Daughter Of Late Eric Garner Endorses Bernie Sanders
RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:
Much has been said about the generational divide in this presidential election, especially in the Democratic primary. On college campuses across the country at this moment, students are more likely to feel the Bern than they are to say they're with her. This generational split is also playing out with African-American voters, obviously, another important voting block for Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders.
Our Sam Sanders is in South Carolina, the first primary state with lots of black voters. He will join us in a moment - but first, the Garner family. You know the name. Eric Garner was the black man who died at the hands of police in New York in 2014. His last words - I can't breathe - became a rallying cry for the Black Lives Matter movement. His mother and daughter both became activists, speaking out against institutional racism and police brutality.
Last month, Eric Garner's mother Gwen Carr endorsed Hillary Clinton. This past week, Eric Garner's daughter, Erica, endorsed Bernie Sanders. Here's a bit of that video.
(SOUNDBITE OF VIDEO)
ERICA GARNER: I'm behind anyone who's going to listen and speak up for us. And I think we need to believe in a leader like Bernie Sanders.
BERNIE SANDERS: It is not acceptable to me...
MARTIN: Erica Garner joins me now. Thanks so much for talking with us, Erica.
GARNER: Thank you for having me.
MARTIN: Both Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders have talked about the need to reform the country's criminal justice system and to shine a light on police brutality. What is Bernie Sanders doing or saying that makes him your candidate over Hillary Clinton?
GARNER: It's not really about what he's saying. It's about his record. He's been, basically, a protester his whole career. He's not scared to go up against the systematic racism that exists in America today.
MARTIN: Do you understand why your grandmother is supporting Hillary Clinton? I mean, do the two of you talk about it?
GARNER: No. No. But my main concern is Bernie and getting people to fully understand his history and have a open mind. A lot of people know Hillary because she's popular. And Bernie Sanders stood with black people when it wasn't popular. He marched with Martin Luther King. I can't speak on the behalf of my grandmother. But I know that once I did my research on Bernie Sanders, I wanted to support him.
MARTIN: Have you noticed a generational divide? Have you noticed older generations supporting Hillary Clinton and younger people supporting Bernie Sanders?
GARNER: Somewhat. But also, that's why I'm out here. I want our young people, especially our protesters that's putting they bodies on the line to bring racial issues to the forefront, to know that their vote matters.
MARTIN: Although Hillary Clinton has positioned herself as the candidate who can extend the legacy of Barack Obama, that she is best positioned to carry on his policies - you don't see it that way?
GARNER: If you look at her track record, she's been all over the place. And you look at Bernie Sanders, he's been consistent throughout his whole life.
MARTIN: Erica Garner, an activist with the Black Lives Matter movement. Thanks so much for talking with us.
GARNER: Thank you. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.