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Home country: USA
Member since: Thu Dec 1, 2011, 12:59 PM
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About Me

FDR Populist Progressive who believes the environment trumps all. We\'re sinking the only ship we\'ve got, and govt leaders are ignoring it.

Journal Archives

Here you go~

Bernie Sanders on Racial Justice

Tackling structural inequality is at the heart of Bernie Sanders’ campaign, and at the foundation of this policy is his belief that we must address what he calls the “parallel problems” of economic disparity and institutional racism. The imbalance inherent in America’s institutions — whether our education, healthcare, immigration or criminal systems — point to a fundamental lack of justice for America’s people of color.

Bernie has long worked to address intrinsic and explicit racism from multiple angles. His extensive record as an advocate of racial justice goes back to his activism in the Civil Rights Movement in the 1960’s. He is proud to have marched on Washington with Martin Luther King, Jr. and watch him give his “I Have a Dream” speech. Bernie was also a student leader of the Congress of Racial Equality when he was arrested for protesting institutional segregation. Throughout his three decades in public service, Bernie has both been vocal on issues related to racial justice and voted to support those views — a legislative record that’s earned him a 100 percent rating from the ACLU and a 100 percent from the NAACP.

Bernie believes racial justice is so important, and so intertwined with his vision for America, that racial justice has its own issue page on his campaign’s website. In it, he details how to address different kinds of violence perpetrated against people of color: physical, legal, political, and economic.


Criminal Justice: The American justice system is crippled by over-incarceration, disenfranchisement, and poor prison conditions, and people of color are disproportionately affected by this situation. A total rehaul is required.

Economic Justice: People of color face systemic discrimination in every aspect of our economy, from education to hiring to compensation. We must create more jobs, raise the minimum wage, and increase access to education and training. We must also expand social safety net programs and guarantee affordable healthcare and nutrition programs so that we enable working families of color to get ahead.

Voting Rights: State by state, our voting rights are increasingly under attack. Various voter suppression tactics very directly affect people of color’s ability to participate in our democratic process. We must combat voter ID laws and felony disenfranchisement.

Housing Discrimination: Residential segregation and lack of access to quality affordable housing has a pervasive and disproportionate impact on people of color.

The Conversation About Race: America’s entrenched history of racial inequality is systemic — and we must confront it head on.

Immigration Reform: As a nation of immigrants, we must reform a system that keeps too many hardworking laborers in the shadows — most of them people of color.

As an introduction, watch this video from 2013, where Bernie discusses his first-ever visit to Washington, D.C. where he marched for civil rights with Martin Luther King, Jr. who — like Bernie — saw the fight for racial justice as interlinked with the fight for economic justice. Indeed, King’s final cause was the Poor People’s Campaign, which he was building at the time of his assassination in 1968.

In this video, Bernie discusses both how far we have come, and how much more we have to go to achieve King’s dream of racial justice in America:

Criminal Justice
The United States justice system is crippled by over-incarceration, poor conditions in our jails, and the systematic stripping of the rights of the incarcerated, a disproportionate amount of whom are people of color.

Bernie believes that America squanders far too many resources on over-incarceration and misguided crime policy — and that this money could be better spent providing jobs and education to those who might otherwise get lost in the criminal justice system. Bernie also advocates for police reform through increased transparency and accountability as well as the demilitarization of America’s police forces.

Watch him discuss how our broken criminal justice system disproportionately targets people of color in this May 2015 video:
So what’s the scope of our incarceration problem?

We have more prisoners than any other country in the world:

The interesting thing is America hasn’t always been like this. Here’s how much our incarceration rate has spiked domestically over the years:

Wow. Tell me more about how mass incarceration affects people of color.

The majority of the U.S. prison population is male and under the age of 40, and a disproportionate amount of them are of people of color.

The hard data speaks volumes — incarceration rates among both blacks and Latinos have risen much faster than for whites:

According to a 2013 report by the Sentencing Project, a research and advocacy group, one out of three black men can expect to go to prison in his lifetime, compared to one out of 17 white men. And specifically, see how blacks are disproportionately arrested for drug crimes:

This video highlights the racial bias in the American criminal justice system:

Does going to prison reform people and reduce crime?

Regarding reforming people, the answer is no. In fact, incarceration aggravates the situation. Young people of color who go to jail or juvenile detention centers have decreased literacy rates, can expect lower grades, drop out of school at a higher rate, and end up committing more crime. Beyond suffering from limited access to education or unsafe living conditions while in prison, having a criminal record makes it harder to get a job — particularly for blacks:


(As if all of the above weren’t bad enough, going to prison means you can lose the right to vote! Due to state laws that restrict convicted felons from voting, one out of 13 black Americans is disenfranchised, meaning his voice is lost in the democratic process. Learn more about Bernie’s stance on felony disenfranchisement here. )

And with regards to reducing crime, a 2014 National Research Council report — which studied years of evidence of crime trends, causes of rising prison populations, and consequences of imprisonment — concluded that nearly every aspect of our country’s “historically unprecedented and internationally unique” rise in incarceration since the 1970s has not been worth the benefit in deterrence in crime reduction. Indeed, the report recommended that the U.S. revise its current sentencing laws (particularly with regards to drug enforcement) and cut back prison rates. Learn more at the Criminal Justice issue page.
Seems like a massive problem. How does Bernie propose we address this?

