young Americans.
The Vermont senator had been teasing the release of his conversation with Cardi B, which took place at a nail salon in Detroit, Michigan, for several weeks. On Thursday, his presidential campaign released a 10-minute video in which the Bronx-based rapper asked the 2020 candidate about his platform. Specifically, Cardi B allowed her millions of followers on social media to suggest questions to the Vermont senator, and she conducted an interview with Sanders based on the most popular questions her followers asked.
Both Sanders and Cardi (born Belcalis Marlenis Almánzar) discussed a multitude of issues affecting young people and people of color, like having to work multiple low-wage jobs, the cost of healthcare, and the student debt crisis. But one of the first topics that came up was how Sanders would address police brutality.
According to the NAACP, African Americans are incarcerated at five times the rate of whites. And even though African Americans and Hispanics make up just 32% of the U.S. population, they constitute more than half of the U.S. prison population as of 2015. If black and Latinx people were incarcerated at the same rate as whites, the NAACP estimates that the prison population would drop by roughly 40%.
“Obviously, we need to end all forms of racism in this country, from Donald Trump on down to the local police department. We have something like one out of four young black men in this country end up in the criminal justice system… That is disgusting and beyond belief,” Sanders said, emphasizing that the key was giving young Americans the education and job opportunities they need to have a decent life.
However, the Vermont senator made it clear that, in the event a police officer shoots and kills someone, the federal government would automatically conduct its own investigation. And he added that local police departments should look like “the communities they serve, not like an oppressive army.”
Cardi B's nails are juuuust a little different than mine. Our views on the issues are pretty similar. pic.twitter.com/PhA2wXnkpy
— Bernie Sanders (@BernieSanders) August 15, 2019
While Sanders may be the first 2020 candidate to do an unorthodox sit-down interview with a rapper in a nail salon, it wouldn’t be the first time he’s resorted to unconventional means to reach younger audiences on social media. Last week, Sanders sat down with comedian and UFC commentator Joe Rogan for an hour-long interview on Rogan’s podcast, which is one of the most listened-to podcasts in America. Sanders’ segment with Rogan trended at the overall #1 spot on YouTube for more than a day, and has nearly nine million views in just a week as of this writing.
(Featured image: Twitter/Bernie Sanders campaign)
Tom Cahill is a contributor for Grit Post who covers political and economic news. He lives in Bend, Oregon. Send him an email at tom DOT v DOT cahill AT gmail DOT com.