Bernie Sanders a leader for a catalyst of change

Bernie Sanders is an American politician who has fought and is currently fighting for the countless of voiceless Americans in the United States, dating back all the way to his contributions in the Civil Rights Movement. Bernie Sanders grew up in Brooklyn New York where his parents where Jewish Immigrants from Poland. In Brooklyn, where he lived in a three and a half room rent controlled apartment with his parents and older brother Larry Sanders. Bernie Sanders served four terms as the leader of Vermont's biggest city from 1981 to 1989. Sanders than moved on to winning a seat in the House of Reps. In 2007 Sanders won the election to the U.S Senate. Continuing on his political run, he announced his plans to run for the Democratic nominee in the presidential election in 2015. Exceeding all expectations and drawing a huge progressive movement, he eventually lost the nomination to Hillary Clinton.
Bernie Sanders supported a lot of ideals and norms that were seen in his eyes seemed right and justified with justice. A lot of these ideals to almost all of them have carried Bernie Sanders throughout his political life. Bernie Sanders has supported and and even helped change and shift American peoples life. To supporting issues such as wanting to defeat oligarchy, helping the decline of the American middle class, ending a rigged economy, making health care more providable for all of the American people, immigration reform, a real criminal justice reform, and much more. These issues is what always kept Bernie Sanders going and wanting to have his political revolution one that will benefit and give justice to all people in the United States. Reasons such as these signifies why Bernie Sanders himself is real leader and catalyst for change.

Historical Context

The Civil Rights Movement was social and political movement in the United States during Bernie Sanders days where he made contributions to the movement. The goal and the purpose of this powerful movement was to end discrimination and racial segregation against African Americans and to secure legal recognition and federal protection of the citizenship rights enumerated in the Constitution and federal law.
For more than 200 years before the Civil War, slavery existed in the United States. But after the war things began to get worse for blacks. The south thought they needed to do something. The Southern legislatures, former confederates, passed laws known as the black codes, after the war, which severely limited the rights of blacks and segregated them from whites. Examples such as putting African Americans in different schools than whites and all cored people riding in the back of the bus.
The initial phase of The Civil Rights Movement was started by Rosa Parks. On December 1, 1955 Rosa Parks of Montgomery, Alabama, refused to give up her seat to a white bus rider, thereby defying a southern custom that required blacks to give seats toward the front of buses to whites. Therefore she was jailed, a black community boycott of the city’s buses began. The boycott lasted more than a year, demonstrating the unity and determination of black residents and inspiring blacks elsewhere spreading the movement
Martin Luther King Jr. a activist who was one of the main if not the leader in the Civil Rights Movement. King became a civil rights activist early in his career. He led the 1955 Montgomery bus boycott and helped found the Southern Christian Leadership Conference in 1957, serving as its first president. With the SCLC, King led an unsuccessful 1962 struggle against segregation in Albany, Georgia, and helped organize the 1963 nonviolent protests in Birmingham, Alabama. During Bernie Sanders early years, MLK was a huge influence and an inspiration to Sanders. A lot of Sanders positions and ideas come from King himself.
After King was assassinated on April 4th 1968, more rioting ensued, the civil rights movement as a cohesive effort disintegrated. Yet the push for civil rights continued, with African-Americans making gains economically, politically, and socially. Moreover, other discriminated groups were inspired by the civil rights movement and borrowed its tactics. Over the 1960's and 1970's, gays and lesbians, women, Native Americans, and people with disabilities pushed for their own inclusion in American society.

Bernie's Contributions

Pictures of a young Bernie Sanders during his days at the University of Chicago and during The Civil Rights Movement... Sanders became involved in the Civil Rights Movement during his university days at the University of Chicago where he studied economics. Sanders was involved in many clubs and organizations during his college days, he was a member than eventually vice president of the Congress of Racial Equality to expand his leadership characteristics. Which can also be known as CORE. Sanders and CORE began focusing on racism in Chicago. With the group and Sanders himself got arrested during a demonstration to desegregate the Chicago public school system (picture seen on the right) - a struggle that went on for years. With CORE, Sanders participated in a sit-in against the segregation of off-campus housing in 1962. He also served as an organizer for the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee.
In his current book which published in 2016 "Bernie Sanders: Our Revolution" sanders states "As part as my civil rights activities, I was also involved in a movement to protest police brutality... with the Chicago Police Department when some local police followed me in their squad car and took down leaflets I had been posting announcing a public meeting on police violence. They referred to me, in a language that became familiar during the that period, as an "outside agitator" (Sanders, 2016). This illustrates how Bernie Sanders was a leader among of the majority of white people uniting as one to defeat segregation. Furthermore he sates that "King was not assassinated not in a "civil rights" demonstration, but the fight for decent wages and working conditions" (Sanders, 2016). This is a huge demonstration on how MLK was a big part of Bernie political stances and what he fights for today.
On August of 1963 Bernie Sanders and his fellow University of Chicago students participated in the March on Washington (The March on Washington was to advocate for jobs and freedom, this march can also be known as the Great March on Washington, and was held in Washington, D.C. on Wednesday, August 28, 1963) alongside Martin Luther King Jr and and representative at the time John Lewis. In a quote Bernie Sanders reflects on his marks during the Civil Rights Movement "It was a question for me of just basic justice — the fact that it was not acceptable in America at that point that you had large numbers of African-Americans who couldn't vote, who couldn't eat in a restaurant, whose kids were going to segregated schools, who couldn't get hotel accommodations living in segregated housing," he told the Burlington Free Press. "That was clearly a major American injustice and something that had to be dealt with." Television viewers saw hundred of thousands of African-Americans and whites march on Washington, DC to end racial discrimination. It was there that Martin Luther King, Jr. delivered his famous "I Have a Dream" speech.