Bernie ties criminal activity to lack of economic opportunities, and research shows that people behind bars are more likely to be young people of color who haven’t had access to good education or work training. As Bernie stated in a June 2015 Senate address:

“It is no great secret that, without work, without education, without hope, people get into trouble, and the result is… that, tragically, in America today we have more people in jail than any other country on Earth.”

Bernie believes we need “jobs, not jails.” To this end, he has proposed a massive bill that would put millions of Americans to work on rebuilding America’s crumbling infrastructure, another to provide job training for at-risk youths, and yet another that would raise the minimum wage — currently at $7.25 per hour, which he calls a “starvation wage” — to $15. (Learn more at the Youth Employment, Minimum Wage and Racial Wage Gap issue pages.)

Moreover, Bernie wants to increase access to education and job training, so that less youth — of color and otherwise — are pushed through the school-to-prison pipeline. In fact, America has over-invested in prisons to the point that there are more prisons than colleges in the country. To this end, Bernie’s also introduced the Free College For All Act, which aims to make all public colleges and universities tuition-free, so that everyone can afford a higher education. Finally, Bernie wants to reform sentencing laws, including eliminating mandatory minimums for non-violent offenses, and re-examining our drug policy in particular. (Learn more at the Education, Criminal Justice, and Drug Policy issue pages.)
There’s also been a lot in the news lately about people of color being the victims of police crime, right?

Sadly, yes. While black people make up only 13 percent of the population, they account for 31 percent of all victims killed by police. Blacks make up nearly 40 percent of unarmed individuals killed by police with a gun and 42 percent of unarmed individuals that are killed by police by means other than a gun.

Sobering FBI data shows that black teenagers are 21 times more likely than white teenagers to be killed by police:

And remember that statistics on police shootings are self-reported, so this data probably underestimates this depressing state of affairs.
Where’s Bernie on all this?

In a July 2015 speech to the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC), a primarily black civil rights organization once led by Martin Luther King, Jr. that traces its roots to the Montgomery bus boycott, Bernie addressed police violence against people of color:

“Too many African-Americans today are simultaneously having to deal the crisis of racial justice while coping with the effects of poverty and economic deprivation, such as drugs, crime, and despair.

… As Martin Luther King, Jr., said; Law and order exist for the purpose of establishing justice and when they fail in this purpose they become the dangerously structured dams that block the flow of social progress.

Across the nation, too many African-Americans and other minorities find themselves subjected to a system that treats citizens who have not committed crimes like criminals. A growing number of communities do not trust the police and police have become disconnected from the communities they are sworn to protect.

Sandra Bland, Michael Brown, Rekia Boyd, Eric Garner, Walter Scott, Freddie Gray, Tamir Rice. We know their names. Each of them died unarmed at the hands of police officers or in police custody. The chants are growing louder. People are angry. I am angry. And people have a right to be angry. Violence and brutality of any kind, particularly at the hands of law enforcement sworn to protect and serve our communities, is unacceptable and must not be tolerated.

We must reform our criminal justice system. Black lives do matter. And we must value black lives.”

Bernie doesn’t see these incidents as isolated events or reflective of recent developments, stating: “Anyone who thinks this has not been going on decade after decade would be very wrong.”

He’s fighting for a vision of America where a “young black man or woman can walk down the street without worrying about being falsely arrested, beaten or killed.”

Learn more about reforming this broken system at the Criminal Justice page.

Economic Justice

Martin Luther King, Jr. believed that economic disparity was tied to racial disparity. In fact, his famous march on Washington in 1963, where King gave his seminal “I Have a Dream” speech — which Bernie was there to witness — was actually called the “March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom.” Indeed, the promotional pamphlet for the march spoke of the “twin evils of discrimination and economic deprivation.”
How do we fight for economic justice?

The first step is to acknowledge that America has a problem — one of structural economic inequality.

Today, the U.S. sees vast inequalities in both income (what we get paid) and wealth (everything we own). While some inequality is expected in any economy—and is perhaps even healthy—the U.S. today has inequalities allowing those at the top to amass (and keep) huge estates, while 22 percent of children live below the poverty line. Adults can work 40 hours a week and still not make enough to feed their families, while corporate executives in many of those same companies make much, much more.

In terms of wealth — everything we own — 90 percent of Americans control less than one fourth of the country’s wealth. The top 0.1 percent controls 21.5 percent, which is over one fifth. The amount controlled by the top 0.1 percent (the top one-tenth of one percent) is the largest it has been in over a century.

And when it comes to income — what we get paid — The bottom 90 percent make $29,840 on average, but other reports based on the U.S. Census show that 40 percent of individuals make less than $20,000 annually, and 30 percent of families live on less than $40,000 a year. We cover inequality in detail on our Economic Inequality page.
And where do people of color land in all of this?

According to a joint report by Demos and the Institute on Assets and Social Policy (IASP), “the median white household had $111,146 in wealth holdings compared to just $7,113 for the median Black household and $8,348 for the median Latino household.”

Another study IASP conducted over 25 years reveals that the wealth gap between white and African-American families rose from $85,000 in 1984 to $236,500 in 2009.

The Harvard Business Review Compared median weekly salaries from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), revealing a lot about how race and gender relate to pay:

Comparing median weekly salaries from the U.S. Population Survey in 2013, we see that a median black male earns 75.1 cents for every dollar a median white male earns. A median Latino male earns only 67 cents. According to the same data, a median white woman makes 78 cents compared to a white male, and black and Latina women follow making 64 cents and 54 cents, respectively. We see that the racial wage gap is large, and that both gender and race are important factors when examining the wage gap.

