Famed Atlantic writer Ta-Nehisi Coates finally confessed to whom he’s supporting in the Democratic primary. It seems the MacArthur Genius Grant recipient is feeling the Bern.
"I will be voting for Sen. Sanders," Coates told host Amy Goodman on Democracy Now.
Coates said he was initially avoiding the question, hoping to separate his role as a writer from his views as a private citizen, but no longer saw value in staying neutral. He said his son, who was present for the interview, convinced him to reach that point.
But that said, I'm not "endorsing" anyone. I'm voting for who I'm voting for (Sen. Sanders.)— Ta-Nehisi Coates (@tanehisicoates) February 10, 2016
Coates’s move to support Sanders might come as a surprise after he criticized Sanders last month in a series of articles for demurring on a question about reparations for the descendants of enslaved Americans, an idea that Coates initially put forward in an Atlantic article.
At a Brown & Black Democratic presidential forum in Iowa, Sanders told the moderator that reparations "would be very divisive." Coates fired back that it seemed odd that Sanders, who has pitched many impossible policy ideas, thinks reparations might be a bridge too far.
Though he disagreed with Sanders on that issue, Coates told Goodman that from a liberal perspective, Sanders still better represented his views than Hillary Clinton, whom he faulted for accepting large speaking fees and formerly backing tough-on-crime legislation.
Sanders won the New Hampshire primary in a 22-point rout over Clinton on Tuesday, but his next tests come in Nevada and South Carolina, where black and Latino voters make up a much larger proportion of the electorate. Thus far, Sanders has been lagging among these groups.