RG: When I think about erasing, I think part of it is that they’re trying to erase Bernie, but they’re actually trying to erase the potential of a movement because even if Bernie Sanders gets elected, he doesn’t can’t do all these things alone. It’s actually the working class movement rising up, and not just Bernie as an individual, that most threatens the status quo, the existing social order that prioritizes big profits over people’s lives. .
He talks about it a lot, like, ‘It’s not all about me, it’s about us.’ It’s really going to be the grassroots movement that continues to organize and lobby Congress, that wins things like free college, medicare for all, the Green New Deal, and an end to incarceration for mass. And so I think this whole Democratic establishment and corporate media scheme of saying ‘Nobody likes Bernie Sanders’ or ‘A socialist couldn’t win the presidency’ is much more about erasing this whole movement popular and all the energy that people are feeling right now on the ground around his campaign than it’s about Bernie Sanders as an individual.
A M: I think it’s also important to identify and articulate where most people get their news from because social media isn’t really democratic. It is, as we know, owned, and large companies have a strategy and a role in how this information is distributed. So I think I’m still skeptical as well of the stories that are being raised and told around this brother Bernie. I think we all need to have a good sense of skepticism when reading things on the internet.
I think Bernie Sanders reminds us how connected we are as a movement, that we have to come together and that we have to heal this trauma, this disease that we are in together. We have to find a way to see through the differences in order to arrive at the solution.
RG: Kenidra, do you feel like people also have a healthy bit of skepticism where they just don’t trust white people right now and maybe there’s a lot of harm in there?
kW: Absolutely. I feel like there’s a thing about feeling abandoned by white people… People, just in general, that I know personally are like ‘Oh, how can he help us?’ And I’m just like, ‘Wow, you haven’t read his plans.’… So I was like, ‘Do your research.’ I tell them, ‘Oh, he wants to tackle unemployment, he wants to tackle low wages and this student debt and all that other stuff.’ He’s a man who keeps his word.”
RG: [Regarding] this question around a healthy skepticism: is there anything that Sanders could actually do better? Like what do we think its rough edges are?
kW: I don’t know if you all saw the video that went viral [from an October 2019 forum in South Carolina] when he told a black boy what he would do if he was pulled over by a cop or something, and then he just said he would respect – go with what the cop says because he doesn’t want to get shot in the head or something like that. I guess that was a little rude, I was like, ‘Wow. I do not know.’ Sometimes Bernie is super blunt, and… it’s not a bad thing to be so blunt, but it’s like, what he said during that time, I was kind of surprised.