(On the other hand, Asian men and women make more than anyone in America, also according to the BLS — although this may be explained by the fact they have a higher average educational attainment.)
Is it harder to get an interview as a person of color in the United States?

It appears to be the case. Researchers at the National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER) published an experiment in which they sent thousands of resumes to various help-wanted ads in Chicago and Boston. Some resumes bore the white-sounding names “Emily” and “Greg”, and others had the black-sounding names “Lakisha” and “Jamal”. Those with white-sounding names got one callback for every 10 applications; those with black-sounding names got one only every 15. (It is worth noting that this study did not check hiring rates or earnings.)

A story that went viral in 2014 seems to confirm the NBER results with regards to Latinos. A Mexican-American L.A. resident named José Zamora detailed how his job search was going nowhere until he changed his name on his resume from José to Joe — editing nothing else — and started getting callbacks from the same jobs that had ignored him previously.
What other contributors are there to the racial wage gap?

According to a 2001 paper by two labor economists, about half of the racial wage gap can be attributed to differences in work experience, differences in time out of the workforce, and differences in amount of education gained. Differences in amount of education gained contribute more to the Latino wage gap, while differences in experience and time out of the workforce contribute more to the black wage gap.

The same paper goes on to explain blacks in America suffer from a lower labor force participation for several reasons. When displaced from work, black workers take significantly longer than white workers to find new work. Those black people with a criminal record find it much harder than white people with a criminal record to find work. Since black people are incarcerated at a higher rate, this has a multiplicative decreasing effect on labor force participation.

Additionally, the researchers notes that black unemployment is likely understated since incarcerated individuals are not included in the statistic. (Learn more about Bernie’s stance on mass incarceration.)
Presumably communities of color are pretty concerned about the economy and getting jobs?

Definitely. In fact, Latinos care more about the economy and education (which is a way to get better jobs) than anything else:

And blacks put scarcity of jobs paying decent wages at the top of their concerns list:

How has Bernie worked to address the education and training gap?

In May 2015, Bernie introduced the College for All Act to help increase access to higher education, by making all public colleges and universities tuition-free. Moreover, his youth employment bill would include job training for at-risk youth.

These measures would provide those coming from low-income backgrounds a better chance to access the kind of education and training that would enable them to gain the skills that provide access to better economic opportunities.
And how about the criminal record issue which affect people of color’s ability to get jobs?

Bernie has also come out against various contributors to over-incarceration of people of color. He has said that prison money would be better spent on job training and education. Bernie has also declared the “war on drugs” largely a failure as it has incarcerated far too many non-violent offenders. Instead, he favors reforming our drug policy and criminal justice system to focus on rehabilitation instead of senseless punishment.

If you skipped the previous section on Bernie’s stances on criminal justice reform with regards to people of color, go back and learn more.
What has Bernie done to address racial discrimination when applying for jobs?

Bernie has supported expanding laws that protect against discrimination. As recently as November 2013, he voted for the Employment Non-Discrimination Act.
Lots of people of color can’t make ends meet due to rising healthcare costs.

That’s absolutely true. The below graph shows how important it is to fight against the racial disparities and inequalities inherent in our health system:

That’s why Bernie advocates for universal healthcare. Though he has consistently supported the expansion of Medicaid coverage while fighting repeated efforts to cut funding for it, and voted for the Affordable Care Act (a.k.a. “Obamacare”), Bernie believes America hasn’t gone far enough to provide adequate healthcare for all.

Moreover, he’s sponsored legislation to curb drug costs and tackle fraud in the industry. He also wants to increase access to affordable housing and childcare, as well as the expansion of Social Security and nutrition programs. You can learn more about all of Bernie’s healthcare and public assistance policies at the Social Safety Net category page.
What about policies that keep Americans from falling into the “safety net” in the first place?

The cornerstone of Bernie’s policy is addressing economic inequality — and he’s long fought for everyday working Americans. In fact, one of the very first bills he introduced to Congress was the Liveable Wage Act of 1993, a bill to increase the minimum wage which he reintroduced several times thereafter.

Years later, he’s still fighting for this cause. A major plank of Bernie’s presidential campaign is to more than double the federal minimum wage to $15 per hour, up from $7.25 per hour.
How would that help?

Over the past 40 years, the cost of living has increased significantly while workers’ wages have remained flat despite commensurate increases in the level of productivity. Learn more at the Minimum Wage issue page.
It’s all moot though if we can’t generate more jobs, right?

Exactly. Bernie believes the fastest way to create millions of jobs is to rebuild our crumbling infrastructure — and he’s been saying so for decades. In his introduction to the The Rebuild America Act of 2015, he noted:

“There’s a reason that investing in our infrastructure has traditionally enjoyed bipartisan support in Congress. It’s a good idea. It creates jobs, income, profits and tax revenues. It lays a foundation for the efficient operation of our economy in the future.”

Want to know more about how this idea could generate better-paying jobs for millions of Americans? Check out the Infrastructure issue page.

Voting Rights

Unfortunately, various voter suppression tactics very directly affect people of color’s ability to participate in our democratic process. Bernie feels strongly about combating voter ID laws and addressing felony disenfranchisement.
Is voter suppression really still happening?

