Bernie Sanders Is Right, America Was Founded On ‘Racist Principles’

Bernie sanders liberty universitySenator Bernie Sanders made a campaign stop at right-wing evangelical Christian Liberty University in Lynchburg, Virginia after which he made a statement that will anger a lot of conservatives. The fact that a Democratic presidential candidate would even appear at a private school that is to the right of Fox News when it comes to politics is surprising, but it is proof that Bernie Sanders’ campaign is trying to talk to everyone – not just the liberal base in safe states like California or New York.


After his speech, Bernie Sanders made a remark that will have Fox News pundits apoplectic for months to come. No doubt, if he wins the Democratic nomination, it will also be the centerpiece of Republican advertising, despite the fact that it is true.

Via Talking Points Memo:

“I would also say that as a nation, the truth is, that a nation which in many ways was created, and I’m sorry to have to say this, from way back on racist principles, that’s a fact,” Sanders said during a Q&A following his speech. “We have come a long way as a nation.”

Sanders, a self-described Democratic Socialist, quoted from both the Old and New Testaments of the Bible during his speech. The senator acknowledged early on that there were major things students of the school, which was founded by the late Rev. Jerry Falwell, would likely disagree with him on, but that he was there to try to find common ground. (Source)

While this will undoubtedly have the right-wing media and their followers up in arms, the fact is Bernie Sanders is right – this nation was founded on principles that were racist. In 1787, the “Three-Fifths” compromise was agreed upon in regards to how slaves would count towards representation in Congress. Southern states wanted slaves to count, despite the fact they could not vote, but only because it would give more power to states that depended on slavery for both labor and political clout. The young American economy, especially in states like Georgia or Virginia, relied heavily on slave labor to produce goods like tobacco and cotton. Even after the Industrial Revolution was well underway in the North in the early 1800s, the South was still primarily an agrarian economy determined to hold on to slavery rather than transition to the industrial age.

We can try to whitewash over those shameful parts of America’s history all we want, but our country has a documented history of denying the right to vote not only based on race, but on gender as well. For many decades, the only people who had the right to vote were white men, and even after slavery was abolished, the South made it extremely difficult for black Americans to cast a ballot.

After the Civil War, the 13th and 14th Amendments were passed and granted additional protections for citizens who weren’t white men, but the former Confederate states were required to ratify those as a condition in order to regain representation in Congress. The 15th Amendment stated that “The right of citizens of the United States to vote shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any State on account of race, color, or previous condition of servitude.”


This should have been the end of the issue, but it wasn’t. Once federal troops withdrew from the former Confederate states at the end of the Reconstruction Era, white supremacy returned with a vengeance. Even before Reconstruction ended, many southern whites were determined to maintain supremacy over the millions of freed slaves and these efforts often resulted in violent clashes like the Opelousas Massacre in 1868 or the Battle of Liberty Place in 1874.

However, many states implemented poll taxes and impossible literacy tests which persisted until the Voting Rights Act. In Louisiana as recently as 1964, black voters were often forced to take a nearly impossible “literacy test” that even Harvard students could not successfully complete in 2014. It wasn’t until almost a hundred years after the Civil War that blacks could vote without state impediments and it took another 40+ years for this country to elect its first black president.

Granted, we have made some progress towards racial equality, but we still have a long way to go. Bernie Sanders is right, this country was founded on racist principles and there are many issues even today that conservatives would like to pretend do not exist. The private prison industry, racial profiling and police brutality are remnants of the racist principles of our past that must be solved if we want true racial equality in the country our children and their children will inherit.



Comments

Facebook comments

  • Creeayshun Sighuntist

    To deny what Bernie said is to deny reality. But, nobody ever accused republicans of living in the real world.

    • Jim Bean

      How many Republican/Conservatives have denied what Sanders said, by your count? You ARE counting right, and not just relying on intuition?

      • Creeayshun Sighuntist

        Maybe you should read your right wing rag sites a little more closely Jim before doing your daily trolling.

      • Jim Bean

        I’ll interpret that as your way of saying “None that I know of.”

