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Bernie Sanders vs. Black Lives Matter

Updated on August 13, 2015

Black Lives Matter Interrupting Bernie Sanders Speach

Bernie Sanders in the Background of His Own Campaign

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The Handcuffs of Political Correctness

Bernie Sanders has allowed himself to be bullied by the Black Lives Matter movement. Ironically, he is the only candidate that actually marched for civil rights. He has taken on the judicial system on behalf of “racial” equality and has made it his mission to achieve economic fairness for all. Yet the Black Lives Matters representatives have essentially harassed him for not having what they believe to be a comprehensive plan to address “racial injustice”. If anyone has earned the right to stand up to them, he has. Yet he has not. He recently brought on a black press secretary named Symone Sanders. She recently helped to quell an angry crowd that was being riled by a Black Lives Matter chapter president. The question is, why couldn’t he just tell the crowd on his own of their obnoxious, hypocritical, disrespectful, and misguided behavior? The answer is, it would have been politically incorrect.

What Do the Black Lives Matter Demonstrators Want Exactly?

The Black Lives Matter website has a specific set of demands they would like to be met before they will stop protesting. If you look at the demands, you will see, they have no intentions of having any of them reached whatsoever, and are only interested in creating a platform for themselves.

Here are their Demands:

  • We demand an end to all forms of discrimination and the full recognition of our human rights.
  • We demand an immediate end to police brutality and the murder of Black people and all oppressed people.
  • We demand full, living wage employment for our people.
  • We demand decent housing fit for the shelter of human beings and an end to gentrification.
  • We demand an end to the school to prison pipeline & quality education for all.
  • We demand freedom from mass incarceration and an end to the prison industrial complex.
  • We demand a racial justice agenda from the White House that is inclusive of our shared fate as Black men, women, trans and gender-nonconforming people. Not My Brother’s Keeper, but Our Children’s Keeper.
  • We demand access to affordable healthy food for our neighborhoods.
  • We demand an aggressive attack against all laws, policies, and entities that disenfranchise any community from expressing themselves at the ballot.
  • We demand a public education system that teaches the rich history of Black people and celebrates the contributions we have made to this country and the world.
  • We demand the release of all U.S. political prisoners.
  • We demand an end to the military industrial complex that incentivizes private corporations to profit off of the death and destruction of Black and Brown communities across the globe.

Is This Feasible?

If the organizers of the Black Lives Matters movement had any intention of making any progress, they wouldn’t make demands for the “release of all political prisoners”. They would have legal experts and law makers helping them draft legislature that actually have a chance of making a difference. Instead they harass the one person in the presidential race who has done exactly that. Bernie Sanders has been a champion of voting rights for some time. Their demand that to end “an aggressive attack against all laws, policies, and entities that disenfranchise any community from expressing themselves at the ballot” is something that Bernie Sanders has proposed legislation to address. The demands for education, a living wage, and affordable food, are all matters that have been the very cornerstones of his agenda.

Not only are they attacking someone who has contributed to the fight to create a more fair society but some of their demands are too absurd to be taken seriously by anyone. How exactly does one bring an “end to all forms of discrimination” in a democracy? How exactly has there not been “full recognition of our human rights”? These are their very first demands. Someone is capitalizing on the mob mentality that has erupted as a result of the very visible actions of the Police killing unarmed suspects. They are operating unchecked and because of political correctness, anyone who says “All Lives Matter” is basically crucified publicly for doing so. This has gotten ridiculous.

Why I Take Issue With These Demands

I personally take offense at the idea that because I am black, the government should “grant me a living wage” as though I am handicapped and can’t manage for myself.

But here is the demand that really makes me angry:

“We demand an immediate end to police brutality and the murder of Black people and all oppressed people”.

First of all, why are they not demanding that for all Americans? Why should only black people be protected from police brutality and murder? But here is the real issue: The police are not murdering us nearly as much as we are murdering each other. If there is going to be a demand to end “the murder of black people” they need to work on changing the consciousness in our communities. The government cannot fix this problem for us. Money will not fix this problem for us. Gun control will not fix this problem for us. We must fix this problem for ourselves. There is nothing to gain politically by addressing black on black crime, particularly for democrats. The number of possible solutions is too broad to address at this time, but I would like to address the change in consciousness that is necessary.

Changing Consciousness

The New York Times wrote an article about difficulties involved with Section 8 housing. The reporter chronicled the struggles of a particular family with finding housing that will accept Section 8 while still allowing them to move to a safer neighborhood with better schools. Clearly this family wanted to leave the violent and impoverished environment they were currently in. They eventually had to settle for something they weren’t particularly happy with. At the end of the article, the family took the children to a public pool in a nicer area where there were significantly more white people than they were accustomed to. The reporter noted that the family seemed a bit uneasy and wondered if they were being “looked at suspiciously”, or whether they were “behaving in ways that somehow fulfilled their stereotypes of black people”. In the end the father said, “it’s not what I’m used to”. That is more responsible for the disparities that plague our communities than anything else. Becoming accustomed to a certain way of life means that changing that life can bring discomfort, regardless of what the changes are. It becomes easier for most of us to stay “in our comfort zone”.