Sadly, various tactics are used to disenfranchise certain segments of our population. Common methods of voter suppression include last-minute changes to polling locations and hours, reducing the number of polling places, and enacting voter ID laws which suppress voters without a driver’s license.

In 2013, the Supreme Court gutted the Voting Rights Act of 1965, a landmark bill passed to combat voter suppression at the ballot box, particularly against people of color. The ruling outlawed a key requirement in the 1965 bill which required states with a history of racial discrimination at the poll to “preclear” any changes to electoral laws with the federal government before enacting them. This change allowed nine states to change election laws without federal approval, mostly to introduce voter ID laws.
What are voter ID laws?

Laws that require people to show an ID before being able to vote. They’re ostensibly supposed to combat voter fraud but many experts believe the rate of incidence is far too overblown to accept that the threat is credible.
Why is this a racial justice concern?

Such laws suppress people of color so much more than others:

How does Bernie think we can fight back?

In June 2015, Bernie co-sponsored the Voting Rights Advancement Act, which would increase federal oversight of elections in states with a history of racial discrimination and voter suppression. The bill proposes that the “preclear” is required in states where there have been repeated voting rights violations in the previous 25 years. Hopefully this will address the proliferation of voter ID laws across the country.

Good. Every American citizen should have the right to vote!

Agreed, but some citizens are actually explicitly denied those rights by law. Certain states restrict people with felony convictions from voting — even after they’ve served their time and paid their debt to society. It’s estimated that 5.85 million Americans have been legally stripped of their voting rights. And due to racial disparities in the criminal justice system, this disproportionately affects people of color. In fact, one in 13 blacks do not have the right to vote because of this.
But doesn’t being a felon mean you forfeit your freedoms?

You’re still protected by the Constitution even if you commit a crime. Beyond suffering from limited access to education or safe living conditions while in prison, disenfranchisement follows former felons for the rest of their lives. The U.S. is one of the strictest nations in the world with regards to felony disenfranchisement.
Sounds bad. What’s the impact?

This directly threatens the notion of universal suffrage, limits free speech, and contradicts the right to representation inherent in our Constitution. Voting rights are essential to keeping inmates connected to civic life and providing them with a better foundation for rejoining society once they serve their time. Critics argue that felony disenfranchisement is a “potent tool in the campaign to undercut African-American political power” because it so disproportionately impacts blacks.

So, to the extent that people of color are over-represented in our prison system, they are under-represented in our political system. This graph shows the extent of felon disenfranchisement nationwide:


Where does Bernie stand on this?

Bernie has long been a supporter of universal suffrage and proudly represents Vermont, one of two states that do not restrict the voting rights of anyone convicted of felonies. In March 2015, Bernie co-sponsored the Democracy Restoration Act, which seeks to reinstate voting rights to people who have served their time and have been freed from prison.

Learn more about how Bernie is working to make the electoral system work for regular Americans, including those of color, at the Political Reform page.

Housing Discrimination

Residential segregation and lack of access to quality affordable housing has a pervasive and disproportionate impact on people of color. Explicit acts of housing discrimination that defined America before the Fair Housing Act of 1968 (e.g., Jim Crow, Black Codes, “sundown towns”) may be in the past, but we’ve hardly solved the problem.

According to a 2012 study by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and the Urban Institute, “subtle forms of housing denial stubbornly persist.”


Then there’s the problem of residential segregation, which persists in our cities and towns in spite of the Fair Housing Act.
But we’re so diverse. How could this still be a problem in melting pot America?

Let’s start by sharing some statistical context. There’s a measure called the “index of dissimilarity” that researchers use to determine the rates of housing segregation in a particular geographic area. In an extreme case like Apartheid-era South Africa, where whites lived in all-white neighborhoods and blacks lived in all-black neighborhoods, the index of dissimilarity would peak at 100. In an area where people were randomly distributed irrespective of racial background, the index would be 0.

In the 2010 census, Houston had an index of dissimilarity of 61 for its black and white populations. This is considered moderately high and indicates that either 61 percent of whites or 61 percent of blacks would have to move to new neighborhoods in order to achieve perfectly-integrated distribution. Los Angeles had an index of 68, Chicago had an index of 76, and New York City had an index of 78.

Find out more about segregation in your own community by using this interactive map to explore segregation all over America.
Yikes. I guess we are still quite segregated. What are some of the causes?

There are several factors that contribute to housing and residential segregation. Let’s take a common one: gentrification.

As a result of disinvestment on the heels of “white flight,” cities can withdraw public funds and services like building maintenance, garbage collection, and school funding in areas deemed to be low priority. Need an example? Check out Detroit.

This leads to deteriorating property values and quality of life. But if and when money floods back into these neighborhoods, it can leave poorer residents without access to capital behind — forcing people out of their homes when they can’t afford steep increases in rent or property taxes.

Other factors to consider are real-estate discrimination, socioeconomic status, and the lasting legacy of America’s discriminatory housing policies.
What has Bernie done about it?

He has been a longtime advocate for fair and affordable housing. In his 1981 mayoral campaign in Burlington, Vt., he ran against the incumbent’s plans to raise property taxes and “proposed raising taxes on commercial property instead.”

Once in office, the city required property owners to give residents two years notice before their apartments could be converted to condos as well as giving renters the preemptive right to buy converted units. Bernie prevented landowners from bulldozing affordable-housing units unless they first built an equal number of new units, and he implemented economic development projects and a communal land trust for affordable housing — policies considered radical in the early ‘80s but which are more commonplace today.

