Bernie Sanders’ “Racial Justice Platform” Wins Praise From Black Lives Matter

Bernie Sanders close up

It is difficult for a person, or a movement for that matter, to have their voice heard when no-one cares about, or acknowledges, that what the person or movement has to say is relevant. That was likely what incited “activists” identifying with the “Black Lives Matter” movement, official representatives or not, to interrupt Senator Bernie Sanders at Netroots and a rally in Seattle Washington over the past couple of weeks. For the record, the BLM activists also interrupted Democratic presidential candidate Martin O’Malley at Netroots, but it failed to garner the same outrageous reaction from progressives as when Senator Sanders was disrupted.

Obviously, the BLM-associated activists, like African Americans and people of color across the nation, are getting desperate to have their concerns addressed, or even taken seriously, or they would not have felt the need to disrupt a candidate reciting their “fire-em up” speeches. The good news for the BLM movement is that despite the “disgusting reaction” to activists interrupting the populist candidate Sanders, the “disruptions” achieved their desired results, albeit days later, and paid dividends because he came up with a newracial justice platform” that won him praise from several prominent voices in, that’s right, the BLM movement.

As racial justice platforms go, even though it appears to have taken some pressure from desperate activists, it is beyond dispute that Senator Sanders hit a grand slam; it is no wonder he won praise. Besides a seriously comprehensive platform to address racial injustice, Senator Sanders hired a “young racial justice activist” as his national press secretary; another move that won him praise.

The platform is a multi-faceted approach to combat racial injustice that brilliantly focuses on the many, many forms of violence against people of color in America; physical violence from law enforcement and extremist vigilantes, political violence as a result of voter suppression, the legal violence of the absurd “War on Drugs” and mass incarceration, and Senator Sanders’ special target the “economic violence of crushing poverty.” About the only thing missing was the violence against minority children due to underfunding public schools, but platforms are created to be expanded on.

Senator Sanders did not just make a list to appease people of color or the BLM movement, he presented several proposals to address and combat each form of violence “from passing ‘ban the box’ laws to prevent hiring discrimination against people with criminal records, to outlawing for-profit prisons, to restoring the provisions of the Voting Rights Act of 1965.” Addressing the economic violence of crushing poverty has been a primary component of Senator Sanders’ campaign long before he announced he was running for president.

Although Senator Sanders increased his bona fides with people of color, and the Black Lives Matter movement with his racial justice platform, he passed up two major opportunities to appeal to African Americans; especially at a rally in Seattle. Now, there have been several commentators on the left who have, very quietly, assailed Bernie for not seizing the opportunity and embracing the BLM movement when they “disrupted” his Seattle speech; they know the way to incite outrage from white progressives is questioning, or dog forbid, criticizing Senator Sanders.

Senator Sanders could have taken advantage of the situation in Seattle and told the organizers he would take a few minutes to at least give lip service to the same issues he found the time to address in his praiseworthy racial justice platform; but Bernie knows a thing or two about upsetting progressives waiting to hear a speech they have heard before. One staunch liberal summed up the sentiments of many Americans and said, “He was handed a major opportunity to appeal to Black people and encourage the white progressive crowd to at least listen to the activists’ concerns.” Another strong progressive said,  “I have never been so disgusted as I am with the reaction to #BLM. Bernie had a chance after Netroots to do something simple – meet with (Black) people who are desperately trying to stay alive, form policies – not just posturing and hot air – and say how they will make changes that matter. O’Malley did that. Even Clinton did that.” The good news is that now, “even Senator Sanders did that.” But it was after activists, whether they were “official” BLM representatives or not, had to utilize what many liberals called “extremely rude and disrespectful” actions to get attention and action.

After the Seattle rally’s organizers cancelled the senator’s speech, Bernie Sanders said he was disappointed because he was invited by the organizers to give a speech about Social Security and Medicare. However, anything Bernie would have said about those subjects, or income inequality, or Citizens United, or Wall Street, or financial reform was not going to be a revelation to the audience; they have heard it all before. In fact, when Senator Sanders talks to all these record setting crowds he is, as many people acknowledge, simply “preaching to the choir;” a predominately white progressive choir. If the angry crowd felt they had been cheated when the rally’s organizers shut down Senator Sanders because addressing racial inequality was just too insignificant, any member of the crowd could have either recited, verbatim, from memory all of the senator’s talking points, or watched video-tape of Bernie talking about those issues at other rallies, or peruse PoliticusUSA archives and read about those subjects.

Republicans have already dismissed the necessity to address racial injustice as a political party, because the idea that Black Lives Matter is beyond the GOP’s scope of comprehension. It is why it is still a mystery that a significant number of progressives condemned the BLM movement for not approaching Republicans who are responsible for a significant, if not all, of the injustice against people of color to inspire them to action. Republicans just do not believe that Black lives matter and they are seemingly insulted at the idea of the movement. For example, presidential candidate Ben Carson called BLM a “silly movement” and warned Republicans to avoid being “caught up in political correctness.” Jeb Bush said Black activists were just being “uptight and so politically correct” for getting upset because Republicans “won’t affirm that Black Lives Matter.” Donald Trump said his solution to racial injustice is “giving the police more power,” and Scott Walker said the topic of racial injustice should be “avoided entirely” because “if anyone focuses on racial injustice and discord we’re just going to get more.” Of course Republicans are wrong, and it is why they will struggle to get even a small percentage of electoral support from people of color; particularly Black people of color.

