While Missouri Students Battle Racism, Prison Lobbyists Funded Hillary Clinton's Campaign. I'm Voting Bernie Sanders

Clinton leans to the right on war, foreign policy, Wall Street, trade, and also issues of race. If you don't understand the logic, you won't see how important Bernie Sanders is to the future our nation, or that as I explain in a Ring of Fire appearance, he's the only way to defeat Trump.
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LAS VEGAS, NV - November 8, 2015: Bernie Sanders rally in North Las Vegas, NV on November 8, 2015. Credit: Erik Kabik Photography/ MediaPunch/IPX
LAS VEGAS, NV - November 8, 2015: Bernie Sanders rally in North Las Vegas, NV on November 8, 2015. Credit: Erik Kabik Photography/ MediaPunch/IPX

Ohio Democratic Party official Nina Turner just endorsed Bernie Sanders, and the Vermont Senator's stance on voting rights and wage issues is the reason Turner switched from Clinton to Sanders. If the next Democratic debate revolves around issues pertaining to race, then Bernie Sanders will have no trouble differentiating himself from Hillary Clinton. As with Clinton's Iraq War vote, prior stances on Keystone XL and the TPP, evolution on gay marriage and now the reclassification of marijuana, it seems that the former Secretary of State evolves just in time for elections. On the issue of race, Clinton has an "abysmal" record according to Daunasia Yancey, the founder of Black Lives Matter in Boston. Quoted in NPR, Ms. Yancey explains this viewpoint:

YANCEY: I think that her record is abysmal (laughter). I think that her support of policies that have decimated black community -- she talked a lot about her advocacy for children, for black children, for Latino children while simultaneously sending those children's parents to jail and, if we talk about the Juvenile Justice System, sending those children themselves to jail. And so it's kind of speaking out of both sides of her mouth in a way.

In addition to an "abysmal" record on racial justice, Hillary Clinton just recently evolved to cut ties with prison lobbyists, which leads to some important questions.

Why did Hillary Clinton accept money from prison lobbyists in the first place?

In an era of mass incarceration and racial injustice within the criminal justice system, where prison sentences for black men are 20% longer than those of white men with similar crimes, how could a leading Democrat like Clinton accept money from prison lobbyists?

In contrast, Bernie Sanders has a comprehensive Racial Justice platform and his campaign is funded by the average American; over one million online donors thus far. Sanders has worked hard not only to gain votes from African-Americans and Latinos, but he's tried to earn the votes of non-white Democrats. For this reason, writer and director Cesar Vargas wrote a brilliant piece in The Huffington Post titled Why Latinos Should Vote for Bernie Sanders and Why He Needs Us. In addition, Dr. Cornel West is campaigning for Bernie Sanders in Iowa according to The Des Moines Register, and the Vermont Senator's racial justice platform has been praised by Black Lives Matter.

Sadly, the upcoming Democratic debates will take place amidst racial tension once again in Missouri. One candidate accepted money from prison lobbyists whose job it is to uphold the interests of those who profit from mass incarceration. Unlike Hillary Clinton, the Missouri Tigers football team risked future earnings in the NFL and other consequences to make a statement about racism. The picture posted by Tigers Coach Gary Pinkel of solidarity, of black and white players and coaches with arms locked and in unity, is a profound moment in American history.

In addition to the boycott of football related activities by the team, Missouri student Jonathan Butler made a powerful statement. According NBC News in an article titled Jonathan Butler: How a Grad Student's Hunger Strike Toppled a University President, Butler's show of courage resulted in positive change:

"My body feels like it's on fire," he told the Washington Post on Thursday. But, he added, "it's worth sacrificing something of this grave amount, because I'm already not wanted here. I'm already not treated like I'm a human."

Then, with help from the Mizzou football team, things turned.

Black players, with the backing of their head coach, threw their support behind Butler on Saturday, refusing to practice or play until Wolfe was shown the door.

...On Sunday, Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon demanded the university's Board of Curators governing board to do something. And on Monday morning, Wolfe quit. In his announcement, Wolfe expressed regret that Butler had felt forced "to take immediate action or unusual steps to affect change."