As a senator, he’s fought to create the Health Trust Fund, which targets excess profits from Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to provide a new dedicated revenue source for states to finance very-low-income rental housing construction and rehabilitation projects.

The Conversation About Race

Bernie sees America’s persistent racial imbalances as a multi-layered problem. We must tackle discrimination inherent in the criminal justice system through sentencing reform and programs like community policing. Moreover, nothing will change if we don’t address the root causes of economic inequality and confront the hard truths of America’s history of racial injustice — from its roots in slavery to misguided policies meant to address the disparities today.

Want to know more about Bernie’s views on the subject? Check out this video:

Read more about Bernie’s racial justice policy platform at his campaign’s site. And get a more in-depth look at his perspective and policies on the rights of specific groups of color, visit the Black Rights, Latino Rights, and Native American Rights issue pages.


“This country was built by immigrants,” Bernie has said. He believes we must reform our immigration system to invite greater innovation, diversity, and economic opportunity, and further must endeavor to fight racial discrimination against our immigrants of color.
How many immigrants are there in the country?

As of 2013, there are 41.3 million foreign-born people living in the United States.
What are the racial demographics of our immigrant population?

Given that only 48 percent of the foreign-born reported their race as white, most immigrants here are people of color.

Additionally, 26 percent self-reported as Asian, 15 percent as some other race, and more than two percent as having two or more races. Finally, 46 percent — or 19 million people — reported having Latino origins. As Latino is an ethnic and not a racial category, it’s hard to discern exactly how many of those are people of color.
What are Bernie’s views on immigration generally?

Bernie believes America’s current immigration system is broken and requires comprehensive reform. An important aspect of immigration reform, according to Bernie, is to establish some pathway to legal residency or citizenship for the 11 million undocumented workers living in the United States so that they need not work and live in the shadows.

While he believes that border security is important for the country, Bernie doesn’t believe that a fence is the way to achieve that security. Finally, Bernie believes that our visa system must protect American jobs instead of simply allowing corporations to score cheap labor via temporary work visas.
What are some racial justice issues our country faces with regards to immigration?

While not always correlated, language and race are closely entwined within the immigrant population, particularly given that most immigrants in the U.S. are people of color.

Attempts to make English the official language of the United States have been described as a way to circuitously make it legal for private and public entities to discriminate against people who cannot speak, read or write in English.

For instance, if English were legally designated as the national language, a government agency might be able to argue that it need not provide forms or information in any other language, hindering many immigrants’ ability to access social services and other essential public programs, not to mention basic information. In turn, this might discourage certain foreign-born from staying in America or deciding to come here.
What has Bernie done around language discrimination?

Bernie voted in 2007 against legislation that would have declared English the official language of the U.S. government, so as to enable government materials to still be available in other languages. In 2008, Bernie voted against a bill that would have cut funding from programs that would support people who had been fired from their jobs by employers who used their lack of English proficiency as an excuse.
Are there elements of economic exploitation of immigrants in the United States? And is there a racial element to it?

Unfortunately, yes. Bernie is very concerned with the exploitation of undocumented workers and their standard of living. He believes that such immigrants “have been routinely cheated out of wages, held virtually captive by employers who have seized their documents, forced to live in unspeakable inhumane conditions and denied medical benefits for on-the-job injuries.”

In a July 2015 speech, Bernie highlighted that “undocumented workers are doing the extremely difficult work of harvesting our crops, building our homes, cooking our meals, and caring for our children. They are part of the fabric of America.”

The racial element comes into play with the fact that of the 11 million undocumented people in America, 52 percent of the undocumented population are Mexicans alone. While we can’t know exactly what the racial breakdown is among those, it’s likely that many or even most are people of color. And while more precise demographic data about undocumented people in the U.S. is necessarily difficult to come by — they are undocumented after all! — they are likely comparably diverse to our general immigrant population, which consists mostly of people of color.
How does Bernie want to address the economic exploitation of undocumented workers of color, and otherwise?

Given that Bernie believes undocumented workers are already part of the nation’s “fabric,” they should have a path to citizenship that will allow them to be fully participating members of American society and contributors to its economy.

“Bringing undocumented workers out of the shadows will make it more difficult for employers to undercut the wages and benefits of all workers.”

Check out the Immigration and Latino Rights issue pages for more on Bernie’s stance on these topics.


When Hillary Clinton Killed Feminism

NYT Op-ed
Maureen Dowd

When Hillary Clinton Killed Feminism

WASHINGTON — THE Clinton campaign is shellshocked over the wholesale rejection of Hillary by young women, younger versions of herself who do not relate to her.

Hillary’s coronation was predicated on a conviction that has just gone up in smoke. ....So this time, the Clintons assumed, the women who had deserted Hillary for Barack, in Congress and in the country, owed her. Democrats would want to knock down that second barrier.

Hillary believed that there was an implicit understanding with the sisters of the world that now was the time to come back home and vote for a woman. (The Clintons seem to have conveniently forgotten how outraged they were by identity politics when black leaders deserted them in 2008 to support Obama.)

This attitude intensified the unappetizing solipsistic subtext of her campaign, which is “What is Hillary owed?” It turned out that female voters seem to be looking at Hillary as a candidate rather than as a historical imperative. And she’s coming up drastically short on trustworthiness.

