MSNBC’s Joy Reid Sets Bernie Straight: Lots of Americans Know What It’s Like to Live in Ghettos

One of the most powerful moments from Sunday’s CNN Democratic Debate came when the candidates were asked to answer questions about race and white privilege. Both expressed their empathy and acknowledged their privilege saying that they could not fully understand the experience that African Americans face. But after Senator Bernie Sanders told a story about watching a friend and colleague experience the everyday racism and discrimination from cab drivers he said the phrase “when you’re white you don’t know what it’s like to be living in a ghetto…” Understandably, Twitter exploded with a barrage of frustration.


Most notably, MSNBC reporter Joy Reid took to Twitter to explain to the rest of the world that not all black people are poor or live in ghettos and that the experience of living in a ghetto isn’t unique to only black people.

[[{"type":"media","view_mode":"media_original","fid":"608337","attributes":{"alt":"","class":"media-image","height":"591","typeof":"foaf:Image","width":"492"}}]]

[[{"type":"media","view_mode":"media_original","fid":"608338","attributes":{"alt":"","class":"media-image","height":"610","typeof":"foaf:Image","width":"494"}}]]

Others agreed with Reid’s assessment.

[[{"type":"media","view_mode":"media_original","fid":"608339","attributes":{"alt":"","class":"media-image","height":"589","typeof":"foaf:Image","width":"493"}}]]

[[{"type":"media","view_mode":"media_original","fid":"608340","attributes":{"alt":"","class":"media-image","height":"610","typeof":"foaf:Image","width":"498"}}]]

[[{"type":"media","view_mode":"media_original","fid":"608341","attributes":{"alt":"","class":"media-image","height":"179","typeof":"foaf:Image","width":"490"}}]]

The New York Times liveblog also addressed the issue with Maggie Haberman saying while it is a far cry from Donald Trump’s “the blacks” it also wasn’t a “great moment” for Sanders. Alan Rappeport agreed saying “older candidates have to watch out for phrases that were seen as less controversial decades ago.” He also predicted the mainstream media would ignore that it happened.

Hillary Clinton, by contrast, responded similarly to Sanders but avoided the landmine of using the outdated language. “I think being a white person in the United States of America, I know that I have never had the experience that so many people, the people in this audience have had. And I think it’s incumbent upon me and what I have been trying to talk about during this campaign is to urge white people to think about what it is like to have “the talk” with your kids, scared that your sons or daughters, even, could get in trouble for no good reason whatsoever like Sandra Bland and end up dead in a jail in Texas."

#story_page_ below_article

Understand the importance of honest news ?

So do we.

The past year has been the most arduous of our lives. The Covid-19 pandemic continues to be catastrophic not only to our health - mental and physical - but also to the stability of millions of people. For all of us independent news organizations, it’s no exception.

We’ve covered everything thrown at us this past year and will continue to do so with your support. We’ve always understood the importance of calling out corruption, regardless of political affiliation.

We need your support in this difficult time. Every reader contribution, no matter the amount, makes a difference in allowing our newsroom to bring you the stories that matter, at a time when being informed is more important than ever. Invest with us.

Make a one-time contribution to Alternet All Access, or click here to become a subscriber. Thank you.

Click to donate by check.

DonateDonate by credit card
Donate by Paypal

Don't Sit on the Sidelines of History. Join Alternet All Access and Go Ad-Free. Support Honest Journalism.