I feel very strongly that the United States of America is, and should always be, a place for people of all colors and creeds, and that all people deserve to have the same rights. Our diversity is a major part of what makes this country great. The government should be ensuring that all people have equal opportunity and that no one person or group of people are denied any of their rights.
The reason for making sure everyone truly has equal rights is simple — and somewhat selfish. If being denied rights can happen to one group of people, it can happen to you.
The truth is that right now (and in the past) in our country you cannot be more privileged than to be born white, male, and Christian. You will not be pulled over for “driving while white.” You will not be paid less for your work than equally qualified peers because you are a woman. And you will certainly not fear for the safety of your family because of your religious beliefs due to the fearful, hateful, and divisional rhetoric from many of our nation’s leaders.
Unfortunately, still today we have many people and politicians who try to make and keep discriminatory laws. There are leading presidential candidates that have called for banning all Muslims from entering the U.S., even those who are already citizens but are temporarily out of the country. There has even been a suggestion that a national registry be created of all Muslims in America, which sounds eerily close to Nazi Germany.
There are many people who have tried to force their religious definition of marriage on everyone else in the country. Either denying the fact that homosexuality exists naturally in this world or not caring that a loving, devoted gay couple might be denied being together in a hospital room to make end of life decisions if one partner is ill.
And despite the civil rights movement, the black community in America is still feeling the legacy of slavery in our country. While outright racism and jim crow laws may no longer be the norm, the black community have had to start from behind on a social, economic and educational level.
The reasons I feel that Bernie Sanders is the best candidate to fight for equal rights among all citizens is because his entire life he has consistently fought for the rights of those who are discriminated against, even when it wasn’t politically correct to do so.
- Bernie was there during the civil rights movement and marched alongside Dr. King.
- Bernie was for gay rights, decades before marriage for same-sex couples was allowed. As mayor of Burlington, VT he signed a city ordinance banning housing discrimination and in 1983 supported the city’s first Pride Parade.
- He advocates for election day to be a national holiday to make voting easier for poor and working Americans who would otherwise have a difficult time making it to the polls while working.
- He supports measures to end the gender pay gap and has stood up for women’s rights.
- He has a lifetime perfect score from the Human Rights Campaign.
- His supporters are a diverse group of people, of all ages, races and religions.
As president, I believe he will work harder than any other candidate to guarantee every single American is granted equal rights, and that is a major reason why I support Bernie Sanders for president.