The Bern In The House
ATLANTA, GEORGIA, CASCADE PRESS (CP)
The Bern was in “The House” on Tuesday this week. “The House” is Morehouse College. For years students and alumni have affectionately dubbed it as simply “The House.” The welcome mat was laid out for Bernie Sanders, affectionately named “The Bern” by a host of loyal followers and supporters of his chaotic run for the White House.
On Tuesday, those riding with “The Bern” on the theme of a “Future You Can Believe In,” stood in a line more than a mile and a half long, waiting to pass through the secret service security checkpoint to enter into Forbes Arena, home of the Maroon and White Tigers of Morehouse College.
Among those in the long line was Moses Jenkins, a “Morehouse Man” from Sacramento, California. Jenkins is a senior and will graduate in the spring with a degree in business. He has secured a job that he will begin promptly upon graduation.
“I did an internship with this company, they made me an offer and I accepted it,” Jenkins said.
When asked if he was feeling “The Bern,” Jenkins replied, “No, not yet. But I wanted to come out and hear his plans for the country.”
Jenkins did not appear to be bothered about the fact that Sanders has pledged to closely regulate the financial industry. However, he was surprised to see so many white students from other metro Atlanta area colleges on Morehouse campus.
“I’ve never seen so many white students here. I hope they enjoy their stay,” he said before being directed to a line for student attendees.
Trinh Huynh, immigrated from Vietnam in 1980 to Gainesville, Georgia where she finished high school and went on to obtain an undergraduate degree from Princeton and a law degree from Emory University, came with several of her girls friends. While standing in line they were feeling “The Bern,” taking selfies, buying “The Bern” Tee shirts and joking about whether there will be enough room for them in Hades for feeling “The Bern.”
The ladies agreed that if Sanders did not win the primary, they would give their vote to Hillary Clinton and escape that special place Secretary Madeleine Albright said was reserved for women like them. One of the ladies in the group (not one of the ladies pictured above), said she saw Donald Trump as an alternative candidate should Sanders not win the primary.
At the security checkpoint for media, former Ohio State Senator Nina Turner got into a mild altercation with a secret service officer who told her she had to be searched before entering the arena. Turner has been traveling around the country introducing Sanders at similar events.
This may have been her first event since Sanders received secret service protection a few weeks ago, because she seemed perturbed that the officer did not recognize her and required her to wait until he searched media representatives who were in line ahead of her arrival.
“I don’t know why I have to go through this,” Turner said, “I’m the person who will be introducing the senator.”
Turner was escorted by Atlanta Rapper, “Killer Mike,” a burly, no nonsense, pro Black Lives Matter brother, with a full melaninated hue.
“Killer Mike,” came to Turner’s aid and exchanged polite, but firm words with the secret service officer.
Cool heads prevailed, Turner and “Killer Mike” were searched and were allowed to enter the building, as were every journalist, who entered at that checkpoint .
On the inside of Forbes Arena, the Morehouse College “Spirit Band” entertained the crowd with their horn and drum section. At 5:30, the brothers of Omega Psi Phi Fraternity came out and performed a brief step show. If anyone in the crowd had not caught “The Bern,” they were probably beginning to feel it after the Q’s step show.
Atlanta Actress Jasmine Guy, feeling “The Bern” took the podium and told the group that she was honored to be a part of Sander’s HBCU tour. She joked that she had attended two HBCUs: “Mission College and Hillsdale.” The “Sandinistas” roared with laughter. Mission College and Hillsdale are the two mythical colleges in the television sitcoms Guy starred in during the1990s.
After her brush with the secret service, Turner stood on the podium and fired up the faithful by delivering a message to the Clinton campaign: “I want you to know, that we ain’t nobody’s firewall. You don’t have our vote, you have to earn our vote.”
“Killer Mike” had a message for Albright. He rejected the notion that people should vote for Clinton because she is a woman. Although he used less flattering terms than these.
Sanders sauntered onto the stage, showing the wear and tear of a long day on the campaign trail. He had spent a good portion of the day in South Carolina shoring up support in the African American community. He came to life once he reached the dias and quickly dispelled the Clinton notion that he is a one issue candidate.
“The number one issue is the campaign finance system is corrupt. A handful of families are trying to undermine our democracy,” Sanders said.
“Two, we have a rigged economy. The number one beneficiary of the welfare system is the Walton family. We need to get them off of welfare and tell them to pay their workers a decent wage,” Sanders roared.
“Three, we have a broken criminal justice system that is tied to a racist system. My pledge to you is that after my first term as President, we will not have more people in jail than in college,” Sanders exhorted, bringing “The House” down.
Harold Michael Harvey is an American novelist and essayist, the author of Paper puzzle and Justice in the Round. He can be contacted at haroldmichaelharvey.com.