Frequently criticized for overlooking civil rights issues, 2016 Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders has laid out a multi-faceted platform aimed at achieving racial justice.
The plan, which was unveiled on Monday, would attempt to abolish various forms of discrimination and acts of violence against people of color. Sanders proposes barring hiring managers and job applications from asking potential employees about their criminal history, preserving the 1965 Voting Rights Act, eliminating for-profit prisons, redefining the “war on drugs” to ensure that offenders of all backgrounds receive the same punishments and retraining and demilitarizing police departments across the nation.
“It is an outrage that in these early years of the 21st century, we are seeing intolerable acts of violence being perpetuated by police,” Sanders said in a statement. “We need a societal transformation to make it clear that Black lives matter and racism cannot be accepted in a civilized country.”
Sander’s proposal was met with applause from various civil rights activists, who, in recent weeks, have criticized the Vermont politician’s silence on attacks against Black Americans and, his July 18 declaration, “All lives matter.”
Currently, Sanders and Hillary Clinton are the two Democratic frontrunners in the 2016 elections. Though Clinton has spoken out about the Black Lives Matter movement, she hasn’t explicitly laid out a platform to address racial issues.