      • Creeayshun Sighuntist

        http://www.nationalreview.com/article/424056/bernie-sanders-american-founding-principles-racist

        But all you really have to do is look at the comments section of any right wing rag site that highlighted the speech to see that conservatives overwhelming do not want to admit this fact. It is truly a sad state that the conservative movement is in these days. Enjoy the stupidity of the those you associate with.

      • Shaun Robert Milligan

        )Pff all you have to do is read this bullshit you’ve posted to realize you’ve been brainwashed by liberal hate mongering. Enjoy bernies open borders. BTW once he pushes every company out, where are people going to work? Ya, you morons always refuse to think these things through. Seattle is finding that out with pushing the Minimum wage to $15 an hour. Now either companies are replacing people with computers or just moving the business’s elsewhere. But he Keep fighting that moronic fight. You’ll destroy the country shortly which is evidently what you low-information ass breathing Liberals want. Why I was ever a democrat I’ll never know. BTW, The Democrat party was the party of the KKK they pushed Eugenics which eventually spawned Planned Parenthood, and they supported the Nazis. Have fun with those little facts.

      • CalTeacher

        Your point proves you are wrong. We should bow to corporations because they will screw us otherwise? Speak up for what is right, not the side you expect to win. A Bush was on the original Planned Parenthood board. They also supported the Nazis. The English crown is related to Nazis. Figure it out.

      • Creeayshun Sighuntist

        Really, you should up your meds and pull your head out of your 4th point of contact. That is one of the funniest and saddest displays of nonsense I have seen in some time. Thanks for the laughs…..seriously! That was amazing…hahahaha…unbelievable

    • Shaun Robert Milligan

      This ex-democrat says both sides are fools and liberals are the worst. WTF have you fuckers been putting in your god damn kool-aid.

      • Creeayshun Sighuntist

        seek help and do it quick.

      • Creeayshun Sighuntist

        Hey Shaun, are you one of those crazies who thinks that black helicopters are chasing you and that planes are spraying chemtrails over your house as some kind of “mind control” plot? Do you have a doomsday bunker all set up as well? HAhahahahahaha…….I bet you do. Seriously, you are a prime example of why we need to make mental help free and available to anyone. You clearly are not firing on all cylinders.

        I’m betting your family is worried about you. You should seek help.

  • lenewyorkais

    I am sorry to see Bernie make exaggerated statements for effect and provocation. The history of the US is long and complicated, and to boil it down to this 1 sentence is unfair. The founding fathers fought bitterly regarding slavery, but decided to make severe (and ghastly and immoral) compromises in the goal of creating one nation. Maybe they should not have compromised and should have stuck to proper morality, 1 may argue, but that does NOT mean that “America was founded on racist principles.”

    • strayaway

      Bernie wasn’t wrong. He was just saying the cup was half empty instead of noticing it was half full. As this article pointed out, the 3/5 compromise made this Country possible and it was later remedied with amendments. Bernie wasn’t denying the rest. He just wanted to dwell on the true but negative parts of our history.

      How come no notice of the student conduct at Liberty U? As the article noted, Liberty is “a private school that is to the right of Fox News when it comes to politics”. We hear so much about universities where right wing speakers aren’t allowed to speak or are jeered off the stage. But at Liberty, over 7,000 students mostly in disagreement with Sanders, were polite. Good for Sanders too for reaching out beyond his base.

      • lenewyorkais

        Fine, but what do u gain by provoking your opponents? If anything, u r driving them to vote for anybody else.

      • Jim Bean

        The typical Democrat is going to vote for the Democrat even if the Democrat is Darth Vader.

      • Creeayshun Sighuntist

        source? Is it the same source telling you the President Obama is a secret Muslim?

      • Jim Bean
      • Creeayshun Sighuntist

        Thank you for verifying he is not a Muslim. Good work and it’s not a secret.

      • Creeayshun Sighuntist

        I know quite a few liberals who went to Liberty. Maybe a good number of those students agreed with him…..

      • strayaway

        There was a small cadre of Sanders supporters near the front of the auditorium so anything is possible including that quite a few of your friends went to Liberty. In that, you have me beat. I know of only one lady who went there.

  • Woodrow_Plant

    Behind every progressive is someone who hates to lose, win at all costs regardless. P*ssing on dead people’s integrity does not elevate the discourse. It only reveals the weakness in their thoughts.

  • MC

    Who’s Bernie Sanders?