As Olivia Sauer, an 18-year-old college freshman who caucused for Bernie Sanders in Ames, Iowa, told a Times reporter: “It seems like he is at the point in his life when he is really saying what he is thinking. With Hillary, sometimes you get this feeling that all of her sentences are owned by someone.”

Hillary started, both last time and this, from a place of entitlement, as though if she reads her résumé long enough people will surrender. And now she’s even angrier that she has been shown up by someone she considers even less qualified than Obama was when he usurped her place.


....What the three older women seemed to miss was that the young women supporting Sanders are living the feminist dream, where gender no longer restricts and defines your choices, where girls grow up knowing they can be anything they want. The aspirations of ’70s feminism are now baked into the culture.

The interesting thing about the spectacle of older women trying to shame younger ones on behalf of Hillary is that Hillary and Bill killed the integrity of institutional feminism back in the ’90s — with the help of Albright and Steinem."



Never underestimate women's intuition, no matter the age.

Bernie Sanders on Women’s Rights

Written in 2014: "Backing Hillary in 2016: Bad for Progressives and Bad Politics, Too"

Even more obvious today....

by John Atcheson
Published on
Saturday, November 29, 2014
Common Dreams

A closer look at the 2014 mid-term elections shows why the “inevitability” of Hillary Clinton as the Democratic presidential candidate is not only ethically questionable, it’s bad politics as well.

Here’s why.

First, it would be a mistake to think of 2014 as a typical mid-term election in which turnout favored the Republicans. The real story in 2014 was that“none of the above” won in a landslide.

This was no normal midterm slump – it was the lowest turnout in 72 years (and it was lower in 1942 only because folks were a little busy with a World War).

Second, “none-of the above” won because voters were denied real choices: What the 2014 no-shows signaled was the growing awareness on the part of progressives and independents that government is owned by the uber-rich and corporations and that voting for Democrats doesn’t change that much.

Let’s face it, the Democratic Party has become a pale doppelganger to the Republican Party.

They pursue job wrecking trade agreements in secret;

they engage in foreign wars cavalierly;

they are limiting our civil rights;

they cozy up to Wall Street and the big banks;

they contribute to the grotesque income inequality that is destroying the economy both passively – by not directly opposing Republican fiscal plans – and actively -- by proposing their own deregulation such as repeal of Glass-Steagall.

As a result, only a little over a third of the voters showed up, and those who did were motivated by fear, greed, anger, hate and bigotry which were integral parts of the conservative campaign.

Bottom line, many progressive and independents feel like they have no real choice in elections
– and if Democrats don’t embrace a progressive candidate like Elizabeth Warren who offers them a real choice, progressives won’t show up in 2016, either.

Third, if you stand for nothing you can get beat by anything.

Quick, try to characterize what the Democrats stood for in 2014. About the only thing that comes to mind is “We’re not with the black guy.” Ironically, whatever glimmer of good news the country had going into the election came from policies Obama pushed on those rare occasions when he wasn’t preemptively capitulating to Republicans.

The thing is, for the last 30 years, Democrats have been too focused on chasing corporate dollars to formulate a coherent set of values and policies, let alone run on them.

As a result, the national debate has been framed on two nation-wrecking myths – “the myth of the magic markets” (which states the a deregulated market will solve all problems by pure serendipity) and the “myth of the bumbling bureaucrat” (which comes from Reagan’s pronouncement that government is the problem, not the solution)

The empirical result of having these myths dominate our policy and political discourse has been to cause the worst economic collapse since the Great Depression, to create the worst disparity in income since the year prior to the Great Depression, and to turn the country into an oligarchy.

A close look at Hillary Clinton’s positions on trade, foreign affairs, fiscal and financial policies shows her to be in lock step with these myths.

Fourth, when offered a choice, voters overwhelmingly approved progressive ballot measures like:

increases in minimum wage;
pro-choice measures (including rejecting “personhood” for fertilized eggs in a red and purple state);
opposition to box stores;
registration for gun sales and transfers;
limits on fracking

These votes occurred in red and blue states; they come on top of earlier votes in three states to overturn Citizens United and they confirm extensive polling that shows the majority of the American electorate to be left of center in their political preferences on an issue-by-issue basis.

But when no one runs on progressive values, this preference can’t get translated into votes for candidates, and many voters holding progressive positions simply drop out, ceding the election to the fearful, the bigoted, the greedy, the intolerant, and the passionately ignorant.

Fifth, no-choice could once again trump pro-choice in 2016 – Which brings us to 2016 and Hillary Clinton, the ultimate DLC Democrat. Talk about a doppelganger – take away the Party label and her positions on Wall Street, corporatism, war, trade and fiscal policy are indistinguishable from even the far right wing political spectrum.

If there’s one thing this election revealed, it’s that being a little less insane on social issues won’t cut it. Demographics may favor Democrats in national elections, but if the Dems run Hillary, progressives and many independents will once again stay home in droves. On the other hand, if they ran a progressive like Elizabeth Warren or Bernie Sanders, they’ll get a record turnout, a resounding victory and a mandate for progressivism.

Yet the Oligarchy has its hooks so thoroughly sunk in both parties that another no-choice election seems inevitable.

Bottom line — There’s a broad and potentially powerful progressive majority out there, waiting to be seized.

Sadly, it seems unlikely that Democrats will take advantage of that, and even less likely that a leader with sufficient charisma will emerge to lead the electorate away from the current no-choice oligarchy we live in.

