The chart in this article baffles me in regards to favorability among African-American voters:
I get name recognition and certainly Bill Clinton was perceived well in the African-American community. But Sanders was at ground zero during the Civil Rights movement. Sanders is second to none this election in his record on Civil Rights and his influence in African-American lives in this country. He is the /ONLY/ candidate that can boast this kind of record on human freedom.
1) Member of the Congress on Racial Equality (CORE)
2) Member of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC)
3) Participated in the March on Washington
4) Arrested for his Desegregation beliefs: Bernie was arrested in 1962 for hanging flyers detailing police brutality against African-Americans
5) Participated in Sit-Ins and other non-violent forms of protest regularly
The above are not the actions of a man not motivated towards equality and freedom for all. Bernie did these at a time when lending your voice to Civil Rights was a hazardous endeavor both politically and physically. There is not another candidate who can tout this record. It’s not even close.
Now let’s look at Bernie’s Racial Justice Plan:
First it is important to identify that Sanders identifies the following forms of racism: Physical, Political, Legal, and Economic
This is an important distinction that Bernie identifies multiple layers needed to be addressed for racial justice. This is a critical first step in building a plan as it addresses not just a piece or two of a larger problem. The scope of the problem and the plan to address these issues needs to be bold.
I urge you to read the more detailed plan on his website but I’ll single out some important distinctions in each category I feel are strong. Without question Bernie has the most detailed and hard-hitting plan of the candidates in addressing racial injustice.
Federally fund and require body cameras on police
De-Militarization of Police Forces
Require public reports on all Police Shootings
Address felony convictions and the right to vote (African-Americans are imprisoned at astronomically higher rates and are disproportionately removed from the voting pool)
Restoring the Voting Rights Act “pre-clearance provision”
Automatic Voter Registration at 18
Polling Station reform (Expanded hours and days / Less wait times)
I quote: “It is an obscenity that we stigmatize so many young Americans with a criminal record for smoking marijuana, but not one major Wall Street executive has been prosecuted for causing the near collapse of our entire economy.”
End Privatized Prisons
Medical and Mental Health Interventions in the Court System
Eliminate Mandatory Minimum Sentencing
Free College Education to All
5.5 Billion dollar Youth Employment Program (Targeting racial youth unemployment and opportunity)
Prevent Employer Discrimination based on Criminal History
Access to Affordable Childcare
There is not another candidate who champions plans like this to address these issues. It’s not even close. I challenge you to find another candidate so willing to tackle and fight for racial equality as Bernie Sanders. Nor will you find a candidate with a better Civil Rights resume in 2016. I’m certainly willing to listen though and be persuaded otherwise.