Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders (I-Vermont) received cheers and applause during his interview at Liberty University — a conservative Christian college in Virginia — as he addressed how he would help rectify the issue of racism in America if he’s elected president and boldly condemned the country's racist history.
Bernie Sanders praying at Liberty University pic.twitter.com/I3YglWaQq9— Daniel Strauss (@DanielStrauss4) September 14, 2015
Sanders was asked by the interviewer, “If you were elected president, what would you do to bring healing and resolution to the issue of racism in our country?”
To which he replied, “That is an excellent question. I would hope and I believe that every person in this room today understands that it is unacceptable to judge people, to discriminate against people based on the color of their skin.”
“And I would also say that as a nation– the truth is, that a nation which in many ways was created, and I’m sorry to have to say this, from way back on racist principles, that’s a fact– we have come a long way as a nation,” he added.
He went on to say that electing President Barack Obama in 2008, whether you support him or not, illustrates a giant leap forward for America in voting for a candidate based on his ideas and not his skin color.
He also addressed the disgrace of hate groups that exist throughout the country, police brutality and criminal justice reform.
“I cannot understand for the life of me, how there can be hundreds of groups in this country whose sole reason for existence is to promote hatred.”
He alluded to the Charleston shooting from earlier this year as an example of the extent at which racism still exists in U.S.
Sanders received warm responses from the audience during his interview, much different from previous appearances where he has been interrupted twice by activists who demanded that he explicitly address race relations and the Black Lives Matter movement during his campaign.
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From today’s interview, Sanders seems to have taken heed to the requests of the nation’s Black population who fear what's in store for minority communities once Obama leaves office.