ATLANTA, GA — We need. We must. We have to.
Those words preceded most of Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders’ phrases during a speech at the Atlanta University Center, as part of his Historically Black College and University tour Tuesday night.
During the course of his 45 minute speech delivered to a crowd of more than 4,800 Morehouse College, Spelman College, Clark Atlanta University students as well as campaign supporters, Sanders discussed big money in elections, drug abuse, prison systems, college affordability and climate change.
Sanders sent four key messages to the crowd:
- “We have to end the violence against unarmed African Americans.”;
- “We must take a hard look at the so-called War on Drugs,”;
- “We need to end the gender and racial wage gap.”;
- “We need to make college tuition free and provide financial help to HBCUs.”
But not every student in attendance was “feeling the Bern.”
Da’Shaun Harrison, a Morehouse College student, said missing from Sanders’ speech were tangible ideas about how to improve the issues affecting lower income earners, people of color and those who identify as LGBT and an opportunity to have a dialogue with Sanders through a question-and-answer session.
Been standing for five hours for empty words. Rhetoric that runs together. No real plan. A few jabs at Hillary and Trump. Okay.
— #PrisonStrike2018 ✊🏿 (@_iAmRoyal) February 17, 2016
“Bernie has always been really good with words and being relatable to the low socioeconomic class,” Harrison said. “But that’s all it’s been. He doesn’t have any plan for those of us who are marginalized within that class.”
Other stops on the tour include Tennessee State University, Alabama State University, Jackson State University, Florida A&M University, Virginia State University, Howard University and Benedict College.
By Michelle Baruchman @mlbaruchman