In an effort to address racism on campus and in American society, Butler risked his life, football players risked consequences from the NCAA, and students protested on campus and in their society.

When it comes to political power, however, the Clinton campaign found it necessary to accept money from lobbyists who hold the exact opposite goals from key constituencies of the Democratic Party. As stated in a Think Progress article titled Clinton To Cut Ties With Private Prison Industry, the Clinton campaign only decided to cut ties after pressure from civil rights groups:

"Our message was, 'You can't be pro-immigrant and still have this blemish on your record,'" said Zenén Jaimes Pérez with United We Dream, one of many organizations that teamed up to press Clinton. "She had [campaign donation] bundlers who worked for the Corrections Corporation of America and Geo Group, which run most of the immigrant detention centers in this country. For me, it was a big deal, because my dad was detained in a Geo facility. She was taking money from a group profiting from my family's suffering."

Activists are still concerned however, that Clinton has not yet released a criminal justice reform plan, though she has said one is currently in the works. Pérez told ThinkProgress he hopes the plan specifically addresses mandatory incarceration minimums for immigration-related civil violations, such as crossing the border without authorization. Black Lives Matter has also met multiple times with the Clinton campaign to demand reforms that address mass incarceration and police violence.

In September, Clinton's 2016 rival Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) introduced a bill to ban the federal government from awarding contracts to private prisons...

Of course, it's highly doubtful Clinton would have stopped accepting money from prison lobbyists, had civil rights organizations not pressured the campaign. In contrast, Bernie Sanders has worked toward criminal justice reform and has publicized the danger of private prisons.

As for the ability of Clinton supporters to overlook their candidate's willingness to contribute to structural racism, it seems odd that most would refer to themselves as liberal, or progress. It seems, also, that Hillary Clinton is held to a different standard from most politicians, and most other people. Recently, my latest articles in The Huffington Post and Salon have caused a bit of stir, and I find this ironic since on the biggest topics, Clinton is a Republican. On the issue of race, Clinton has made sure not to address topics while they're heated; opting for the most benign statements and name recognition. As I've pointed this out in my writing, along with the fact that Clinton will have a neoconservative foreign policy, detractors have engaged in their usual ad hominem attacks. Rarely do certain Clinton supporters explain how an evolution took place, whether it's for gay marriage, the TPP, or any other topic, and often attempt to disparage the messenger.

It's bizarre that I've been chastised by certain people for once writing an article about Rand Paul, even though Hillary Clinton's campaign had accepted money from prison lobbyists, waited almost three weeks to address Ferguson, and ran a 3 AM ad with a "racist sub-message" in 2008. One would think that Clinton's record on race would garner more concern, but alas, there are a great many "Facebook Liberals" voting for Clinton.

Last year's Paul piece was written solely for the purpose of preventing more Americans from being sent back to Iraq, especially since leading Democrats like Clinton should have opposed the Iraq War like Bernie Sanders.

For the record, I'm a lifelong Democrat and I'm only voting for Bernie Sanders.

I explain why in this YouTube video, so if there are people out there who'd rather attack the messenger than address the points made in my writing, please watch the video. Please show the video to anyone spreading the conspiracy theory that I'm a Paul supporter. I also explain in this YouTube video why voting your conscience will lead you to vote for Bernie Sanders.

Lastly, in one of my recent appearances on The Benjamin Dixon Show, I explain how Bernie Sanders won the first Democratic debate. Sanders will win the upcoming debate, not only because he voted against Iraq, while Hillary Clinton calls her vote a "mistake." He'll win because America still has a race problem, and while Hillary Clinton accepted money from the prison lobby, others are undergoing hunger strikes. Yes, I'm only voting for Bernie Sanders, not Clinton, because Supreme Court justices might indeed survive four years of a GOP presidency, but the Democratic Party won't survive a shift further to the right; our two-party system will eventually become one. Clinton leans to the right on war, foreign policy, Wall Street, trade, and also issues of race. If you don't understand the logic, you won't see how important Bernie Sanders is to the future our nation, or that as I explain in a Ring of Fire appearance, he's the only way to defeat Trump.

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