DNC Strategist James Carville Calls Reparations Goofy, Says Democrats Just Need To Give Speeches At Black Churches

Written by Dana Sanchez
The African-American vote is central to the upcoming presidential election, but nominating Democratic Socialist Sen. Bernie Sanders is not what African American voters want, according to Democratic strategist James Carville. Carville addresses the Florida Democratic Party’s annual Jefferson-Jackson fundraising gala, July 20, 2002, in Fort Lauderdale (AP Photo/J. Pat Carter)

The African-American vote is central to the upcoming presidential election, but nominating Democratic Socialist Sen. Bernie Sanders is not what African American voters want, according to Democratic strategist James Carville.

Carville has attracted a lot of attention in the last few days for railing against Sanders as the Democrats’ choice to beat Donald Trump, Mediaite reported. 

African American voters aren’t interested in “foolishness” like revolution and socialism, Carville said during MSNBS’s Morning Joe show. “They’re interested in somebody that’s going to come to them and articulate a vision as to how they fit into this country.”

Politics should be about “coalitions” and tackling issues, Carville said, not about being an “ideologue” or talking about “reparations or any kind of goofy left-wing thing out there.”

African Americans are “looking for somebody that can come in and not just excite them, but talk about things that really matter to them in everyday life,” Carville said in the Morning Joe interview, according to Newsmax

Carville co-hosted a 2002 discussion on “Crossfire” with co-host Tucker Carlson in which they discussed reparations and whether to compensate the descendants of slaves for centuries of free labor. They interviewed University of Maryland political scientist Ron Walters and David Horowitz from the Center of the Study of Popular Culture.

Walters was an author, speaker and scholar of African-American politics. Horowitz, a political activist, co-founded the conservative foundation 1988. It has since been renamed the David Horowitz Freedom Center.

The country already paid a huge price to end slavery, Horowitz said. “There was no American government in 1619. There wasn’t one until 1776 or 1787. And that American government announced that, you know, all men are created equal, and the country was torn apart. And we paid a huge price not only to end slavery in America but in the whole Western Hemisphere and across the Atlantic.”

However, the government protected slavery, Carville said.

“We do know that from the beginning of the Constitution up until secession, that the government of the United States protected slavery as the institution, fostered it, set rules for it and everything else. That we know, don’t we?” Carville said.

Carville said he’s worried that if Trump gets reelected, “I don’t think we can make it, I really don’t.”

“Look at the way people in this country are talking to each other,” Carville said. “Look at our relationships around the world. Look at the fact that the budget deficit is soaring and 3.5 percent unemployment. The country can’t continue like this and it has to have an alternative.”

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Carville suggested that Sanders’ engaged and passionate base of support is cultish. “There’s a certain part of the Democratic Party that wants us to be a cult,” he said on MSNBC. “I’m not interested in being in a cult…I’m not a very culty person.”

Politics means being able to understand what’s going on in America, Carville said. “It means being able to go into an African American church and give a speech and relate to people and not talk about reparations or any kind of goofy leftwing thing out there.”

“Talk about baby bonds,” Carville suggested as an alternative to discussing reparations. “You can do that. That’s a great idea.”

New Jersey Sen. Booker introduced baby bonds in the Senate in October 2018 and it had no other sponsors. He reintroduced it in August 2019 with Rep. Ayanna Pressley (D-MA) as a sponsor to introduce companion legislation in the House, Boston.com reported.

The legislation — the American Opportunity Accounts Act — would give every American child $1,000 at birth. Each year, children would receive up to $2,000 more deposited in their American Opportunity Account, depending on family income. These funds would sit in a federally insured account managed by the Treasury Department, achieving 3 percent interest. Account-holders would access the money at age 18 and use the funds only for qualified purposes such as homeownership and higher education — “the kind of human and financial capital investments that change life trajectories,” — Rep. Pressley said in a press release.

On reparations, Sanders has insisted “there are better ways” to help Black communities “than just writing out a check.”

Sanders denies that he has rejected reparations. However, unlike former Vice President Joe Biden, Sanders is willing to talk about it. “I am on Cory Booker’s bill in the Senate, which looks at reparations,” Sanders said. “I’m a co-sponsor of that. Strong co-sponsor of that.”