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Old Gold & Black

Old Gold & Black

Scott Kull: The new Director of Athletics
Abigail Taylor, Contributing Writer • April 16, 2024

Is Sparkle-City Feeling ‘The Bern?’

Is Sparkle-City Feeling ‘The Bern?’

Visit from Senator Sanders at a town hall

Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont spoke at a town hall meeting in Spartanburg, SC on April 18, an event sponsored by the local chapter of the Legislative Black Caucus. Sanders has announced his bid for the 2020 presidential election after previously running in 2016. His platform is based on ideas such as universal Medicare availability, raising the national minimum wage, reducing or eliminating college costs and implementing a tax alterations that would raise taxes for individuals and corporations. 

When being introduced at the event, it was said that Sanders had been involved with the movement for the end of segregation in the 1960s and joined the march during Martin Luther King Jr.’s “I Have a Dream” speech.  

During his speech, Sanders focused on two main topics: the current US education and incarceration systems. Beginning with education, Sanders referenced that to improve education, America should first begin to show more respect to those that lead the field of education. In addition to a lack of respect, Sanders commented on the generally low wages that teachers are often offered, which, according to him, discourages young people from entering the work force as teachers. Sanders also argued that if the nation changes its outlook of the role of teachers in the advancement of the American education system, then maybe more promising and dedicated individuals will undertake the job. He stated that if children are afforded a more quality education, they may be more likely to secure a good job and to become productive members of society. 

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Following the topic of education, Sanders claimed that children are more likely to fall through the cracks because of a “failing and overburdened education system.” According to Sanders, without a basis of education or a stable system of support, people may be more attracted to committing crimes. Once in prisons, Sanders says, it becomes harder for people to become accepted within society. Sander’s stated a quote from Frederick Douglas during this segment of his speech: “it is easier to build strong children than repair broken men.” 

Sanders also critiqued what he sees as “massive inequalities” in today’s incarceration system. Sanders citied that the issue plaguing poorer areas is that minority dominated communities are more likely to present lower quality education facilities and opportunities.  

Sanders also stated that compassion must be found to help improve the lives of all Americans. Wondering aloud, Sanders questioned if “America [is truly] as good as it promises.” Ultimately, Sanders said that those facing hard lives in the U.S. are “not looking for a hand-out, but a hand up.”

Written by Erin Bedenbaugh

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