If it is to happen, it requires a level of citizen activism not seen since the 60’s. But don’t hold your breath – it looks like our modern-day bread and media circus will keep us fat and dumb, if not happy.

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 License


.....On that "citizen activism", John, we're trying!!!

GO Bernie!!

Establishment politicians still don't understand.

by Zach Carter
Senior Political Economy Reporter, The Huffington Post
Feb 12, 2016

The past few years have been very good for United Technologies. The contractor does billions of dollars a year in business with the federal government. CEO Gregory Hayes pulled down nearly $10 million in 2014, and over $20 million the year before. On Thursday, the company reported $7.6 billion in profits, up from $6.2 billion the year before, and $5.7 billion the year before that. In October, United Technologies even expanded its stock buyback program to $12 billion. Spending the company's money to purchase its own stock elevates the value of its share prices. United Technologies was so flush with cash that it could burn money to boost returns for its investors.

Surely this largesse would trickle down to its rank-and-file employees, right?

Not exactly.

On Wednesday, Carrier, the air conditioner manufacturing wing of United Technologies, told workers at its Indianapolis plant that it would be outsourcing their jobs to Monterrey, Mexico.

Watch Corporate America Turn A Room Full Of Workers Into Bernie Sanders And Donald Trump Supporters (VIDEO)

Over the past year, the establishment wings of both the Republican and Democratic parties have struggled to understand the outrage expressed in that video. How could people seriously consider a Democratic socialist from Vermont, or a crypto-fascist strongman for president?

The answer is pretty simple.

Both Republicans and Democrats have consistently backed economic policies over the past 35 years that have systematically gutted the American middle class.

For decades, Congress has listened to corporate lobbyists who told our representatives that if they could just cut this one tax rate, or just ease this one regulation, there would be a renaissance of prosperity.

The renaissance has happened for the rich. Everyone else has been left behind.


( and Thank you NAFTA!!!)

Its like, Excuse me, but sustainable life is ending....shouldn't this be something we should be


No, it would only lead to cuts in profits, which feed the political machine.

Oh, ok then.....never mind. I'll just go put my HEAD back in the SAND.

About Bernie voting for the Clinton & Biden Violent Crime Bill of 1994....

Surrounded by lawmakers, President Bill Clinton hugs then-Sen. Joseph Biden after signing the $30 billion crime bill at the White House on Sept. 13, 1994.


So mass incarceration isn’t working. Does Bernie agree?

Definitely. Bernie has been a long-time critic of our justice system’s over-reliance on incarceration as an answer to lower crime rates. Even in 1991, Bernie spoke against what he saw as a, “so-called crime prevention bill… let’s be honest, this is not a crime prevention bill this is a punishment bill”


Tell me more about this “crime prevention bill”.

There were several “crime bills” proposed in the early 1990s. The 1991 bill that Bernie is talking about in the above video was an earlier version of the bill that was eventually signed into law. Introduced by Sen. Joe Biden (D-DE) and signed by President Bill Clinton, The Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act of 1994 (commonly referred to as “the Crime Bill”) was the largest crime bill in U.S. history providing for almost $10 billion in funding for prisons and $6 billion for crime prevention programs, among many other controversial provisions such as mandatory minimum sentencing and bans on certain assault weapons.
Did the bill work to reduce crime?

As mentioned above, most studies find that “tough on crime” laws only slightly decrease crime rates at the expense of devastating low-income communities of color. The National Academy of Sciences published an impressive, comprehensive study on the effects of increased incarceration on crime rates. They found “only a modest relationship between incarceration and lower crime rates.” For more info on the effects of mass incarceration, see above.
What did Bernie have to say about the bill at the time?

As seen in the above video, Bernie denounced an earlier version of the bill as “a punishment bill, a retribution bill, a vengeance bill.” He has always maintained that instead of putting our money into prisons, we should attack the root of crime by investing more in education and economic development. For more on this, see below.

If you have a few minutes, check out Bernie discussing the bill just months before voting on it:

If Bernie was so against this bill, why did he vote for it?

Bernie admitted that “this is not a perfect bill”, but he understood that certain parts of the bill were tremendously important. In particular, Bernie was passionate about passing the Violence Against Women Act, one of the key provisions of the Crime Bill. Bernie said at the time, “I have a number of serious problems with the Crime Bill, but one part of it that I vigorously support is the Violence Against Women Act. We urgently need the $1.8 billion in this bill to combat the epidemic of violence against women on the streets and in the homes of America.”

Got it. What else has Bernie said about mass incarceration?

More recently, Bernie has highlighted the “unspeakable tragedy” that, if recent trends continue, one in three black males born in this country can expect at some point in their lives to spend time in prison or jail.

Bernie ties criminal activity to lack of economic opportunities, and research shows that people behind bars are more likely to be young people of color who haven’t had access to good education or work training. As Bernie stated in a June 2015 Senate address:

“It is no great secret that, without work, without education, without hope, people get into trouble… the result is that, tragically, in America today we have more people in jail than any other country in the world.”

Listen to Bernie explain the importance of this provision as the reason for his support of the Crime Bill:



America. This is a great man. Enough with the polished, made for TV versions. I want this rumpled REAL PERSON with a great heart & mind truly working for US. The people. As our leader.

What a world this could be.

