Today is Martin Luther King Jr. Day and it is a good day to think about the work necessary to bring about justice.
I believe that Bernie Sanders is sincere. His campaign releases this video on the eve of Martin Luther King day. A few quick observations:
- The lack of editing is a signal of this video’s credibility. Note that this is a single take . . . no edits, no cuts to remove something that would hurt a political campaign. This starts with microphone checks and becomes a rigorous conversation between four intellectuals. After they are done, Dr. Cornel West yells: “Whooo hoo . . . that was rich!” I agree.
- Shortly after the 20 minute mark Killer Mike begins to pitch the Bernie Sanders campaign to black nationalists. Malcolm X gets a shout out by Senator Turner! A minute later Mike points out that Sanders is comfortable in tough conversations with people of color. Sanders brushes off the compliment and returns to the message.
- “Titles are good, purpose is better.” Senator Nina Turner makes the argument to use your access. (6:30)
- West’s anger toward Obama is palpable. And Senator Turner’s experience with Hillary Clinton is interesting at the 42 minute mark.
- At the 17 minute mark Bernie Sanders talks about his early civil rights organizing experience in Chicago. Particularly he notes that the northern liberal university (University of Chicago) ran segregated student housing — which necessitated a sit in. He talks about his experience organizing with CORE and mentions fighting segregated schools.
- I also like the sincere emotion that comes through. Senator Turner who says that Sanders made her heart leap. The compliments, the gentle physical contact . . .all point to a great series of relationships.
It’s a good and interesting video. Also an artifact worth consideration in the field of presidential rhetoric. Contrast this to most pandering politicians.