Politics Magazine

No! Bernie Was Not At Selma March Led By Dr. King

Posted on the 13 February 2016 by Jobsanger
No! Bernie Was Not At Selma March Led By Dr. King
No! Bernie Was Not At Selma March Led By Dr. King
The other day, as the Black Congressional Caucus threw its support to Hillary Clinton, a reporter tried to deflate that announcement by asking about Bernie Sanders' connection with the Civil Rights movement. Bernie spent about three years demonstrating for civil rights with CORE and SNCC in Chicago, and attended the March on Washington -- and is to be commended for that. But when Rep. John Lewis, who spent many years in the movement and suffered beatings and jail, answered the question by saying he had not met Sanders back then, some Bernie supporters got all bent out of shape.
Twitter blew up with Sanders' supporters saying nasty (and many racist) things about Rep. Lewis. I was shocked. Lewis is a true hero, and those "progressives" who attacked him should be ashamed of themselves.
Now, some have gone further. The picture above shows the Selma March in 1965, and it is being floated around the internet to supposedly shame Rep. Lewis. Lewis was at the march, and some Bernie supporters are claiming that the person in the red circle is Bernie Sanders -- so Lewis had to have been lying (according to them). The second photo compares the person at the march (left) to a picture of the young Sanders (right).
They are NOT they same person. Bernie has never claimed to be at that march in Selma (and I'm sure it would be on his resume if he had been there). Also, Mother Jones (a very progressive magazine) looked into Bernie's civil rights actions -- and they say those actions stopped in 1963 (two years before the Selma March).
Here is what Snopes.com said about the picture:
Some have pegged the identity of the face circled above as likely being that of Paul Reese, who looked somewhat like a young Bernie Sanders, participated in civil rights events of the time, and was present at the march. . .
In short:
  • There's no evidence Bernie Sanders took part in the 1965 march pictured above, other than a photograph showing a face in the crowd that bears some resemblance to him. No one verifiably present at that march has recounted seeing Sanders there, no contemporaneous accounts of the march mentioned his name, and the face circled in the above photograph wasn't associated with Sanders' name until some 50 years after the fact.
  • Sanders' active involve with the Civil Rights Movement had ended a few years prior to that 1965 march, and there's no record of his having been in Alabama around that time.
  • Even Sanders himself hasn't claimed he took part in the march.

Bernie has a fine civil rights record. And his supporters don't need to resort to lies to make it seem better, or to attack a hero for supporting Clinton. Doing so just hurts their own cause and makes them look silly.

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