The front runner for the Democratic nomination for president is Hillary Clinton, but that doesn’t mean she doesn’t having any competition. Independent Sen. Bernie Sanders has been rising in the polls, leaving the Clinton campaign “worried” about where the focus of the primary will lead. After being challenged by the host of ‘Meet the Press,” Sanders set the record straight when it comes to recent political hot topics.
Last weekend during a panel discussion hosted by Netroots Nation, Sanders was repeatedly interrupted by members of Black Lives Matter, a civil rights movement that came together following the recent struggles between law enforcement and African Americans. After an awkward exchange that lasted several minutes, Sanders was able to finally get his point across to those in the crowd, highlighting his long history of being a champion of civil rights. During the July 26 edition of “Meet the Press,” host Chuck Todd accused Sanders of getting into a “confrontation” with members of the movement, something the senator wasn’t going to let slide.
“I didn’t have a confrontation,” Sanders said, cutting off Todd. “The issue they raised was in fact a very important issue,” Sanders said, before citing the recent case of 28-year-old African American woman, Sandra Bland, who was arrested after a minor traffic incident, and after the officer used questionable tactics, she was found dead three days later in her jail cell from an apparent suicide.
Todd continued, accusing Sanders of possibly being dismissive of his handling of civil rights issues. “I was not dismissive,” Sanders fired back, defending his over four decade history of being involved with the civil rights movement.
“I’ve been involved in the Civil Rights movement all of my life. I believe we have to deal with the issue of institutional racism…We have to end institutional racism, but we have to deal with the reality that 50 percent of young black kids are unemployed; that we have massive poverty in America, and we have an unsustainable level of income and wealth inequality.”
Some have described Sanders handling of the Black Lives Matter protesters who interrupted him as “confrontational,” but it appears to have been just a natural reaction to being cut off during a speech. Sanders has fought for civil rights since the 1960s, joining in on the March on Washington in the summer of 1963. Despite push back from Todd, Sanders isn’t going to let anyone define him.