At CNN's Democratic debate on Sunday, moderator Don Lemon asked Bernie Sanders what his racial blind spots are. But Sanders's response was perhaps a bit more revealing than he intended.
In his response, Sanders suggested that white people "don't know what it's like to be living in a ghetto and to be poor" — a response that also seemed to characterize all minority Americans as impoverished.
Journalist Joy Reid quickly criticized the line on Twitter:
Not sure how the Sanders line that white people in America "don't know what it's like to live in the ghetto" will land. #DemDebate— Joy Reid (@JoyAnnReid) March 7, 2016
Of course, many white Americans know exactly what it's like to "live in the ghetto." Many, including immigrants have, do and did.— Joy Reid (@JoyAnnReid) March 7, 2016
And most African-Americans are not poor. The AA poverty rate is too high, of course, at about 28%, but that's not most or all.— Joy Reid (@JoyAnnReid) March 7, 2016
As 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.