Thursday, July 23, 2015

Bernie Sanders on Civil & Human Rights

There been a lot of talk about Bernie's Civil Rights record, but I haven't found a good source that has it all in one place. So here you go.

African Americans

In the 1960s, Sanders organized sit-ins to protest segregation, marched on Washington with Martin Luther King Jr, and was present for his "I Have a Dream" speech. In March of this year, Sanders made a statement that the civil rights struggle continues in America.

He endorsed Jesse Jackson for president in 1988, and worked to sway predominately white voters in Vermont.

He has worked to combat youth unemployment, which effects African American youth the most.

Bernie has spoken out against police brutality (before Netroots).

After the shooting in Charleston, SC, Bernie Sanders took the Senate floor to speak in favor of taking down the Confederate flag. See the 2016 presidential candidates on the issue.

Bernie has said that as a nation, America should apologize for slavery.


Sanders has called for an end to deportation, and has worked to amend Summer Work Travel programs. He has spoken in favor of immigration reform and a national conversation on the topic.

He has called for immigration polices that untie families and supports the DREAM Act.

See Bernie speak on Immigration Reform. Also, view Bernie's political summary on Immigration.

See the 2016 presidential candidates on immigration (note that this site does not provide a full list of voting records, but should have a enough to give you a general overview).

From Students for Bernie
Sanders has spoken in favor of gay equality since the 1970s. In 1983, when Burlington, Vermont had its first gay pride parade, Bernie Sanders (mayor at the time) gave his support.

More recently, Sanders urged Obama to support marriage equality in 2011. This year, in April, as the Supreme Court took up cases on gay marriage, Sanders urged the court to recognize the right of all American citizens to wed.

Sanders voted in favor of ENDA, which outlawed employment discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity. He voted to end DADT and against DOMA.

See Bernie's political summary on sexual orientation and gender identity.

See the 2016 presidential candidates on gay marriage back in January, and their reactions to the Supreme Court ruling in June.

Senior Citizens

Sanders is a chair of the Subcommittee on Primary Health and Retirement Security, through which has recently worked to investigate soaring prices of drugs. In 2013, he introduced legislation to strengthen and reauthorize the Older Americans Act.

Sanders has spoken on senior hunger, and earlier this year addressed congress on senior hunger regarding the recent Government Accountability Office report.

He recently introduced legislation to strengthen and expand Social Security. He insists that is unconscionable to consider any cuts to Social Security and that anyone who says the program is in danger is not telling the truth.

You can watch Sanders talk on Social Security. Also, view Sanders' political summary on Senior Citizens.

See the 2016 presidential candidates on civil rights (note that this site does not provide a full list of voting records, but should have a enough to give you a general overview).


Bernie Sanders serves on the Committee on Veterans' Affairs. In 2014 he introduced comprehensive legislation for veterans, addressing issues such as restoring benefits, providing health care, ending backlog, addressing sexual assault, etc.

Sanders has spoken against cutting veterans' benefits, and voiced the need for expanding funding for veteran health care. He voted against the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and has worked closely with veterans of those wars and beyond.

Read how Bernie has fought for veterans. Watch Bernie fight for veterans on the senate floor. View Bernie's political summary on Veterans and Military Personnel.


I've done a whole post on this topic, which (in interest of preventing this post from become longer than it already is) you can view here.

Poverty & Children

Bernie's fight for a federal $15 minimum wage is one way he is working to combat poverty. Bernie recently introduced a solar energy bill to help low income Americans.

In 2014, Bernie Sanders called on Barack Obama to work on reducing childhood poverty.

Read Bernie's statement or watch his video on the war on poverty. Also read his article or watch his video evaluating poverty as death sentence. See Sanders' political summary on Unemployed and Low-Income.

Watch Bernie speak on Childhood Poverty. See Bernie's political summary on Minors and Children.

See the 2016 presidential candidates on civil rights (note that this site does not provide a full list of voting records, but should have a enough to give you a general overview).

Indigenous Peoples

Sanders' solar energy bill also sets aside funds for solar arrays in Appalachia, Indian tribal lands and Alaskan native communities. One of Sanders' worries regarding our country's continued use of fossil fuels is its effect on native Alaskans.

View Bernie's political summary on Indigenous Peoples.

Mental Health

Bernie Sanders has recognized the lack of mental of health care in the Unities States and the need for greater access. See Bernie speak on mental healthcare.

See Bernie's political summary on health care.


Bernie spoke out against our country's mass incarceration problem back in 2008. He continues to speak against it today. His campaign links incarceration rates with issues of class and race.

He is against the death penalty.

See Bernie's political summary on Crime and The Death Penalty.

Foreign Aid

Bernie has stated that he doesn't believe the US should lead the war against ISIS but should support military efforts in the Middle East. He also favors a two-state solution to the Israel-Palestine conflict.

See Sanders' political summary on Foreign Aid. See the presidential candidates on Foreign Aid.


See Bernie's political summary on Civil Liberties and Civil Rights.

See the 2016 presidential candidates on civil rights (note that this site does not provide a full list of voting records, but should have a enough to give you a general overview).

20 Examples of Bernie Sanders' Powerful Record on Civil and Human Rights Since the 1950s

UPDATE 7/23/15: Added Indigenous Peoples, Foreign Aid, and more candidate comparison links.

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