I work in Seattle. If I had the time, I would have gone to hear the Senator speak about Social Security and Medicare and Medicaid.
Bernie Sanders, running for the Democratic nomination for President, was invited to speak at Westlake Center Saturday August 8th, 2015 on the above topics.
Watching the interruption by the Black Matters Movement caused me some enormous frustration because my opinion is that Bernie Sanders is the one candidates that would actually have the backs of blacks across this country. When the riots in Missouri occurred, Senator Sanders correctly pointed out that one of the key contributors to the blight of many black communities is the lack of work and future. However, another key contributor is institutional racism that must be confronted across this country.
Senator Sanders clearly understands these both contributors, and one of his most important solution is changing the environment such that the majority of Americans, regardless of color, faith or ethnicity, are the recipients of the wealth generated, rather than just the top one percent of the population. The senator is also quite aware of the issues of prisons being used as an economic tool, and those that are poor in economically depressed areas are targeted.
Also, five million black people are denied the right to vote because of being imprisoned for non-violent crimes - drug use and dealing though whites have been found to have a higher percentage of partaking in such activities but represent a smaller percentage of the prison population.
Engagement would be the best method of being heard, and if this group asked to talk to the senator, I am almost certain, Senator Sanders would have been more than willing to discuss his position, and what can be done.
But as Senator Sanders has clearly pointed out, the vote for president is not the panacea for change. We are talking about congress and the senate, as well as state legislature and the governorship.
Why is this group not protesting at the GOP debates or rallies? And if so, why were those protests not reported on by the media? Why is this group not protesting at the State's governor's mansions or the legislature where the bulk of these atrocities emanate from? Again, if so, why are they not reported on by the media?
While I agree with the Black Life Matters group's list of grievances - and there are many - Senator Sanders has their back. I have read about the rallies and marches Dr. King made, but also read how he also knew when to be polite and courteous, and engage a politician. Being noticed is one thing, but engaging the electorate and engaging them in an important discussion is also important in being taken seriously.
Hillary Clinton may talk the talk, but Senator Sanders has talked and walked the talk.
My leanings are for Senator Sanders. Hillary Clinton has been so far, too vague, and sound bites or speeches are not sufficient. Hopefully, the Democratic Primary will be of substance and both Clinton, O'Malley, and Webb stay in the race, and not just Hillary Clinton. We need to have a discussion, and we need specifics from the candidates. It is interesting to note that the GOP's first debate was void of this, and where were the protesters?