While in the Holy City the team all shared their Bernie story and why he’s the candidate for them. Journalist and human rights activist Shaun King shared perspective on the legacy of Dr. King contrasting the mythical Martin we all loved and revered, with the actual Dr. King who was maligned, followed, surveilled, and largely hated and ultimately killed for daring the country to rethink all of its policies. This intensified when his message shifted from Civil Rights to economic empowerment for Blacks, Mexicans, and the poor whites of Appalachia, he became an even greater threat to the status quo and the military-industrial complex as a whole. People who fight for freedom are never popular during the struggle. Bernie Sanders participated in one of the very first sit-ins at the University of Chicago protesting the mistreatment of black students at the university as well as throughout Chicago forcing police to carry him away. His record of resistance is long but not well-known as Shaun reveals in his Bernie story.
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The watch word for the day was “activism.” What it is, and how we use it to change the country. Phillip Agnew of the Dream Defenders shared nuggets of wisdom on organizing and the importance of connecting to people in the best and most authentic way. The power of the campaign comes in people being their most authentic self. Phil’s Bernie story and how he speaks to the anxieties of Americans through the lens of someone who has struggled with them and offer solutions that reject the polices that have caused all the angst. The person who is in this fight can’t be someone with lukewarm enthusiasm with a record literred with policies that have gotten us in to some of the trouble we are in currently, but rather someone who has a history of speaking up for the people.
Senator Nina Turner of Ohio closed the session with words of stategy. The key is to understand that this is a battle for the future and that no time, not one iota, should be wasting arguing or disparaging other candidates. It’s about activating the empathy and passion of Americans and to base the support of your candidate on their record. Sen. Sanders has a record of working to maintain Medicare/Medicaid while other candidates have a record of working with the opponents of those programs. Sen. Sanders voted against the Iraq War, other candidates didn’t. Sen. Sanders stood with Anita Hill. Another candidate attacked her and then gave an unaccepted apology 30 years later. Whomever you support, it should be someone who not only says they’re aligned with your concerns, but someone who has a record to back it up. The team did a wonderful job of laying out the facts without disparaging anyone. Sen. Sanders and his team are genuine in their love and passion for America and has the record to back it up.