In One Paragraph, Why Liberal Dems Are Skeptical of Hillary (Hill's banker speeches)

But Clinton offered a message that the collected plutocrats found reassuring, according to accounts offered by several attendees, declaring that the banker-bashing so popular within both political parties was unproductive and indeed foolish. Striking a soothing note on the global financial crisis, she told the audience, in effect: We all got into this mess together, and we’re all going to have to work together to get out of it. What the bankers heard her to say was just what they would hope for from a prospective presidential candidate: Beating up the finance industry isn’t going to improve the economy—it needs to stop. And indeed Goldman’s Jim O’Neill, the laconic Brit who heads the bank’s asset management division, introduced Clinton by saying how courageous she was for speaking at the bank. (Brave, perhaps, but also well-compensated: Clinton’s minimum fee for paid remarks is $200,000).


Hillary just lost women to Bernie. But don’t blame Madeleine Albright and Gloria Steinem

By Janell Ross February 10

Perhaps the Clinton campaign's internal polling had, by this weekend, made it clear just how poorly Hillary Clinton was doing among New Hampshire women. Maybe that triggered some kind of distress signal broadcast to Clinton's high-profile female supporters and surrogates.

Maybe that helped set in motion the entire Madeleine Albright-Gloria Steinem-Hillary Clinton fiasco this week.

But now, with the New Hampshire primary done, Clinton's rather dire situation with women — particularly young white women in that state — is pretty clear for all to see.

Clinton did not simply lose New Hampshire on Tuesday night to Sen. Bernie Sanders (Vt.) by around 20 points; she also narrowly lost New Hampshire women to Sanders, too. In fact, early exit polling indicated that Clinton lost the quest for female voters to Sanders. Late Tuesday night, Sanders led her among women by around 10 points, according to exit polls reported by CNN.

That's right. The group that the Clinton campaign and — if we are honest — many a political prognosticator long assumed would form a strong contingent of Clinton's voters due, at least in some part, to the thrilling prospect of casting votes that might help to put the first woman in the White House, appears to have opted for Sanders instead.




Fundamental changes are needed to help women in our country.

The only thing fundamental with Hillary is her fundamental role in the higher echelons of the establishment.

She just isn't capable, as a thoroughly purchased politician, of doing anything to advance fundamental change. Not for women, nor PoC, nor any of US who aren't in the top 10% income bracket.

"Hey Black & Latino voters, Did YOU get the Hillary memo?"

Hillary Relying On Minority Voters, But They're Not All Relying On Her

"Hey Black & Latino voters, Did YOU get the Hillary memo asking you to save her campaign?"

by Alana Horowitz Satlin
Assignment Editor, The Huffington Post

Hillary Clinton may be counting on support from black and Latino voters to score the Democratic presidential nomination, but not everyone's on board with that plan.

A memo to Clinton supporters, sent by campaign manager Robby Mook, outlined her path to victory. Her campaign will soar in March, he predicted, and her favorability among minorities will hand her the win.


@politicoroger tell hillary we are not her firewall we know it's not about Obama legacy it 3rd term Clinton presidency

— richdoll (@richdoll54) February 10, 2016

Hey Black & Latino voters,

Did YOU get the Hillary memo asking you to save her campaign?

I'm just curious. https://t.co/oDwqHhLD5b

— Shaun King (@ShaunKing) February 10, 2016

Hillary Clinton just sent out a 3 page memo on how she plans 2 get the black vote, she shld try Private Prisons she's filled them w/plenty

— GAPeach (@PoliticsPeach) February 10, 2016

@politicoroger Please convey to Robbie Mook that we are not her firewall. No more #PrisonIndustrialComplex.

— JadeinNM (@Jadeinnm) February 10, 2016

@politicoroger All Sanders needs to do is gently remind SC black voters about how the Clintons treated Obama in 2008. Her support is soft.

— S.Anderson00 (@SeanKAnderson) February 10, 2016


I'm a Woman and I Will Vote for the Best Feminist for President: Bernie Sanders

I won’t vote against Hillary Clinton because she’s female, but I don’t intend to vote for her because I am. We need more fundamental changes in this country

byRoseAnn DeMoro


I am the executive director of the largest nurses union in the US: my members are overwhelmingly female and, not by accident, we were the first large organization to endorse Sanders. Nurses recognized Sanders as one of their own as soon as he got into the race, because they, like he, believe that all people should be treated equally – especially when it comes to healthcare – regardless of race, gender or ability to pay.

So let’s stop the divisive rhetoric: young women, older women (and younger and older men), all have lots of reasons to vote for Bernie Sanders for the Democratic nomination, and the Clinton camp doesn’t get to define for us the appropriate way to live up to our feminist ideals.

The Clinton campaign has tried to elevate the importance of gender above all other considerations – but if the goal is a woman qua woman, then we all should have been delighted with the fine work of former UK prime minister Margaret Thatcher, regardless the harm suffered by so many as a result of her policies.

We’re not. And we cannot let the wealthy impose a Thatcherite economy on America with the next election, with the 1% continuing to hold the vast majority of wealth in the US.

You cannot separate gender from race and class: racial and gender discrimination remain very real, incredibly widespread societal problems, impacting people’s daily lives in myriad ways, from law enforcement practices to hiring and promotion opportunities to pay inequities to a profit-focused healthcare system.

But the Sanders’ campaign’s fundamental pitch is for equality in all aspects in social, political, economic and personal life; the mass movement and “political revolution” that is so intrinsic to the Sanders campaign is the only way to successfully combat racial, gender, and class discrimination.



Girl POWER!!!

GO Bernie!
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