Daniel Greenfield, a Shillman Journalism Fellow at the Freedom Center, is an investigative journalist and writer focusing on the radical Left and Islamic terrorism.
Senator Bernie Sanders lives in a $476,000 colonial in Burlington VT. The house in New North End is one of three homes that he and his wife own. Burlington VT is 85% white and less than 5% black. Unlike the Old North End, which is diverse, the New North End has an older and more conservative population. The average household income is $80,000, and a number of the elected officials have been Republicans.
Despite Bernie’s socialist image, he chose to live in a white conservative suburban neighborhood where lefties are only slowly beginning to make inroads as younger couples start to move into the area.
Bernie’s vacation place in North Hero, Vermont, by Lake Champlain, is over 97% white and only 0.25% black. His 1890 rowhouse in Washington D.C.’s Stanton Park is in a somewhat more diverse area.
Why invest in a home so close to Capitol Hill? Because Bernie expects to be in the Senate for life.
Senator Elizabeth Warren lives in a $3.5 million Victorian home a few blocks from Harvard Square built in 1890. Cambridge is 82% white and Asian, and 10% black. Half the population has an MA or a PhD.
Neighborhood Nine or Radcliffe, where Warren lives, is even whiter than Cambridge in general.
Her home is a four-hour drive away from Bernie’s. And it’s a long way from the foreclosed Oklahoma homes that she was buying and flipping to make a profit.
Once Warren arrived in Washington D.C., she also quickly bought into the real estate market, expecting to stay around for a while. Her $800,000 condo in Penn Quarter puts her close to the National Mall and has an 8% African-American population in a city that is otherwise some 47% black.
And then there’s Joe Biden. Or, as he likes to call himself, “Middle Class Joe”.
One of Middle-Class Joe’s earliest homes was a 1723 estate sprawling over three acres formerly owned by a member of the Du Pont family. His current four acre spread in Greenville is in an area that is 85% white and less than 5% black. That’s the home he owns. In reality, Biden lives in McLean, in a $6 million miniature version of the White House with crystal chandeliers, a home theater, and parking for 20 cars.
The McLean area of Virginia is 71% white and less than 2% black.
Finally, Biden has a $3 million six-bedroom vacation home in Rehoboth Beach with a view of the Atlantic Ocean, 3 indoor fireplaces, and a dog shower. Rehoboth Beach boasts 7 black residents. That’s not a percentage. It’s 7 black people. (But that’s still more black people than are supporting Buttigieg.)
For all their ideological battles, there’s a cozy New England inbreeding to the top three Democrats in the race. All three candidates live within driving distance of each other. Even if some of the drives might be longer. They’re all savvy real estate investors, even if they inveigh against capitalism and the free market, whose net worth was boosted by buying, selling, and even flipping houses at the right time.
The Democrats are an urban and coastal political party, but their ruling class is less fond of big cities. While their political machines may control major cities, their actual elites live in smaller upper-class bicoastal communities with vacation homes that take them even further away from those they rule.
While a quarter of Democrat primary voters are black, Sanders, Warren, and Biden live in areas that are far less diverse than the party they are competing to represent. And in a primary season that has seen a debate about busing, it’s very clear that diversity is a policy they advocate, not a reality that they live.
“I am really concerned about the growing segregation — once again — the resegregation of communities all over this country,” Bernie Sanders claimed. And suggested that, “Busing is one tool.”
“I’m already on record on busing and using busing as a way to help communities that are diversifying,” Warren has said more ambiguously.
But does Bernie living in places that are less than 5% or 0.25% black make him a segregationist?
That’s what the Democrat front-runners who live in New England enclaves with few black people, insist.
Warren’s journey took her from Oklahoma City to Houston, fairly diverse cities, to White Meadow Lake, New Jersey. While she taught at Rutgers Law School in Newark, a majority black city, she lived in an 89% white and less than 2% black community. Even as she grew politically radicalized, migrating from the GOP to the Democrats and then their farthest leftiest fringe, Warren ran away from diversity.
Bernie Sanders grew up in Brooklyn, a borough that is 1/3rd white and 1/3rd black, which he traded in for Vermont. His old Midwood neighborhood still has a Jewish population, but the Orthodox Jews and Russian immigrants who live there tend to be conservative and are unlikely to vote for the socialist.
If Bernie was concerned about segregation, why didn’t he return to Brooklyn, instead of Vermont?
Warren and Bernie’s journey was not toward diversity, but away from it. Their idea of a good life involved finding New England enclaves far from the more diverse places they had come from.
There’s no way to know if these choices were racially deliberate or coincidental. But that’s not a benefit of the doubt that either of them are willing to extend, either in rhetoric or in policy, to ordinary people.
Sanders and Warren are quick to accuse other people of racism, but their own life choices suggest that what they really wanted out of life was to live out a 19th century American lifestyle in New England.
With as little diversity as they could manage.
That’s their choice and it’s also their hypocrisy.
The Democrat leadership isn’t just out of touch with the country, but with their own voters. Sanders, Biden, and Warren represent the hypocrisy of a party divided between middle class suburbanites and urban voters. The leadership, Warren, Sanders, and Biden live in comfortable wealthy enclaves far from the misery that the political machines they head inflict on the inner cities they occasionally visit.
These uncomfortable questions are evaded with heavy doses of class warfare and identity politics.
Warren and Sanders, who are millionaires, rant about the super-rich while buying six figure homes, they denounce white supremacy while living in areas that are whiter than anything in Jim Crow territory.
And Joe Biden somehow commands the black vote while living in a place that is less than 2% black and vacationing in a place with a grand total of 7 black people. That’s the Democrat’s idea of diversity.
There’s something deeply wrong with the race-baiting of the Democrats and of their hypocrisy about it.
Democrat policies are destructive, but their hypocrisy is also corrosive. In an election where candidates pretend to be authentic by becoming more radical, their hypocrisy reveals their contempt for voters.
Their commitment to diversity is made on someone else’s behalf and at someone else’s expense.
Biden, Sanders, and Warren preach diversity. But if you want to see what they really believe, go look at where they live.