Sanders rallies voters at WSSU

Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders addresses that crowd inside the C.E. Gaines Center on the campus of Winston-Salem State University.

Sanders rallies voters at WSSU
March 05
12:25 2020

Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders energized local voters and students in Winston-Salem last week when he made a campaign stop on the campus of Winston-Salem State University (WSSU). 

Before leading a march to the early voting location at the Anderson Center on the campus of WSSU, the senator from Vermont held a rally inside the C.E. Gaines Center. The event drew a crowd of more than 1,000 people. 

While addressing the mixed crowd of voters, students and local and state elected officials, Sanders opened up on his platform and his plan to unseat President Donald Trump. 

“Together we will defeat the most dangerous president in the modern history of this country,” Sanders continued. “We will not have four more years of a pathological liar. We will not have four more years of a corrupt racist. We will not have four more years of a president who undermines American Democracy … and someone who has no respect for the Constitution of the United States.”

Sanders said although President Trump ran on promises to “take on the establishment,” provide healthcare for all, and create a better tax plan for all Americans, he hasn’t kept his word. “The American people want a government and an economy that works for all of us, not just the one percent,” Sanders said. 

Sanders said the American people are tired of wealth inequality and it’s time for a change. When discussing his own platform, Sanders discussed plans for free public college and early childhood education, universal Medicare,  legalizing marijuana, raising the minimum wage to $15, and canceling student debt. He also discussed ending plans to address voter suppression and mass incarceration. 

He said, “As someone who grew up in a working class family, somebody who lived in a rent controlled apartment for all of my childhood … this is a campaign of the working class, by the working class and for the working class.”

Those who attended the rally showed up nearly two hours before it was scheduled to begin. While most made it inside for the rally, more than 100 people were left standing outside because the Gaines Center reached capacity. Madison Whitfield made it inside about 15 minutes before the rally began. Whitfield, who said she was a “Sanders Supporter,” said Sanders’ platform seemed to be aligned with what she’s looking for in a candidate, but she wasn’t sure who she will vote for. 

“I’m a Sanders supporter, but that doesn’t mean I’ve already decided who I will vote for,” Whitfield said while speaking with The Chronicle. Although she doesn’t know who she will vote for, Whitfield said the upcoming election is very important. 

“As an African American, I feel like this election is very important. I think 2016 really showed a lot of people how important voting really is.”

Throughout the rally, Sanders’ supporters and members of his campaign talked about why they believe Sanders is the best candidate to represent the Democratic Party. Keith Ellison, attorney general for the State of Minnesota, Nina Turner, co-chair of Sanders’ campaign, and local legend Dr. Larry Little, all took to the stage. 

Little, who is a professor in the social sciences department at WSSU, longtime community activist and co-founder of the Winston-Salem chapter of the Black Panther Party, said he was proud to be able welcome the next president of the United States to Winston-Salem. Little mentioned Sanders’ record for standing against racism. 

“Bernie has been a champion in the fight against racism all his adult life. Bernie was arrested for fighting against racism,” he continued. “We have a champion we can vote for.”

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Tevin Stinson

Tevin Stinson

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