MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WBTW) – While visiting the Grand Strand before the South Carolina primary on Saturday, several Democratic candidates for President discussed their plans for poverty, especially among African Americans.
The U.S. Census Bureau says Dillon, Marlboro and Marion counties are among the top 10 poorest counties in the state. Those three counties are also around 50% Black or African American, so News13’s Chris Spiker asked Sen. Bernie Sanders and former Vice President Joe Biden about how they would address the issues in our communities.
Sen. Sanders says his economic policies will aim to raise African Americans out of poverty.
“We’re going to raise the minimum wage to $15 an hour, which will impact African Americans, but every worker in this country,” said Sen. Sanders. “We’re going to make public colleges and universities tuition-free and cancel all student debt.”
Former VP Biden says he agrees with a proposal by a high-profile endorser of his, Rep. Jim Clyburn, D-South Carolina, which is called the 10-20-30 plan.
“Invest first in the poorest counties that, in fact, have been avoided and they haven’t had investment for over 10 years,” Biden said. “Focus on the counties that are in the worst shape in America.”
During his meet-and-greet at Nacho Hippo on Wednesday, businessman Tom Steyer said he’ll address the U.S.’s history of racism and how it continues today.
“It’s criminal justice, it’s housing, it’s education,” Steyer said. “It really goes across American society. That’s why I’m for reparations for slavery.”
Candidates have told voters in other parts of South Carolina, as well as in Super Tuesday states, how they’d face issues affecting people of color.
“When it comes to marijuana, we have seen the racial disparities in arrests and sentencing,” said former mayor Pete Buttigieg in Charleston on Friday. “That is why I think we need to end incarceration when it comes to simple possession of drugs.”
“I will have an Attorney General and a Department of Justice that treats white supremacy as the domestic terrorists that they are,” said Sen. Elizabeth Warren in San Antonio, Texas, on Thursday.
Nonwhite voters make up about 30% of people registered in South Carolina and African Americans are estimated to account for roughly 60% of voters in the Democratic primary.