An Open Letter to Black Primary Voters in South Carolina 2016

Dear Black Primary Voters in South Carolina,

I’m not going to beat around the bush or sugar coat my message. I want you to vote for Bernie Sanders.

I want you to cast a vote for Bernie Sanders in the 2016 Democratic Primary Election on Saturday, February 27, 2016.

Who am I?

That’s a good question — because you have to be wary about people telling you who to vote for, right?! I’m a black wife, mother, small business owner, and small time political activist. I don’t like seeing my community taken advantage of. I hate seeing politicians lie to us during election season just so they can get the “Black Vote”.

So, let’s get to the point: Why should you vote for Bernie? Read on, my friend.

Bernie has been fighting racial injustice his entire life.

Bernie was an organizer with SNCC in the 1960s and participated in MLK’s March on Washington in 1963. How many white people in the 1960s were putting their careers, their reputations and their safety on the line to champion the civil rights of blacks? Not many, I can tell you that. Yet, Bernie Sanders was courageous enough to do just that.

Bernie understands that police harassment and brutality are rampant in our communities. Bernie believes in de-militarizing the police. He wants to ensure that the police that protect our communities are well-trained and reflect the demographics of our community. Bernie believes in training police officers on the correct use of force and only when absolutely necessary. He also believes in requiring police departments to collect data on police shootings and he wants to ensure that federal resources are available to break up hate groups that continue to terrorize our communities.

Bernie is just as tired of the police, school systems and politicians feeding the so called “Prison Pipeline”. I’m sure you’re familiar with it. You know how it goes. One of our young black community members gets harassed and then arrested, typically on bogus or ‘trumped up’ charges just because they are black. They are sent to jail for an unreasonably long sentence and the private, for-profit prison system makes money off of them just being in jail. Yes, people make profits off of prisoners! Let’s stop this craziness! Bernie will help us do that.

Bernie knows what it’s like to be poor.

Bernie grew up in a poor neighborhood in Brooklyn, NY. His family never had a lot of money. He understands what a $15 minimum wage would mean for working families, which is why he’s fighting so hard for it.

I don’t know about you, but I want a politician who understands the value of a $15 minimum wage, a day’s hard work and the struggle to put food on the table or kids through college.

Let’s face it, American workers’ wages are stagnant. When was the last time you had a raise? Many of our jobs have gone overseas. Employers have cut benefits and the benefits they do offer take more out of our paychecks than ever before.

Bernie Sanders wants to pass a comprehensive infrastructure bill that would put millions of people back to work repairing the country’s crumbling roads, bridges, dams and historic buildings.

We need a president that is going to fight for the middle class and working poor to ensure that we’re paid a fair wage, have free healthcare coverage and that college for our kids is free, too. I don’t hear any other candidates talking about…

- raising the minimum wage (because the businesses they’ve taken donations from don’t want to pay workers more), or

- universal healthcare (because the insurance companies they’ve taken donations from love making exorbitant profits off of health insurance premiums), or

-increasing taxes on the wealthy so that that tax revenue can go towards better schools, roads, and other social programs for everyone (because the wealthy are greedy and don’t want you and I or our children to have the same opportunities that they have).

Bernie isn’t afraid to stand up to the wealthy

We live in a very wealth country but people like you and me never see any of that wealth. All of the new wealth that is generated goes to the top 1%.

Do you know what those wealthy people do with all that money? They use it to control the politicians that run our government. That’s why politicians don’t pass laws that help you and me, like universal healthcare, a higher minimum wage, gun control, environmental protection laws, etc. Nope. Politicians listen to the rich people that gave them large campaign contributions — not you and me. I can’t even get a meeting with my elected politicians. Lobbyists, paid by the wealthy, have a much easier time getting in to see elected officials than I do. Hmmmmm……

I want that to end. Don’t you want that end? Bernie wants it to end.

If you want to confirm that Bernie Sanders doesn’t take money from wealthy donors or large corporations trying to influence his votes, go to www.opensecrets.org and look up his campaign contribution record.

I know you want change. So do I.

I know you wish you could snap your fingers and wake up tomorrow with a larger paycheck, better benefits, money to send your children to college and a community where you don’t have to worry about your sons and daughters getting harassed, or even killed, by the police.

I don’t want you to be duped any longer. There are so many candidates that keep telling Black people what we want to hear but never do anything that benefits us once they get elected.

To see where Bernie stands on the issues, go to http://www.ontheissues.org/Bernie_Sanders.htm. You can also see how he’s voted in the past on important issues.

I’m not going to lie. Change is hard. Sometimes change comes slower than we want but we have to vote for the candidate that is most likely to get all of these things accomplished. We have to vote for the candidate that believes change is possible and works for change every day of their term. Bernie Sanders has done this.

Bernie has 30+ years of fighting on the right side of history and for our community.

Sincerely,

Sabrina Williams

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