Professor Michelle Alexander. (photo: NewJimCrow.com)
Michelle Alexander| Michelle Alexander’s Facebook Page | Reader Supported News | Februray 19, 2016
his is the last post that I intend to write about the primaries for quite awhile. I am sharing this article because it makes two important points that seem to be lost in all the sensational media coverage of Hillary vs Bernie:
- Although Bernie ultimately voted for the 1994 crime bill, he argued strenuously in opposition to it on the floor of Congress, calling it a “punishment bill” and chastised legislators for their obsession with proving their toughness on crime while millions of people were going hungry and sleeping on the streets. He said “let’s not keep putting poor people into jail and disproportionately punishing blacks.” This was around the same time Hillary was calling black children “super-predators” and saying they must be “brought to heel.” Bernie reportedly voted for the 1994 crime bill only because the Violence Against Women Act was attached. I wish he had voted against the bill. But I think it ought to be acknowledged that while our nation was awash in “get tough” mania, Bernie stood up and spoke out against a bill that aimed to escalate the wars on poor communities of color.
- Despite all evidence to the contrary, the media still seems to act as though there is some real question whether Bernie has been a steadfast supporter of civil and human rights throughout his life. This article ought to end that debate. Whether or not one agrees with every position Bernie has taken throughout his political career, there is not doubt of his longstanding commitment to civil rights.
This is my last post about the primaries for awhile because I fear the discussions are too often toxic and unproductive. There is much more that I could say about this election, but the conversation that I most want to have right now doesn’t have to do with Bernie or Hillary. What I most want to talk about is this: What kind of revolution do we think we want and need? And what, exactly, are we willing to do to bring it to life?