Bernie Sanders political life

Bernie Sanders first taste of political victory was a close one by the margins. In 1981, he was elected mayor of Burlington, Vermont, by only 12 votes. Sanders was able to achieve this win with the support of the Progressive Coalition, a grassroots organization. He was reelected three more times, proving that the self-described "democratic socialist" had staying power.
As mayor Bernie Sanders developed some of the most innovative affordable housing concepts in the country during the time. Through the Burlington Community Land Trust, working class people were able to purchase their own homes at a lower cost than available on the commercial market. The housing remains affordable in perpetuity because owners must agree not to sell the property as market rates, accepting only a reasonable and limited return on their investment. Which his administration fought for a universal child care program, to supporting the LGBT community. As mayor Bernie supported and started making in depth change to making the city of Burlington that much more dedicated to the people something he's always been passionate about.
Two years later, in 1990, Bernie Sanders became the first congressman in forty years to be elected to the United States Congress from outside the two party system. As Sanders explained to The Progressive, he considered working with the Republicans to be "unthinkable," but he did caucus with the Democrats despite "a lot of opposition among conservative Democrats to my being in that caucus." Outspoken on the issues, Sanders criticized both parties whenever he felt they were in the wrong. He was a vocal opponent on the Iraq War, concerned about the social and financial impact that the conflict could cause. In an address to the House, he said "As a caring Nation, we should do everything we can to prevent the horrible suffering that a war will cause."
Outspoken on a lot of issues, Sanders always stood up for groups that were marginalized within the United Sates. A group that Bernie Sanders always supported is the LGBT community.

Bernie Sanders, as a member of congress, stands up for homosexuals in this 1995 C-SPAN clip. In the video, Duke Cunningham derisively refers to "homos in the military" and Bernie Sanders stands up to him believing to defend the LGBT community in the military. The exchanged occurred, bizarrely, while discussing the Clean Water Act at a time when "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" was the law of the land.

"In my sixteen years in Congress I am proud to have complied one of the strongest voting records there on behalf of workers rights, seniors, women, children, the LGBT community, and the environment" (Sanders, 2016).

Our Revolution


An agenda for a new America: how we transform our country. Bernie Sanders has always been a politician but importantly a person that never gives up on what he believes in. The equal America he invasions involves in ending a rigged economy, making health care for all of the American people, immigration reform, a real criminal justice reform, and most importantly protecting our most vulnerable.
Bernie Sanders believe a step in the right direction from many of his steps for a "equal America" is a real criminal justice reform. On the vision of a real criminal justice reform the first step is ending private prions for profit and spend tax money more on other needs and wants for the American people. In his book Sanders states "Its a national tragedy that the number of incarcerated Americans has more than quadrupled since Ronald Reagan first ran on a "get tough on crime" platform - from about 500,000 in 1980 to more than 2.2 million today. And we spend 80 billion a year in federal, state, and local taxpayer dollars to lock them up. 80 billion dollars a year! I can think of an awful of real needs that can be met with 80 billion a year" (Sanders, 2016). This one of the big steps in order to start create more change to the US criminal justice system.
Bernie Sanders leaving desolate neighborhood where Freddie Gray was killed in Baltimore... Among many of the issues Bernie Sanders insists of a real police department reform. "We must stop police brutality and the killings of unarmed African Americans. This has emerged as one of the great civil rights issues of the early 21 century" (Sanders, 2016). Bernie Sanders acknowledges to many officers are underpaid and under trained and have irregular schedules that negatively impact their family lives. Many officers are hardworking and dedicated workers who serve their communities but must be held accountable. "In a society based on law, nobody can be above the law, especially those who are charged with enforcing the law" (Sanders, 2016).

Bernie Sanders on a real criminal justice reform

"Democracy is about one person, one vote. It's about all of coming together to determine the future of our country. It is not about a handful of billionaires buying elections, or governors suppressing the vote by denying poor people or people of color the right to vote. Our job is to stand together to defeat the drift toward oligarchy and create a vibrant democracy" (Sanders, 2016).

References/ Work Cited


Created with images by Phil Roeder - "Bernie Sanders at Roosevelt High School" • aj.hanson1 - "Bernie Sanders at ISU - 1/25/2016" • Phil Roeder - "Bernie Sanders for President"

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