Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont appeared Wednesday at the She the People presidential forum at Texas Southern University. The presidential hopeful came under fire for dodging questions about the rise of White supremacist.
When asked how he would combat the rise in racist violence, Sanders said, “The goal that we have got to establish is to bring our people together around an agenda that speaks to all people,” before breaking off into a lengthy spiel about immigration, access to health care and increasing minimum wage.
Following his response, moderator Aime Allision reinforced the original query. “The core of the question is about as president, what would you do with the rise of White supremacist violence to protect our community?” He simply replied, “Absolutely.”
Sanders discussed his commitment to the Black community: “I know I date myself a little bit here, but I actually was at the March on Washington with Dr. King back in 1963,” he said before the audience responded with boos and groans.
He also mentioned his close work with Jesse Jackson’s presidential campaign. “As somebody who actively supported Jesse Jackson’s campaign—as one of the few White elected officials to do so in ’88—I have dedicated my life to the fight against racism and sexism and discrimination of all forms,” Sanders added.
The veteran politician was one of several Democratic presidential candidates who attended the event. Marketed as the “first-ever presidential candidate forum focused on women of color,” Sens. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts, Kamala Harris of California and Cory Booker of New Jersey were also present.