Read Bernie Sanders’ 1961 Testimony on His University’s Racist Housing Policy

<a href="https://www.flickr.com/photos/cornstalker/23292959553/in/photolist-BujvmV-Ch8JPS-BujuA6-Ch8GsN-Cpppwd-CrGYsg-D92vxa-CJZQgu-CK8sHH-Dfp3vf-DEc15E-D92JAp-CK1FaG-DyfKc6-DfphuC-D92x1R-Dw6JyJ-DGw564-DEcApw-DyfhoM-D92No4-DEcRF3-DGvNuz-Cxhb7G-DstySU-DkdpKU-CWhFqP-Dkdo47-EzS7LD-E8JN5q-CnUMuZ-BZ2Jpt-CU8Fcu-CP7UDg-BYWCFA-BZ4HnK-CuiuvC-wfepES-wRhbtv-wygWjP-BB538P-zk61z7-5HUNig-BucjJ7-BZzuNo-Ch8S77-CrGR8r-Ch8FDd-Ch8Kx5-ymZcW7">Matt Johnson</a>/Flickr

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On the campaign trail, Sen. Bernie Sanders often mentions his work as a civil rights activist in the early 1960s, when he was a campus organizer for the Congress of Racial Equality (CORE). As a leader of the University of Chicago chapter, he led sit-ins to protest racial discrimination at university-owned properties and picketed a Howard Johnson’s restaurant.

Now we know a little bit more. L.E.J. Rachell, a researcher with the CORE Project, which is dedicated to collecting and preserving the records of CORE, recently uploaded four documents offering more details about Sanders’ involvement with the group. During this period in 1961, UChicago’s CORE chapter was sending white and black volunteers to university-owned housing facilities in the neighborhood to determine if the school was honoring its anti-discrimination policy.

The most interesting of the CORE Project documents is a testimonial written by Sanders himself. In it, he details a “test” he conducted of a hotel just off campus. He visited to see if it would rent a room to his older brother, Larry, and the clerk assured him that they would. When UChicago CORE finished its testing, the results were clear—rooms that were available to white students were not available to black students. The next year they launched a series of sit-ins to force the university’s hand.

Take a look:

The CORE Project

Here’s a testimonial from Wallace Murphy, an African American man who visited the university realty offices to inquire about an apartment rental one week before Sanders’ drop-in:

The CORE Project

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SIX TRUTHS

Reclaiming power from those who abuse it often starts with telling the truth. And in "This Is How Authoritarians Get Defeated," MoJo's Monika Bauerlein unpacks six truths to remember during the homestretch of an election where democracy, truth, and decency are on the line.

Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

Truth #2: Team Reality is bigger than it seems.

Truth #3: Facebook owns this.

Truth #4: When we go to work, we're in the fight.

Truth #5: It's about minority rule.

Truth #6: The only thing that can save us is…us.

Please take a moment to see how all these truths add up, because what happens in the weeks and months ahead will reverberate for at least a generation and we better be prepared.

And if you think journalism like Mother Jones'—that calls it like it is, that will never acquiesce to power, that looks where others don't—can help guide us through this historic, high-stakes moment, and you're able to right now, please help us reach our $350,000 goal by October 31 with a donation today. It's all hands on deck for democracy.

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