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senz

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Member since: Fri Jan 1, 2010, 03:15 PM
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Bernie Sanders has a lifetime of advocacy for racial and LGBT justice

Bernie has fought for minority rights since high school and has continued the fight his entire life.

The following are a few examples:
  1. Bernie raised scholarship money for Korean orphans in the 1950s while in high school.

  2. While in college, Bernie was active in two civil rights groups, the Congress on Racial Equality (CORE) and the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC). In 1962, he was arrested for protesting racial segregation in public schools.

  3. In the 1970s, Bernie called for full gay equality. As a candidate for Vermont’s governor, Bernie advocated abolishing all laws on homosexuality.

  4. In the 1980s, as mayor of Burlington, VT, Sanders formally protested Reagan’s aggression against Latin Americans. In 1985, he traveled to Nicaragua to condemn Reagan’s war on the Nicaraguan people which he described in his book, Outsider In The House.

  5. Bernie opposed Republican welfare reform politics of the 1980s and 90s, condemning it for its scapegoating and bigotry. He voted against it and called it “the grand slam of scapegoating legislation,” noting that it “appeals to the frustrations and ignorance of the American people along a wide spectrum of prejudices.”

  6. Bernie has condemned and opposed the death penalty and prisons his entire political career.

  7. In 1991, Sanders was one of the few white members of Congress who joined with the Congressional Black Caucus in opposition to a bill that would cut prisoners off from federal education funds. It passed 351 to 39.

  8. Bernie took the IMF to task for oppressing developing world workers. In a 1998 committee hearing, Bernie stood up for the rights of poor Black and brown workers in Indonesia. (Video link at source.)

  9. Bernie receives high ratings from leading Civil Rights organizations. Bernie’s Civil Rights record.

  10. Bernie voted against the PATRIOT Act and against renewing it every time. The Act has been used to violate the rights of Arab and Muslim Americans, and as a weapon in the drug war.

  11. Bernie opposed both Iraq Wars (1991, 2003) on moral grounds, noting that ”the death and destruction caused, will in my opinion, not be forgotten by the poor people of the Third World.”

  12. In 2007, as a new senator, Bernie went to Costa Rica to defend workers from an exploitative trade agreement. He helped Costa Rican workers organize an opposition to the Central American Free Trade Agreement (CAFTA).

  13. He campaigned for Jesse Jackson’s 1988 presidential run, organized Vermonters, and won the state for Jackson. Sanders also supported Jackson’s advocacy for the Palestinian people.

  14. He has strongly and repeatedly condemned police violence against minority communities. Numerous examples, including video links, can be found at the source document.

  15. In September 2014, Bernie met supportively with immigrants when Hillary Clinton refused to talk to them.

  16. Bernie defended voting rights against voter suppression efforts. In 2012 he called for GAO investigation of state voter ID laws and in 2015 introduced legislation to increase voter turnout.

  17. Bernie has always been a strong supporter of LGBT rights.

  18. Bernie called for an end to War On Drugs, is leading the war on for-profit prisons and immigrant detention quotas.

  19. In September, 2014, Senator Sanders and Rep. John Conyers proposed a detailed strategy for reducing unemployment across America with particular emphasis on Black and Latino youth unemployment. Their “Employ Young Americans Now Act” was in keeping with the philosophy of MLK, who was dedicated to the organized labor movement and fought on behalf of the working poor across racial divides.

  20. Bernie was the only white Congressional Representative to support and work with members of the Congressional Black Caucus to protest Republican suppression of Black voters in 2004.

The fact that Bernie Sanders has done so much for civil and minority rights, despite representing a constituency that would not naturally demand it, speaks to his strong sense of justice and a wide empathy that is exceptional among politicians.

Source: http://www.alternet.org/election-2016/20-examples-bernie-sanders-powerful-record-civil-and-human-rights-1950s I reduced the verbiage of the original list for use as an OP and appended the final item.
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