This time around is going to be a lot tougher for Bernie Sanders than his first foray into national politics in 2016. Sanders, no longer just a curiosity, is actually being held accountable by left-wing voters who have considerably more options this time out.

Evidence that the struggle is real for Bernado came last night in Houston as he faced heckling, booing, jeering and just plain rejection from a spirited crowd at the She The People Forum devoted to women of color. Black women went strong for Hillary Clinton in 2016 and there is no reason to believe they are ready to hop on the Bernie bus anytime soon.

Faced with questions about white supremacy, the 77-year-old white guy from the whitest little state in the union slipped into comfortable memories about marching with Martin Luther King in 1963 and his endorsement in 1988 of Democrat presidential candidate Jesse Jackson. The familiar tales were devoid of any evidence that Sanders intended to address the questions at hand, which drew moans, groans, and catcalls from the ladies.

Bernie eventually passed on the question in frustration.

The inability of Bernie Sanders to respond or even understand an issue important to his audience underscores the problem facing the Democrat party right now. Their leading candidates are all old, white folks who appear largely out of step with today's voters.

Unless you are 60-ish, you have no first-hand memory of Dr. King or the March on Washington in 1963. Your understanding of "the struggle" is considerably different, as are your grievances. Now, I think this whole white supremacy/white privilege thing is a crock, but voters that decide Bernie's fate apparently disagree.

Politics is a "what have you done for me lately" business, and at least according to the audience of African-American women Bernie addressed in Houston last night are concerned, the answer to that question is not much.

Barry Richard is the host of The Barry Richard Show on 1420 WBSM New Bedford. He can be heard weekdays from noon to 3 p.m. Contact him at and follow him on Twitter @BarryJRichard58. The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of the author.

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