Bernie Bros - Bernie is white MLK! Bernie fans - Bernie took a principled stand on civil rights before it was cool! Reality - You're both wrong. He's been in low key opposition to civil rights his whole life. We need to hold Bernie accountable.
Bernie Sanders lacks the moral authority and ability to hold anyone accountable and the sheer gall of him posting a youtube rant today about the left's need to hold Biden accountable has motivated me to post this now instead of finishing it.
Everything Candidate Sanders told you about his civil rights record was a lie. I'm sorry. But it's important you know this so that when racists try to make you resent black people for not voting Sanders you don't fall for it. Black voters weren't low information or stupid. They are an exceptionally high information and tactical voting block. Progressives would do well to emulate them.They rejected Bernie by overwhelming supermajorities because they saw through him
. This post has two sections. The first debunks Bernie's one claim to Civil Rights fame. The second is a many of his transgressions as I can fit into Reddit's post limit. There are many, many more. Section 1:
Bernie's entire case for being good on Civil Rights comes from some march photos a half century old. Those march photos don't tell us why
he was there, just that he was there. One method to discern his motive would be to look at the rest of his life and see which narrative it supports. Which I will do. But first I have something that is faster and more conclusive. In the '80s Bernie found himself in front of some C-SPAN cameras and enthusiastically told them what he actually thinks on all manner of issues. One such issue was Martin Luther King and the Civil Rights movement.
We don't have to speculate as to why Bernie marched. He has told us. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1sECiTchlKY "And I want those people, who are as old as I am, to remember Martin Luther King Jr's last years. Everybody today, all the editorial papers say, 'Oh wasn't Martin Luther King such a great guy? He fought for racial justice a great hero'. But remember that a year before King died, when King spoke out against the war in Viet Nam, and when King said we need billions of dollars, to provide decent jobs - not only for black people but for white people - and when King said, 'I am going to organize a Poor People's March to go to Washington' of blacks and whites and yellows but of poor people to demand justice. Suddenly, when Martin Luther King used that language and started taking on the system - my goodness the FBI was investigating him and tapping his phone, the President of the United States wasn't talking to him. The real issue in this country is class!"
- Bernie Sanders
Now there are a lot of factual inaccuracies in that quote. For example the FBI had been harassing King for a decade at that point and he didn't "die" so much as be gunned down in the street by a low income white person who - according to Bernie - was his class ally and would never harm him since racism isn't a "real" issue. It's actually kind of a thing with Bernie that he always uses gentle words to refer to Kings assassination, "died", "left us", etc rather than remind us that a racist murdered him for his Civil Right's work. Once you notice it you can't un-notice it. Also please watch the video, text doesn't do the scorn in his voice when he mocked people who think MLK is a great guy justice.
So, we now know that in the 80's he was actively scornful of King's life's work and trying to co-opt King's legacy for his own agenda. That he didn't march for Civil Rights but rather for his own priorities.That doesn't mean he's bad on Civil Rights today. Even Senator Byrd became a Civil Rights advocate eventually. Perhaps Bernie was just a late bloomer on the Civil Rights stage. What has he done since then?
A lot. And none of it good. Section 2:
- In Sander's 30 years in Washington he has consistently declined invitations from the Congressional Black Caucus to discuss their priorities (https://www.politico.com/story/2016/02/congressional-black-caucus-slams-bernie-sanders-219132).
- While the '90s crime bill was being written Bernie was positioning himself as Tough On Crime. So tough, in fact that he wanted to close the crack/powder cocaine sentencing disparity by increasing the sentences for powder instead of decreasing them for crack. (https://www.thedailybeast.com/when-bernie-sanders-conventional-politician-called-for-still-more-mass-incarceration). Where the Clintons and Biden were listening to black community leaders and seeking to reduce crack sentences Bernie was perfectly willing to inflict the harms of incarceration on low income addicts for a shot at jailing the more affluent powder users.
- “This Congressman thinks that drugs are a scourge on America, and I strongly believe we must fight cocaine use in any form. We should be addressing the fairness issue by raising the punishment for powder cocaine, not lowering the sentence for crack offenses. I am deeply disturbed that this was not given as an option today." - Bernie Sanders
- In the 2016 election BLM had to rush the stage and interrupt one of his rallies before he would deign to meet with them. https://time.com/3989917/black-lives-matter-protest-bernie-sanders-seattle/
- When he did finally meet with BLM Bernie insisted that "Aren’t most of the people who sell the drugs African American?". I don't know Bernie, Vermont is 98% white, 1% Native, half a percent Asian and a quarter percent Hispanic. Are you saying drugs are not sold in Vermont? Or implying that almost every black person in Vermont is a drug dealer? How would that even work? https://www.buzzfeednews.com/article/rubycramebernie-sanders-revolution-needs-black-voters-to-win-but-can#4ldqpgc
- Not to leave other races out, there was that time in 2006 when he voted in favor of indefinite detention of undocumented immigrants and to protect the "Minutemen Militia" movement that shooting people entering the country illegally. (https://www.politifact.com/factchecks/2016/ma10/hillary-clinton/hillary-clinton-says-bernie-sanders-supported-minu/)
- In the 70's there was widespread opposition to a federal bussing program so savvy politicians like Joe Biden bowed to public pressure on that while supporting states, counties, municipalities, and other local entities to implement such programs to de-segregate the schools. Sanders, otoh, opposed bussing at every level of government (https://twitter.com/ashtonpittman/status/1144434317982089218?lang=en)
- According to Sanders in the long run bussing as a means toward quality education for all schoolchildren "creates racial hostility where it did not previously exist"
- Sanders has consistently opposed trade with or immigration from brown or black countries while welcoming it from white countries. This includes him voting against a path to citizenship in 2007 and various quotes.
