Part of Bernie Sanders’s campaign has focused on speaking compassionately about immigrant communities and how they tend to be disproportionately hit by environmental and socio-economic troubles. That’s great and all, but the fact is that the Vermont Senator has not always toed this line. There is at least one dark moment in his political career that contradicts his current messaging. We’re talking about Sierra Blanca, Texas.
Sierra Blanca is home to a small, poor, Latino immigrant community in west Texas, population 553.
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In 1998, national and state politicians from three states (Texas, Maine and Vermont) co-sponsored and championed a bill that would permit the transport low-level nuclear waste from the three states and dump it in Sierra Blanca, Texas.
The legislation is in direct contrast to Sanders’ views, which are outlined on his website.
The Senator’s site even points out the specific link between neighborhoods where immigrants live and the presence of high levels of toxic pollution.
A white, male politician fighting for la raza?!
It’s something that we have all been waiting too damn long to see.
Maybe he forgot about his very different point of view in 1998.
Sanders, who was running for re-election to the Vermont House of Representatives, was in favor of transporting the toxic waste from his state all the way down to Texas.
And he strongly supported the legislation.
There it is. In his own words. He even went so far as to refuse adding a provision that would have given residents of Sierra Blanca the political power to fight back.
But that was then, and this is now. What’s his current take on the bill?
Those comments are very much in line what he said back in 1998.
The bill never passed, but it’s undeniable that Sanders strongly positioned himself in favor of legislation that goes against his current messaging.