A little over a decade ago, I met Bernie Sanders when I was a pimply-faced undergrad interning in his Washington office. I was attending college at a small liberal arts school in South Carolina, and I desperately needed a change of scenery, and his was the political voice I related to the most at the time.
I needed to be around voices that ran counter to the toxic patriotic bravado that had consumed America in our post-9/11 world. Our gung-ho attitude was about to result in disastrous foreign policy decisions, and unprecedented infringements on civil liberties. Too many Muslim Americans were targets of unjust abuse as a fear of foreign “brown” people consumed the country, and this hit home to me as an African American even if the abuse was not directed at me. When I flew to DC to start my internship in 2003, I was still stopped and taken aside for a more thorough security check at the airport. My complexion and my beard had made me a potential threat to the state. Our world was getting out of hand, and I wanted to work for a voice of reason, so to the surprise of many I decided to intern for a socialist from Vermont.
Read the entire article at The Daily Beast: here.