- Alone of the 2020 Democratic primary candidates Sanders wanted to continue Trump's policy of detaining asylum seekers instead of provisionally admitting them for the years it takes to process their application. His only disagreement with Trump was that he didn't want the cages run by for-profit companies. Those kids deserve socialist cages.
- While Elizabeth Warren is Magic Grandma for everyone Bernie gets an attack of fiscal responsibility when you mention reparations (which Warren supported).
- 'I was working as Bernie Sanders‘ 2016 national Black outreach director. One morning while doing early outreach in South Carolina my Facebook page blew up. I was pinged in messages that said, “Bernie Sanders does not support reparations.” My mind went numb ... I do have to acknowledge that reparations don’t poll well, but neither did Medicare for All at that point. The issue is not his stance on reparations, the issue has and still is listening to Black staff and implementing the right choices. 'https://thegrio.com/2020/03/31/i-worked-for-bernie-2020/
- Nor was his national black outreach director the only black staffer whose advice he ignored. His Press Secretary - Symone Sanders - is professionally obliged not to criticize him but she left his campaign in 2016 when he had lost but refused to quit running then chose to work for Biden in 2020.
- His campaign coined the phrase "identity politics" in order to dismiss women's and minority issues/concerns. He personally sticks to the dogwhistle "real issues" to elevate his priorities ahead of everyone else's. His campaign language is littered with racist apologia and dog whistles.
- During the Ferguson protests Bernie supported police having military surplus. He lied about the unemployment and crime rates in Ferguson - massively inflating both. He claimed that it was understandable that the police were scared of the black residents given the bullshit unemployment rates he'd cited and that the solution was to give them jobs so they'd be less scary. And he just couldn't say whether or not tear gassing peaceful protestors was a violation of their civil rights.
- "SCHULTZ: Does the curfew block the citizen's right to peaceful protest? What do you think? SANDERS: Well, of course it does, on some circumstances it may be a valid response. I don't know enough to tell you about the circumstance in Ferguson." Imagine him saying that about white protestors.
- "Look, clearly, you know, police departments all over this country had very difficult times dealing with drug pushers and people who are very well off. And we want to make sure that our police department has the effective tools and equipment to combat those threats." This was two years before he asked BLM about most drug dealers being black.
- "Ed, youth unemployment in America is tragically high, it is 20 percent. African-American youth unemployment is 35 percent. In St Louis area, it is significantly higher than that. And if we are going to address the issue of crime in low-income areas and in African-American areas ..." In reality Ferguson had below average unemployment and crime rates. And even if they hadn't that's no reason to tear gas a prayer circle or a news crew.
- Further disrespecting the legacy of MLK Bernie's staff and campaign have repeatedly tried to claim his assassination was because he was supporting local workers unionizing. It was not. The local white workers already had a union. MLK was there to protest black workers not being allowed to join their union while the city was refusing to recognize the black worker's union.
- "On 1 February 1968, two Memphis garbage collectors, Echol Cole and Robert Walker, were crushed to death by a malfunctioning truck. Eleven days later, frustrated by the city’s response to the latest event in a long pattern of neglect and abuse of its black employees, 1,300 black men from the Memphis Department of Public Works went on strike ... Mayor Loeb rejected the City Council vote, however, insisting that only he had the authority to recognize the union and refused to do so." https://kinginstitute.stanford.edu/encyclopedia/memphis-sanitation-workers-strike
- In 1990 Bernie lost the Democratic primary for the Vermont House seat to a black woman named Dolores Sandoval. He got less than 14% of the vote. So what did he do? Did he accept defeat and unify? Of course not. He has never in his life done that. What he did was run as an Independent while attacking her legitimacy as a candidate. Ironically, today he claims many positions he attacked Sandoval for such as drug decriminalization and pacifism.
- Vermont's criminal justice system the most racist in the country by a wide margin. Bernie has represented Vermont for 30 years and never lifted a finger to do anything about this.
- In 2018 when Gillum and Abrams narrowly lost Bernie had this unsolicited opinion to share. This is especially rich from the guy who loves to constantly imply that any non-white, non-male, opponent he runs against is an empty suit relying on their identity to get votes instead of their substance.:
- In 2012 Bernie was loudly demanding that Obama be primaried.
- "There are millions of Americans who are deeply disappointed in the president—who believe that, with regard to Social Security and a number of other issues, he said one thing as a candidate and is doing something very much else as a president; who cannot believe how weak he has been, for whatever reason, in negotiating with Republicans; and there’s deep disappointment.” He continued: “It would be a good idea if President Obama faced some primary opposition." https://thinkprogress.org/bernie-sanders-says-it-would-be-a-good-idea-to-primary-president-obama-313b4f05f3c1/
- Sanders 2020 campaign hired a you tuber named Orfalea who had previously made a racist parody video of MLK entitled "I Have A Wet Dream" which compared civil rights advocacy to the sexual assault of white people. When this was pointed out he initially responded by deploying black campaign staff to defend his hire before backing off and firing Orfalea.
- In 2016 Bernie attended one forum hosted by the black community in which he lectured them about how their problems were not about race and what about poor white people? I mean, poor white people exist and need help too, but a black community forum is neither the time nor the place.
- "Can’t you please specifically talk about black people?” Sanders, who started off the forum running through his stump speech touching on “systemic racism,” unfair incarceration and education inequality, responded sharply to the charge. “I said ‘black’ 50 times,” he said. “That’s the 51st time. “It’s not just black,” he said. “It’s Latino. In some rural areas, it is white**.**" https://www.politico.com/story/2016/02/bernie-sanders-black-community-forum-219232
submitted by Mrs_Frisby