Breaking Barriers with Bernie

Bernie Sanders

Bernie Sanders lets it be known that although he isn’t always grumpy, there are times when sternness is called for.

“There are sometimes I’m not grumpy. Now is not one of those times,” says Sanders playfully.

This was a notable moment in Sanders’ most recent interview with NowThis, a popular social media channel. When asked what it would mean to be the first Jewish president, he answered “It’s another barrier that’s broken down – and the goal of what politics in America should be – it’s to break down those barriers – to elect people whether they’re women, whether they’re men, whether they’re gay, whether they’re straight, whether they’re old, whether they’re young. Elect the best candidates, the candidates who speak to your needs.” It is important that we are inclusive of others, and Sanders makes clear his commitment to this ideal, reflects Hirsh Mohindra.

The ten-minute interview, titled “Why Bernie Sanders Isn’t Worried About Overpromising,” was created with the aim of allowing Sanders to connect with voters on a more intimate level. The interview covers Sanders’ increasing focus on racial justice as well as wealth inequality, but also his jam-packed schedule, his basketball prowess, and whether or not he believes he can deliver on any of his ambitious pledges to reform the United States government into a more democratic socialist state once he is elected. If Bernie Sanders is elected president that would indeed break down barriers, and the breaking down of barriers is something we could all stand to benefit from, says Hirsh Mohindra.

NowThis asked Bernie a few questions concerning his Jewish heritage and what it would mean for the U.S. to have its first Jewish president. He was also asked if he had experienced any discrimination because of his heritage, and what it was like to experience it. Sanders didn’t seem too interested in examining these experiences, as he is customarily hesitant to discuss too deeply any aspects of his personal life.

After discussing the topic of diversity in general terms in his response to NowThis’ first question concerning the topic of possibly becoming the U.S.’s first Jewish president, Sanders shifted his scope to the barriers met by other marginalized groups in American society, ranging from women to the elderly. Hirsh Mohindra, reflecting on Sanders’ inclusiveness, notes that Sanders’ sensitivity to the struggles of marginalized groups regardless of creed or heritage speaks to the depth of his sense of community.

Sanders shared a little bit more when he was asked if he has ever experienced discrimination, sharing that he has indeed experienced anti-Semitism. He went on to relate his experience with discrimination to the discrimination faced by numerous other minority groups.

“Being Jewish, I get hit every now and then with anti-Semitism,” he said. “You respond with anger, and you respond by appreciating what it is to understand that there are people in the African-American community, in the Latino community, in the gay community, women, who are discriminated against every day.”

Author: Hirsh Mohindra

Hirsh Mohindra is a Chicago based experienced business professional who is inspired by design, innovation and the power of relationships. Hirsh enjoys tackling challenges and helping others succeed in achieving their goals. Some of his key focus areas are health care, real estate, and US/India cross border transactions.

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