By Ben Kamisar
Sanders promises to lead fight against Islamophobia
Sen. Bernie SandersBernie SandersEx-Arizona governor: Hispanic Dems 'don’t get out and vote' Emails show Clinton camp's plans to work with writers to hit Sanders Small donors aren’t revolutionizing Congress. At least not yet. MORE (I-Vt.) on Wednesday invoked his ancestors’ deaths in Holocaust concentration camps as he embraced a Muslim student and promised to lead the fight against racism.
“Let me be very personal if I might. I’m Jewish, my father’s family died in concentration camps,” he said to the student at a town hall speech in Virginia who asked how he would stand up to Islamophobia.
“I will do everything that I can to rid this country of the ugly stain of racism that has existed for far too many years.”
Sanders chronicled racism and discrimination’s historical roots in American culture, arguing that groups have always tried to play one group off against each other.
“Our job is to build a nation in which we all stand together as one,” he said.
“There is a lot of anger being generated, hatred being generated against Muslims in this country, that is absolutely correct. There is hatred being generated against immigrants in this country. “
Sanders’ was speaking at George Mason University billed as a student town hall. The campaign said more than 250 college campuses organized watch parties for the event.
The Democratic presidential candidate was interrupted many times by cheers from the friendly crowd. Sanders has seen significant support on college campuses and closed the speech by telling the students that their participation “give[s] me great hope.”
“There are some out there who think, ‘Well, students and young people are apathetic, they won’t get involved, they are busy partying and so forth,’ ” he said.
“What you are saying here tonight is that you love your country and you are going to fight as hard as you can to make this the country we know it can be.”