American actor and political activist Danny Glover threw his support behind U.S. presidential candidate Bernie Sanders, a move that could enhance the Vermont senator’s support among black voters.
Glover, who is also best known for his role in the “Lethal Weapon movies,” wrote in The Huffington Post on Thursday that Sanders’ “campaign is a mass justice movement” and his “presidency could serve the policy interests of the Black community.”
“Sanders has put forth the most coherent policy changes to achieve full employment,” said Glover. “His economic class-based proposals for change could have great benefits for unemployed and underemployed Americans — especially African-Americans because most Black people in this country are working class and a disproportionate number are poor.”
He emphasized that the senator’s proposals, including free tuition at public universities, expanding Social Security benefits, raising the minimum wage to $15, universal health care and a youth jobs program, “are not only feasible but needed and popular.”
“We must change our national priorities, away from the endless overseas wars that are the main cause of terrorism — therefore begetting more war — and invest in the education of our children and youth,” Glover added. “Here, too, Sanders shows a clear contrast with his opponent, who voted for the Iraq War and has continued since then to advocate a more belligerent foreign policy than that of President Obama.”
The endorsement comes as Sanders has been trying to make inroads with African-Americans before the Democratic presidential nomination contests move into more diverse states such as South Carolina, where he significantly trails Hillary Clinton in polls. And even though Sanders has a long history in the civil rights movement, he has acknowledged that he is not known in the African-American community, a crucial constituency for Democrats.
Meanwhile, Sanders also picked up an endorsement on Friday from Benjamin Jealous, former NAACP president. In September 2008, Jealous made history as the youngest person to lead the civil rights group.
He told reporters on a conference call that Sanders is a “trustworthy candidate” who has the “best plan” to end mass incarceration and the “courage” to confront “institution racism.” Jealous also highlighted Sanders’ opposition to the death penalty as a reason he is supporting him.
NBC News 2016 Campaign Embed Danny Freeman contributed.