Bernie SandersBernie SandersHillicon Valley: Amazon wins union election — says 'our employees made the choice' On The Money: Biden .5T budget proposes major hike in social programs | GOP bashes border, policing provisions Overnight Defense: Biden proposes 3B defense budget | Criticism comes in from left and right | Pentagon moves toward new screening for extremists MORE stumbled on a question at Sunday's debate over whether white Americans can empathize with blacks, stating that white people don't know what it's like to be poor.

"When you are white, you don’t know what it’s like to be living in a ghetto, you don’t know what it’s like to be poor, you don’t know what it’s like to be hassled when you are walking down a street or dragged out of a car," Sanders said when asked about his personal racial blind spots. "We must be firm in making it clear that we will end institutional racism and reform a broken criminal justice system."

The comments immediately caused a stir on Twitter.

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DeRay McKesson, a prominent figure in the Black Lives Matter movement, pointed out the awkward phrasing on Twitter but defended the substance of Sanders's answer.

But others on social media did not defend the awkward wording.