I do not know what role African-Americans should play in the current presidential campaign, or even if there is such a thing as "the African American role." That's part of the question I want to raise. It's a question about history, about how history will look back at the current election, and how the role of African-Americans might be perceived.
Many thus call for a revolution, though there are at least two different camps here. The more radical protesters believe that neither the Republicans nor the Democrats nor any other political party is currently able to represent their interests. They would protest the process completely rather than try to establish a voice for themselves within the party system. Others believe that Bernie Sanders can represent their interests, even though he has been criticized for putting economic issues ahead of racial issues, and even reducing the latter to the former. While Bernie is running as a Democratic candidate, he is still an Independent Senator and does not claim allegiance with the Democratic Party. He criticizes it every chance he can, and refuses to help raise money for down-ballot Democratic politicians. He thus offers the paradox of an anti-establishment option within the party system.
White Americans tend not to think in terms of how White America is represented in politics, and whether or not White people are given a political voice. African-Americans have never enjoyed that privilege. For half a century, they have developed a stronger and stronger political voice through the Democratic Party. Any threat to that party is therefore a threat to their political voice. If Bernie Sanders ends up hurting the party, or transforming it in ways that minimize their presence, the consequences for African-American politics is enormous.