Between January 16 and January 17, 2016, a lot was learned from attending Minority Whip James Clyburn’s historically famous Fish Fry and the Democratic Presidential Debate in Charleston, South Carolina. Dr. Cornell West and actor Stephen Bishop who plays David Paulk on “Being Mary Jane” were in attendance wearing Bernie Sanders stickers on their coats representing their support for the presidential candidate. When asked about former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s chances of winning the Primary Election, Dr. West said, “They’re going to feel the Bern’!” Stephen Bishop, Senator Nina Turner of the State of Ohio, and rapper Killer Mike are optimistic about Senator Bernie Sanders’ chances of winning the Primary Election.
During any election cycle there is always an impending fear that one’s constituents may not show up to vote in large measure. There is never a guarantee what people will and will not do on the day of the Primary Election. Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton launched an attack on Senator Bernie Sanders at the YouTube Democratic Candidates Debate last night and seemed to align herself with President Barack Obama’s policies. However, at prior debates the former Secretary of State seemed elusive or disingenuous when it came to issues that concern the African-American community. But she seemed to embrace the African-American issues at the YouTube Democratic Candidates Debate which had been watched by 12.5 million viewers making it the “third-highest rated Democratic debate in history” according to NBC News. But Senator Bernie Sanders seemed comfortable on the debate stage last night.
After the YouTube Democratic Candidates Debate had concluded, this contributor had the opportunity to interview Representative LaDawn Jones of the State of Georgia in the Spin Room at the Gaillard Center in Charleston, South Carolina. When asked who she thought won the debate, Representative Jones stated that she thought Senator Bernie Sanders had won the debate. When asked why she thought Senator Sanders had won the debate, her reply was that Senator Sanders would continue to improve President Obama’s economic policies by driving unemployment down while stimulating job growth. Representative Jones stated that Senator Sanders has a comprehensive plan for maintaining healthcare for all Americans and would provide relief for those with student loans. These are issues that not only resonate with the American public, they provide hope.
Next, Representative Jones was asked how Senator Bernie Sanders felt about the impending United States Supreme Court case titled, Friedrichs v. California Teachers Association, which is a case that deals with how public unions collect dues from non-union members they represent. Representative Jones said that Senator Sanders favors unions as they assure that employees receive a decent wage for their labor. Expounding on the issue, this contributor explained that some do not believe that Samuel Gompers, father of the labor movement, intended to entangle public agencies with unions. Representative Jones said she was not familiar with the case.
Representative Jones was asked if Senator Bernie Sanders has a position on the unarmed killing of African-American males by law enforcement officers? She said that Senator Sanders would make an investigation mandatory where excessive force seems apparent. This contributor explained that police unions have policies that aren’t transparent, like waiting ten days after a fatal incident before a police report must be filed with the police department. This is the direct result of having a unionized police department. This contributor recalled the incident in South Carolina where deputy sheriff Ben Fields of the Richland County Sheriff’s Department threw a teenage female across the classroom and was terminated because South Carolina is a right-to-work state. Therefore, deputy sheriff Ben Fields served at the will of Sheriff Leon Lott who saw fit to promptly terminate the officer for his use of excessive force which violated an internal policy. In the absence of a union, Sheriff Leon Lott was effective in the authority bestowed upon him. Had the Richland County Sheriff’s Office been unionized, we’d probably be asking why hasn’t deputy sheriff Ben Field’s been arrested yet.
This contributor asked Representative Jones what does she think is driving the upward momentum of Senator Bernie Sanders? She said the American public is excited about Senator Sanders’ message which tends to resonate with Americans throughout the nation. Representative LaDawn Jones appeared excited as she made the case for the election of Senator Bernie Sanders after the YouTube Presidential Candidates Debate. Senator Bernie Sanders appears to have struck gold by aligning himself with intelligent, credible, and respected community leaders who really seem to care about the direction of this country.