It is likely that, in due time, Senator Sanders would have formulated and released a platform to address racial injustice, and it is also true that when he talks about income inequality he speaks to the plight of all Americans. However, all Americans are not being subjected to the many Republican forms of violence against people of color such as physical violence from law enforcement and extremist vigilantes, political violence as a result of voter suppression, or the legal violence of the “War on Drugs” and mass incarceration; those specifically target African Americans.

The good news, and it is really good news for  Democrats, is that the three Democratic candidates for president are speaking in unison about racial injustice and whether white liberals like to admit it or not, people of color make up a very, very substantial number of the Democratic base and it is tragic that the only way they can get their voices heard is disrupting Democratic candidate’s speeches.

26 Replies to “Bernie Sanders’ “Racial Justice Platform” Wins Praise From Black Lives Matter”

  1. Now perhaps other Dems will pay attention and perhaps get motivated.

    Not gonna hold my breath.

    Whereas with Republicans- they will attempt to deny reality. But such- that is what they do with Reality anyways.

  2. Seriously I find the criticism of Sanders Re Black Lives Matters ridiculous. Especially in Seattle. I have no problem with them interrupting & in both cases they interrupted events that were NOT Bernie Sanders events. So he was not in charge or in control OF the events.

    In the case of Seattle the protesters brought HATE & Hateful protest doesn’t work. I still don’t have a problem with it really I just know that the racial justice platform existed before Seattle. Seattle really was not instrumental in bringing about change with Bernie. Many of us had already been working with Bernie to get him to bring a plan of action forward.

    At Net Roots protest there was a FALSE ASSUMPTION That Bernie saw what happened before he took stage. HE DID NOT. He went from his car to the stage. That was clear to me in that he was taken off guard about what was happening when he took stage. And it was confirmed by members of his campaign. There was a lot of reaction based on that assumptio…

  3. I was initially angry at how rudely they interrupted Senator Sanders’ speech, but he seemed to calmly handle it with dignity. He didn’t cower as Trump seemed to imply. He listened and allowed them to speak. Afterward he thoughtfully came up with a platform to help address their issues and met with the leaders of BLM. I’m liking Senator Sanders more and more.

  4. Now we need to see Hillary’s plan so we can go over them without the noise.

    I would like to see is take the profit out of prison then e wouldn’t be number 1 in locking up our citizens.

    Also while we cant change state laws as far as voting in federal elections once you do your time then your voting privileges should be restored

  5. What I don’t understand is why there aren’t BLM demonstrations at EVERY GOP event.
    Yes, there are some Democrats who don’t really care about minority issues, but sometimes it seems you HAVE to be a racist asshat to get anywhere in Republican politics…

  6. But we can challenge and influence state laws with a new Voting Rights Act wherever Republicans suppress and disenfranchise.

    And VOTING OUT these enemy Republicans every chance we get.

  7. That’s the key voting them out but when your Dummycrat leaders not challenging the seats that the President won because they are friends the task become harder

  8. I view all this as primary politics, get your issues out now and on the table. Otherwise you risk internecine wars that will destroy your electoral chances. Chicago 1968.

  9. The thought of this is breathtaking!

    Even though Sanders can’t win.
    IMAGINE All the people who are now Learning The Truth from Sanders! And they will go out and inform more Americas all across the country!

    Really…It’s breathtaking!
    Something we could never have accomplished otherwise.

    Look at the UGLY photo posted every single day of HRC on Drudge…they are scared to death of her!

    (we really should read what they’re filling rightwing brains with)

  10. (we really should read what they’re filling rightwing brains with)
    Its kind of hard to get something out of nothing

  11. With all Inspiration that Bernie is pouring out…
    The Brainwashing of My Dad Trailer, I post so often:

    Jen Senko’s Movie is ready to come out!
    I’m on her mailing List and she linked to this article I’d missed:

    *How Fox News Made My Dad Crazy*
    “In a new documentary unveiled this week at Michael Moore’s film festival, one filmmaker takes aim at the “vast right-wing conspiracy” Hillary once put on blast. The Brainwashing Of My Dad also warns of how generations of Americans have been tricked into an angry cult-like devotion to a new conservative lord and savior: Rush Limbaugh and Fox News”.

    Check it out:

    p.s. This is why they’re phasing-out RUSH…and not speaking highly of him anymore.

    Things are changing…for A Better America…Right before our eyes!

  12. When we say that black lives matter, and black people get the response “But what about…” or “Why not support…” or “Yes but it’s also about…” I shake my head, because as long as incidents like this keep happening, everything else in our lives is secondary.

    A Youngstown, Ohio woman says she is in fear for her life after she moved her business into a new neighborhood where she has been threatened and harassed — and her truck was burned by vandals.

    The New York Daily News reported that 40-year-old Nicole Rhodes has been targeted because she is a black woman opening a business in a mostly-white neighborhood.

    The harassment began about three weeks ago with a note taped to the door of Rhodes’ beauty school and salon, which she is moving into an old school building on Mt. Vernon Avenue that her family has owned for three years.

    “We don’t want you here black b—-,” the note said. “Don’t get burnt up in there.”
    Then on Monday, she came outside to find her 2006 Ford pickup ablaze.

  13. 131 million voters come out in a General.

    Can you suppress 70 million votes for Hillary with your lies and corporate crap?

    Don’t vote DEM – Let the GOP win- yadda yadda. Tell Rove we know ALL his tricks.

  14. It started a major dialogue among the Bernie Supporters. The consensus was we support BLM, we don’t all agree about the methods used in Seattle but it’s over. Let’s move forward together.

  15. You have no idea what you’re writing about. Try reading! Hillary will not be in the general election.

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