Black people in this country, are descendants of slaves predominately. Meaning most of us come from people who were not only poor, but where punished severely for thinking of a life outside of their circumstances. Their survival meant keeping your head down, playing dumb, and not wanting anything that seemed outside of your reach. This state of mind was critical for survival at that time but not anymore. This “slave thinking” has got stop. Many of us have managed to break this cycle, but unfortunately many of us are being left behind.

I learned something interesting about baseball player Torii Hunter watching Real Sports With Bryant Gumbel years ago. He grew up poor and had limited exposure to life outside his environment. Once in his youth, he was sent away to a baseball camp in a more affluent area, and the experience changed him. His mind opened to possibilities he hadn’t previously imagined. That has motivated him to start a similar camp today. His idea is that if this exposure gave him this awakening, he can provide that for other children.

It is of course a necessity for children to read and write, but some children need more than that. Some children need to see possibilities many other Americans take for granted. I would like to see children from impoverished areas bussed to college campuses at a young age. Field trips to the Science Museum are great, but some children need something else. Field trips should take the children starting in 6th grade to University Campuses for tours. The possibilities of what can be achieved should be made tangible for them, not just a dream. Not just something they see on television or hear spoken of in the abstract.

Step Up Bernie

Bernie Sanders has consistently said that he believes that addressing cultural economic disparity is in creating more jobs for young people. He is correct, but there has also got to be a change in consciousness that gives young people vision for a better future. Many of the Black Lives Matters organizers are well intentioned but misguided. We absolutely need to address the current policies that allow this many unarmed people to be shot by police, but we need to address it for all Americans. When it has become politically incorrect to say “All Lives Matter” there is something wrong with the current political climate. “Black lives Matter” is not only not succeeding in reaching their demands, they aren’t succeeding in helping black people at all. As a matter of fact, many are getting arrested or shot due to their efforts. We need to stop trying to be politically correct and confront them head on. If Bernie Sanders wants to be Commander in Chief, he needs to grow a pair, a do just that.

References

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/bernie-sanders-press-secretary_55c77941e4b0f1cbf1e54fec

http://votesmart.org/candidate/key-votes/27110/bernie-sanders#.VczOiiZVjD4

http://blacklivesmatter.com/

http://www.nytimes.com/2015/08/09/us/a-year-after-ferguson-housing-segregation-defies-tools-to-erase-it.html

http://www.hbo.com/real-sports-with-bryant-gumbel/episodes/0/133-april-15-2008/synopsis.html

That sign should say, "All Lives Matter"

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    • kndashy41 profile image

      Dana Ayres 

      2 years ago from Houston, TX

      I respect your right to your views Teamrn, however, you don't understand history, well...no offense. African-Americans were promised 40 acres and a mule by the Federal Government, but that promise was revoked to give attention to other "more important" matters of the day. At the beginning of the 20th century, African-Americans were promised by the Federal government that there would be anti-lynching laws enacted and enforced in the US and we had to wait damn near 4o years to get that...and Black folks STILL got lynched in droves years after the laws were passed. (Police brutality and murder of Blacks is a form of approved, legalized lynching!) When I say that unfairness will dissipate "gradually" I'm only stating the truth about the level of urgency with which this country answers the plight of African Americans. It's historic. Just like there were obvious justifications to lynch Black men in droves way back when, I'm sure you believe that the vast majority of dead Black people at the hands of police officers is justified now. Later on down the road, in hindsight, perhaps you'll see it. Statistics lie. Folks like yourself rely on majority numbers to back up your claim of "why are the Blacks complaining...we suffer the most." That type of thinking is also historic and it's self-inflicted. It was described as "the White man's burden" and it was used as a tool of conquest in order to "civilize" the "already-civilized" savages of "discovered and conquered" lands. Yes, the African American's numbers in the US are small compared to Whites, but don't you think it's odd that we make up the majority of the prison population and are the poster children for violent crime in America...since White folks suffer the most from police confrontation and brutality? I don't buy it and historically, police violence against Black people has been key in our oppression in the US, no matter how insidious that oppression has become. Unfortunately, like every other movement Blacks have spearheaded in this country, this one will eventually be nullified and hijacked by the status quo. As I stated...it's going to take TIME for the unfairness of life for African Americans in these here United States to dissipate...gradually, like everything else, because people who have the POWER to change things NOW just don't seem to get it.

