South Carolina, a state that is still reeling from a racially-motivated massacre, welcomed Bernie Sanders back while on his campaign trail. Sanders returned to South Carolina after his visit there last month. Sanders did a series of three town hall meetings in the state on Saturday. The first stop on Sanders’ agenda was at the historical Benedict College in Columbia. Sanders talked about his plan to provide free college tuition at public schools. He also talked about restoring voting rights protections and raising the minimum wage. Sanders also raised concerns about “institutionalized racism,” justice system reform, and his support of having a universal minimum of 12 weeks paid family and medical leave.
Cornell West, a supporter of Black Lives Matter and civil rights activist, joined Sanders in South Carolina. West spoke about a interruption by BLM at one of Sanders’ previous rallies.
“Once people are exposed to who he really is, and see his genuine commitment to racial justice, economic justice and gender justice, we won’t have too many worries about those kinds of disruptions.”
Sanders welcomes West’s support as he is a major voice in the black community. Sanders currently has only about three percent of the black vote, and hopes to gain more as they start to learn more about him.
After the Benedict rally, Sanders next visited Florence. The presidential hopeful touched again on the same things he told the crowd at Benedict. By the time he finished, as the crowd was cheering and yelling his name, he asked the crowd to join a political revolution.
“The only way that change takes place is when millions of people come together and say enough is enough.”
Sanders’ last stop was in Rock Hill. where a large crowd of about 3,000 turned out. Because of the huge turnout, the event was moved to the 3,500 seat Byrnes Auditorium at Winthrop University. The South Carolina for Bernie Sanders facebook page talked about the event with enthusiasm.
Sanders also met with community leaders, pastors, and activists in South Carolina yesterday. Despite being deemed “unelectable” early on, Sanders continues to draw large crowds and his visit to South Carolina Saturday was no exception. He continues to gain on Clinton, and the polls show him to be a clear contender, being only eight percent behind her. If Sanders can win the votes of the black community along with the working class voters then he could definitely win the nomination.
[Photo: PPP Focus]