facebook Post from Organizing for Bernie I copy/pasted below:
Organizing for Bernie shared a post.
11 hrs ·
A poignant reminder about how fragile middle class status can be, from a Bernie supporter, sharing her story about why she has always supported Bernie Sanders. Unfortunately, her story isn't that uncommon.
Why do you support a #Bernie2020 candidacy?
Yesterday at 1:37 PM
My name is Rachel.
I used to support Bernie Sanders long ago, before he officially announced he was running for president in 2016. That was because I had lived in Vermont and knew about Bernie well over a decade ago.
I was a social worker. My husband was a special education teacher. We bought a house in New York, where we were both originally from, and he commuted to the Bronx every day while I worked in a town down county in the foster care system.
We went to Bernie rallies. Spike Lee came once and caused a bit of a ruckus. I brought my oldest daughter so she could see democracy in action.
My husband's name was Matt. On paper, we were middle class. And comfortable middle class at that. But we still supported Bernie Sanders because it was the right thing to do. We didn't need free social programs and we stood in no line. We didn't have to drive past signs advertising carnivals in hopes our kids wouldn't know the carnival was in town because we couldn't afford to take them. We took them.
But one day, Matt died. He was 36 years old and he didn't come home from work. It turned out he was a closet opioid addict and had died of fentanyl poisoning at work.
I was 33. I was six months pregnant with our third child and I had our four year old son and eight year old daughter to raise.
Suddenly, I knew what it felt like to sit on the other side of the desk, to be the one standing in line praying for a compassionate government employee to please hear my story. I had to fight the bank to keep my house, fight the union to get our funds. (Without the strong teachers' union, by the way, I'd have ended up homeless with three children.)
Social Security told me they had the right to demand I provide them with an itemized list of what I purchased monthly with our survivors benefits. I told them they could go to hell with that because that was OUR money, money my dead husband had paid into the system, and I'd be damned if I was sending them a list that said "toilet paper and crayons" on it every month. (Since then, they no longer require this of people in my situation).
Now it is not a nameless poor child who sits in the cafeteria and eats a free lunch on my dime. It is my child. It was always my child, because it takes a village to raise a child, and you don't realize that until everything is taken from you and it is now your child receiving mittens from the Mitten Tree at school and your child eating a free Sloppy Joe that the likes of Donald n Pals would like to rip out of his hand.
I am still for Bernie Sanders.
I was born into relative affluence. I became middle class because I went to good schools and got good degrees. Now I'm a 34 year old widow with three children who survives on Social Security and Medicaid. I can't work. I can't afford childcare, my infant is too young, my benefits would be reduced, and I have to make do on a fixed income because I had the AUDACITY to become a widow at 33 years old while pregnant with a planned child.
I tell you this to show that I have been all over the income spectrum but I damn well know right from wrong no matter how much money I have. I damn well know every child deserves a quality education, every human being has the right to go to the doctor when they are ill, everyone has the right to food, a place to live, and joy.
No matter who they are. No matter how much they make. These roads? They belong to all of us. The libraries, the post offices, the courts, the schools, the museums, the parks, the flowers, the trees. They belong to you and they belong to me.
I put my money where my mouth is. I don't just talk. I have a hard time making ends meet sometimes. But I still donate to Bernie Sanders. I have no choice. He is our only chance. He is what stands between me and poverty.
And he represents something that I don't see a lot of in this world these days:
These days, you can be a rich white kid taunting a First Person and get an invitation to the White House, but how dare you be a black athlete who doesn't stand and salute to the flag that enslaved him and continues to murder his own people?
All I ask is this:
DON'T BE AN ASSHOLE.
It's not hard.
Think about how other people feel and think. Understand where they are coming from. Work together to find solutions to community problems. It starts from the ground up. Bernie knows this. It's now almost fifty years he's been doing community organizing.
Time for us to get out there and do it together. For you, for me, for Bernie, for ALL OF US.
We, not HE. He lit the spark but it's up to us to make it BERN.