    • teamrn profile image

      teamrn 

      2 years ago from Chicago

      THESE ARE SOME STATEMENTS I DON'T UNDERSTAND THE RELEVANCY THEREOF" Pick out your statement and tell me what YOU meant

      "Ironically, he is the only candidate that actually marched for civil rights." Why is this IRONIC, when some of the candidates through no fault of their own, didn't live then?

      "much of the unfairness of life for African Americans and other people of color will begin to dissipate gradually." What is the unfairness-I kind of expect that this will generate the most anger, but what really is unfair? 40 acres and a mule was unfair, but I believe the statement that was made was about TODAY. Racial profiling? How about 'STOP' when the police ask you to 'STOP'

      I only grab my purse when I have been given reason and someone who doesn't listen to police or other authority, gives me reason to suspect that maybe my purse is unsafe. This person can be white, this person can be black, this person can be hispanic, this person can be green, this could be an alien. Get my point?

      "CLEARLY not ALL lives matter the SAME, because if they did the "ALL LIVES MATTER" message would have been the first statement and there-by making the "BLACK LIVES MATTER" statement mute."

      ALL LIVES MATTER THE SAME and it is not clear to the majority of Americans what the black lives matter movement is trying to prove with its not always peaceful tactics. Dr. King said to demonstrate, but he didn't say to be violent in those demonstrations.

      He said, "The ultimate weakness of violence is that it is a descending spiral; begetting the very thing it seeks to destroy. Instead of diminishing evil, it multiplies it."

      I guess I'm really having lots of thoughts about BLM movement when police kill more whites than blacks. There isn't a movement that states WHITE LIVES MATTER.

      Whites are incensed that this happens, but do they form a movement in response? Nope. They hunker down and wonder why the police seems to be targeting them-if they are= and try to solve the problem. Why is there such disparity n resolution to solving a problem.

      My post today is sort of disjointed, and will be met with disdain, I'm sure uncommo

      Why is it that even police kill more whites than blacks per year, that whites don't start an uproar?

      More whites were killed by police in 2015 than blacks but you don't see me saying, we have to start a movement and call it WHITE IVES MATTER. Instead, whites try to find a REASON that this is true.

    • kndashy41 profile image

      Dana Ayres 

      2 years ago from Houston, TX

      "If you look at the demands, you will see, they have no intentions of having any of them reached whatsoever"...

      I beg to differ. These demands are VERY doable. But, it takes time and a conscious, deliberate effort to achieve them. The issues that they raise are matters of racism that is so institutionalized and vague in our society that we take them for granted as "just the norm." Well, they're not and they contribute to the continued problem of racial and socioeconomic inequality in America. Solve these problems and much of the unfairness of life for African Americans and other people of color will begin to dissipate gradually.

    • profile image

      rt 

      2 years ago

      Very insightful. To the question of what Bernie should do. Stay on point. As I recall, the "ALL LIVES MATTER", (camp) arose in response to the "BLACK LIVES MATTER" (camp) becoming active. So the "ALL LIVES MATTER" is a "retort", a retort in response to any statement only serves to devalue the prior statement (politics 101). In conclusion, CLEARLY not ALL lives matter the SAME, because if they did the "ALL LIVES MATTER" message would have been the first statement and there-by making the "BLACK LIVES MATTER" statement mute.

    • Crystal McCrory profile imageAUTHOR

      Crystal McCrory 

      2 years ago

      ...excuse me that number of black people murdered should be 7,200

    • Crystal McCrory profile imageAUTHOR

      Crystal McCrory 

      2 years ago

      ...excuse me that number of black people murdered should be 7,200

    • Crystal McCrory profile imageAUTHOR

      Crystal McCrory 

      2 years ago

      Jon, you are correct that most crimes are intraracial. Black victims make up 50% of murders in this country, so the murderer is most likely black. So what we have is at least 2,200 murdered black people and black murderers in jail or likely facing jail due to this. It is unacceptable to see that many black people murdered and I haven't even touched upon the incarceration rate. There is a cycle of violence in our neighborhoods that must be addressed. It seems as though people are either desensitized to this issue or resolved to it. I am neither.

    • profile image

      Jon 

      2 years ago

      I don't understand how a black person can miss the mark this badly and use the same tired arguments that racists use.

      Black on black violence does nothing to rectify or justify our militant police force targeting minorities (http://www.nydailynews.com/new-york/ordered-secret... and killing young blacks disproportionally (http://www.cnn.com/2014/12/02/politics/kristoff-or... Yes, black on black violence is a terrible thing and an important issue, but statistics show that most crimes are intraracial, regardless of the race - black on black, white on white, etc. However, the media is much more likely to report black on white crime than any other, especially when a black male commits a crime against a white female.

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