Vermont Independent Sen. Bernie Sanders elicited loud groans and laughs Wednesday night when he name-dropped Dr. Martin Luther King at “She the People” Presidential Forum.
The 2020 contender brought up King in response to a question Wednesday about how he would deal with white supremacy as president. A host of the forum was dissatisfied with his initial response that he would address the problem by raising the minimum wage and reiterated the question. She said the “core of the question” was about what he would do to protect communities from violent white supremacists.
“You know as somebody who — I know I date myself a little bit here, but I actually was at the march on Washington [D.C.] with Dr. King back in 1963,” Sanders said. The audience booed, laughed and exclaimed. One person apparently yelled, “We know!”
The disrespect came from Bernie Sanders when he was asked how he’d address violence by white supremacists he talked about M4A, raising the min wage. He had to be *reminded* that the question was about VIOLENCE COMMITTED BY… anyway then he went into his MLK and JJackson schtick: pic.twitter.com/EjU62JJ5wZ
— José (@josecanyousee) April 25, 2019
In response, Sanders wagged his finger at the audience and brought up his support for Jesse Jackson. “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.”
His remarks and demeanor while answering the question didn’t leave a good impression at the forum, which billed itself as the first ever dedicated to women of color, and drew criticism online.
Like… regardless of where you fall on Bernie Sanders offering that he marched with Dr. King, can we all just agree that shushing women of color with your fingers like that is not okay? Let’s at least all agree on that, please. Let’s start there.
— Charlotte Clymer????️???? (@cmclymer) April 25, 2019
Sanders was one of eight Democratic presidential contenders invited to speak, which also included Sens. Kamala Harris, Elizabeth Warren and Corey Booker.