If you get your news from the television and the main stream media, you may or may not know that Bernie Sanders held a townhall/rally at the Apollo Theatre April 9 with Nina Turner, Harry Belafonte and Erica Garner — the daughter of Eric Garner who was murdered on camera by police after breaking up a fight.
During that rally, Sanders made many points about gentrification, justice, policing and economics. But he also said something which caught my ear because it’s rare to hear a politician simply state the truth.
BERNIE SANDERS: People say ‘well Bernie’ — this gets back to the point, the question Joe asked a while ago — is these ‘wild and crazy and very expensive ideas’. And the answer is yeah they are, but it’s less expensive than bailing out Wallstreet. It’s less expensive than going to war in Iraq. It is less expensive than giving tax breaks to billionaires.
We can do these things. Yeah they sound idealistic. But I think what it means — if kids from 0 to 4 get high quality pre-K education, they’re ready for the first grade. And if they have free public — if we have free tuition at public colleges and universities, a strong public education, what does it mean to this country?
Is this something that we in America are unable to do? I don’t believe that. We CAN do it. But to do it we’re gonna have to change our national priorities. To change our national priorities, we are gonna have to take on the greed and selfishness of Wallstreet and corporate America.
Sanders makes the point that the American government has spent billions of dollars on War, Wallstreet bailouts and tax breaks for the rich.
Why is it that when it comes to helping average Americans, everything becomes too expensive? Everything suddenly needs to be “paid for” prior to any plan getting implemented or the people in power turn into armchair psychologists, insisting that poor people will get the idea they can laze around and “live off the system”, while they, themselves, regularly use the system to keep themselves rich.
In all honesty, “we” can’t afford NOT to give debt relief to some of the brightest, most educated people in America. “We” can afford to make sure future generations aren’t beholden to big banks for decades of their lives.
While “we” have spent decades arguing over what the government can and can’t afford, money magically fell out of the sky (and disappeared) to fight a war of choice in Iraq. Money also grew on trees when Wallstreet needed to keep themselves afloat in 2008.
But when Sanders proposes free tuition at public colleges/universities, it becomes an expense “we” can’t afford. And Sanders is asked to give step-by-step details about how to make it possible BEFORE he has the job — a job which comes with access to dozens of advisors and planners who’ve made a career of figuring out how to get sh!t done.
Sanders, at the end of the clip, clearly makes the point that before our national priorities can change, “we” have to deal with the reasons blocking change from happening: the “greed and selfishness of Wallstreet and corporate America”.