Columbia Feels The Bern


It is January 21st, 2019, and I am in the presence of Senator Bernie Sanders. We are in a small banquet room off from the main restaurant, and he’s there, only a few yards away speaking about the injustices that South Carolina residents still face. For a 77-year-old man, he’s still passionate about all his views that he’s kept over the years. He shifts to telling us stories about marching with Martin Luther King Jr. and Dr. King’s messages of peace and equality.

He’s firing up the crowd of around 100 people in this cramped little room. There’s Whites, Blacks, Latinos, woman, men, children, teens, he’s drawing support from so many different demographics. And here I am standing in the back in awe of this charismatic man. He finishes his short speech to the people and takes a quick walk around the room to shake hands with people before he sits down to eat the BBQ that was provided.

And there he is, right in front of me and over the camera shutters I hear a woman yell “Bernie lets get a picture with all these teenagers that came out for you.” Suddenly I and 5 other high schoolers are posing for a photo with the man of the hour, and someone slips in that I am a first-time voter and all of his attention is me. Telling me that I’m exercising my given right and that he’s proud of me for voting. I’m a star struck 18-year old that got an obsession with politics meeting a celebrity in my own eyes.

I am not the only politically active teenager that attended the meet and greet for Bernie Sanders, senior Jill Fowler who had always been interested in politics became more involved in political activism recently, says she attended the event because she wanted to learn more about Sander’s political views, and have more exposure to the American political parties.

But before Jill and others got to meet Bernie, he was downtown with Cory Booker (NJ senator) to speak at an NAACP rally. With the racial tensions that seem to grow in the country, Mr. Sanders compared his time at the MLK marches and speeches, and the injustices that minorities faced over 50 years ago that they are still facing today in his speech as a way to rally people into trying to make a change.