Photos of a 21-year-old Bernie Sanders being arrested at a civil rights protest in the 60s while attending the University of Chicago have recently surfaced from the Chicago Tribune’s archives.
The identity of the man in the photos was questioned after first appearing. University of Chicago alumni initially identified the man in the photo as someone other than the democratic presidential candidate.
Bernie Sanders confirmed his own presence in the photo while in Nevada after comparing it to his decades-old college I.D. card he conveniently still carried.
The photographer who took the photo, Danny Lyons, contacted the University of Chicago’s Library Special Research Center to give his official confirmation that the man in the photo being arrested is in fact Bernie Sanders.
As a student at the University of Chicago, Sanders—like many white liberal college students in the 1960s—found himself being arrested for his role in some form of civil disobedience.
Bernie’s August 12, 1962 arrest came as he was protesting against the “Willis Wagons” in the Englewood Public Schools just outside of Chicago.
“Willis Wagons” were named after Benjamin Willis—then school superintendent Benjamin Willis—who placed mobile trailers in overcrowded African schools.
Sander’s answer to this issue was simple. It was to bus African children to majority white schools.
His protesting and subsequent arrest was all so that African children can be graced with the experience of being educated in an institution surrounded by white people.
His so-called civil rights record boils down to his battle to reform Chicago’s racist public schools in the 1960s by merging African people into it.
Bernie didn’t get it then and he doesn’t get it now
The problem for the African people of Chicago’s Englewood area during the 1960s was not the fact that they had a school superintendent who would rather squeeze mobile trailers onto overcrowded schools to avoid bussing African children to majority white schools.
The problem for the African people in Chicago then is the same problem for African people in Chicago today, as well as from Flint, MI down to Atlanta, GA and nationwide. The problem is that we are not in control of our own lives.
The fact that Benjamin Willis had the power to dictate whether funds for the education of African children go to a new building or to cheap mobile trailers was the problem for African people. We pay into a system that we cannot control and is designed to keep us as a permanent under-class.
Bernie’s solution then was intergration. His solution to the oppression faced by African people at the hands of the U.S. has not changed much today.
Sanders refused to address the issue of white power controlling the lives of African people in Chicago during the 1960s just as he ignores the issue of white power controlling the lives of African people today.
The democratic candidate would much rather promote the idea of him swooping in like a white super-hero with his bag of neocolonial bandages, coming to dress the gaping economic wound left in the African nation by slavery and the rise of capitalism.
This photo of Sanders being arrested is supposed to make Africans feel safe. It’s supposed to make us Africans feel as though Bernie will put his freedom and life on the line for us.
Bernie fakes the funk
Well it’s now time for a wake-up call. Bernie Sanders spent his college days protesting and slumming it for Africans in Chi-town not unlike white actor Mark Wahlberg’s teenage years being spent with his pants sagging and calling himself “Marky Mark” during the late 80s and early 90s.
This time he spent fighting for the wrong things on behalf of African people was nothing more than a brief youthful rebellion against the system. Photos of Sanders have surfaced which shows him participating in a few peaceful marches—one of which, he claims to have marched alongside Dr. King. It’s all irrelevant.
After Bernie’s little youthful love affair with African civil rights, he never once looked back to address the plight of African people until he decided to run for president of the United States
Sanders settled into his cushy liberal life in Vermont in 1968, where he eventually grew out of his “negro saving phase” and focused on the plight of white workers during the 1970s.
He ran for governor of Vermont in 1972 and again in 1976 under the white-ran Liberty Union Party where his platform included corporate regulations and higher state minimum wages for the white workers that populated the state.
He was voted the mayor of Burlington, VT in 1981, went on to become a senator where he supported the Bill Clinton’s 1994 Crime Bill that put more racist pigs in African community with even more aggressive training tactics that have greatly contributed to the number of dead and incarcerated African people in the U.S.
Bernie has a voting record that alone should show African people who they are truly dealing with, yet he turns up with grainy black and white photos singing “Do you remember the time” and too many of us fall for it.
Stay on the right side of the question. We don’t owe neither Bernie or any other white 70-year-old who demonstrated during the civil rights movement anything. We don’t owe them a vote. We don’t owe them a thank you. We don’t even owe them honorable mention.
They owe us. They owe us more than they can ever pay us by marching on the soles of their feet or by getting arrested. They owe us reparations.
The African population is being manipulated. We should not allow this. Get out of the voting booth and let’s organize and build the African People’s Socialist Party—the revolutionary Party with our interests at the forefront.
Sanders is a phoney. He cannot free us Africans. Only we can free ourselves.
Forward the Revolution!
Join the African People’s Socialist Party!
[Editor’s note: The initial version of this article incorrectly reported that Sanders voted in favor of the welfare reform act that cut social welfare benefits for poor African families 1996. The Burning Spear online production team is self-critical for this error. We apologize to our readers and thank those who pointed this error out to us.]