Bernie Sanders sat down on Martin Luther King, Jr. Day with Dr. Cornel West, rapper and activist Killer Mike, and Nina Turner, the former minority whip for the Ohio Senate, to discuss Martin Luther King, Jr.’s legacy. The four discussed his life, his legacy, and the effects he had on the struggles still happening today. Several times the discussion comes back to how Dr. King’s legacy is frequently sanitized, obscuring how truly radical and outspoken his views were. Bernie sanders reflected on Dr. King’s path and how his aims expanded far beyond racial justice alone in the months leading to his death. “This is what courage is about. He said, ‘Enough.’ If he was going to be consistent with his own inner soul, he had to ask other questions. And the questions he asked, he says, I’m a man of nonviolence, but we’re living in a time of Vietnam War.” He then links Dr. King’s struggle against Vietnam and civil rights to his Poor People’s Campaign, a grassroots movement that fought for economic rights and against income inequality. Dr. Cornel West echoed this sentiment, explicitly linking this to Sander’s campaign. “I was sitting in church today, Mother Emanuel Church, and we were reading the words of Martin Luther King, Jr.,” said West. “And I said to myself, ‘This is what the Sanders campaign is about. This is what it’s about. It’s about the poor, working people. It’s about keeping track of the weak and the vulnerable. It’s about mustering the courage to tell the truth about Wall Street, about wealth inequality.”
Last week there was a six-year-old boy wandering in the street, with either autism or post-traumatic stress disorder, and he was screaming. It sounds awful, but somebody had tied him to a tree. The International Committee of the Red Cross talked to the combatants, and it was arranged for an ambulance crew from the Palestinian Red Crescent Society to go to rescue him. But when they went to save the child the crew was attacked and the driver shot dead.Another time I was at a hospital dealing with 180 casualties who came in. A Palestinian doctor there was in tears, sobbing uncontrollably. He told me he had been called over from another hospital in the middle of the night because of an attack.One of the casualties was a girl, about 19 or 20, who had lost her baby and sister. This surgeon amputated her right leg, performed a vascular bypass graft, shortened her femur, and fixed up her abdomen. He was crying because she was his sister.There is terrible human suffering here. It needs to stop.