I've been quiet, quiet for a reason. I have been trying to listen to this commentary on Bernie and BLM. So, I thought I would at least check in.
I'm a Bernie supporter, and have been to see him in person at Madison and Dubuque. And, yes, the crowds are predominately white, despite the notable exception of a white woman in Dubuque who sported a "Black Lives Matter" t-shirt and introduced herself as a member of the Dubuque NAACP. At those two rallies, the demographics and the season could explain the crowd's whiteness.
The black population in Madison is 7.3% The Madison rally, which drew 10,000, happened before school started, so many students would not have attended the rally. That said, the number of African-American students at UW-Madison is only 2.9%, or 1,235 students.
Dubuque is a much smaller community than Madison, roughly only 25% as large, and its black population is only 4.0%. The rally itself was much smaller, too, with less than 2,000 people attending.
Income and wealth inequality is an important part of Bernie's proposals, and he notes that it is an important aspect of racial justice, too. He breaks his racial justice proposals into four violence categories: physical, political, legal, and economic, and as he writes about them, you can see how closely linked he recognizes them to be.
As more people learn about Bernie, an aspect that will be raised is: "How is he going to pay for all this?" Fortunately, his senatorial committee memberships on Budget, Joint Economic, Environment and Public Works, Energy and Natural Resources, Veterans Affairs, and Health, Education, Labor and Pensions position him well to make informed decisions about changes that will have huge, dynamic impacts on our economy and nation.
Bernie knows where to cut and where to tax to pay for his visionary changes, like free public college tuition, by imposing a small tax on Wall Street transactions.
Here's another example of the far-reaching change that Sanders envisions: worker co-ops.
"We need to develop new economic models to increase job creation and productivity. Instead of giving huge tax breaks to corporations which ship our jobs to China and other low-wage countries, we need to provide assistance to workers who want to purchase their own businesses by establishing worker-owned cooperatives. Studay after study shows that when workers have an ownership stake in the businesses they work for, productivity goes up, absenteeism goes down and employees are much more satisfied with their jobs."
And as banking and corporate systems have failed to meet the needs of the American economy and its workers, this one change could have a huge impact in bettering the lives of working Americans. It is literally people joining together to take control of their working lives and incomes.
One of Bernie's themes is "We Stand Together" (perhaps drawn from Nickelback) and indeed it is around that theme that he delivered these lines in Portland.
13. "If a bank is too big to fail, I think it's too big to exist."
12. "We must end the embarrassment of this country being the only country on earth that does not guarantee workers paid medical and family leave."
11. "We see kids getting criminal records for having marijuana, but the CEOs of these large institutions get away with theft."
10. On the Koch brothers: "When you have one family spending more than either political party, that is not democracy, that is oligarchy, and that has got to end."
9. On Republicans: "What they mean by family values is that our gay brothers and sisters should not be able to marry and enjoy all the benefits of citizenship. I disagree."
8. "Men, stand with the women and demand pay equity. There is no defensible reason why women are making 78 cents on the dollar. That has got to change."
7. On attendance: "Portland, you have done it better than anyone else."
6. "A minimum wage of $7 an hour is a starvation wage. I applaud those cities - Seattle, Los Angeles and others - that have raised the minimum wage to $15 an hour. And that is exactly what we will do at the federal level."
5. On the very rich: "The have unlimited sums of money. But we have something they do not have. We have a united people."
4. "Every public college and university in America will be tuition-free."
3. "The cost of war is real, and it is terrible. I believe that war should be the last resort, not the first resort."
2. On his Supreme Court nominees: "They will have to tell the American people that their first order of business will be to overturn Citizens United."
1. "This campaign is sending a message to the billionaire class: Yes, we have the guts to take you on."
"Dream big!" Sanders bellows in rallies (though he was hoarse in Dubuque), and that is part of his rallying cry as he kick starts our peaceful political revolution.