Bernie Sanders calls Trump a racist before Apollo event

Democratic presidential contender was at the Jazz Foundation’s ‘A Great Night in Harlem’ annual gala

Sen. Bernie Sanders made a trip to the Apollo Theater in Harlem to pay tribute to Harry Belafonte, Tony Bennett and the legacy of the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr., but along the way slammed President Donald Trump as a racist.

The Democratic presidential contender was at the Jazz Foundation’s “A Great Night in Harlem” annual gala where Belafonte and Bennett were honoured on Thursday night. Both worked with King, and the evening marked the 51st anniversary of King’s slaying in Memphis, Tennessee, during a visit to rally sanitation works on strike.

“This is also a night that we remember the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., and one of the great leaders in American history who died, as we’ll never forget helping sanitation workers get some dignity in their lives,” Sanders told The Associated Press in an interview before the event.

Sanders recounted the great strides King made toward racial harmony, but said that tolerance has lost step over the past couple of years, and put the blame at the feet of President Donald Trump.

“We have a president, and I say this without any joy in my heart, who is a racist. It’s hard to believe that we have a president of the United States who is, in fact, a racist,” Sanders said.

A request for comment from the White House was not immediately returned.

READ MORE: Sen. Bernie Sanders says he’s running for president in 2020

Sanders says eradicating racism is a high priority if he were to be elected president.

“As president of the United States, what I would be doing is bringing our people together to create a nation that works for all of us, and not just the 1%. To deal with the racism and the disparities that exists, not only between the rich and the poor, but between whites and blacks,” Sanders said

Sanders was a contender in the 2016 race, where he lost the bid for the Democratic nomination to Hillary Clinton. But 2020 already shows a crowded field that includes Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, former Rep. Beto O’Rourke, Sen. Corey Booker, Sen. Kamila Harris, and at least a dozen more.

Sanders calls them, “some really good people,” and said. “You’re not going to hear me disparaging some of my Democratic opponents. They’re friends of mine and they’re good people. “

Before going inside, the 77-year old Sanders joked about maintaining his stamina for an election.

“Well when you have 28 years of age, you know, it ain’t hard,” Sanders said.

John Carucci, The Associated Press

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

South Surrey veteran honoured by South Korea as Ambassador for Peace

Medal presented to Donald McClellan an ‘expression of gratitude’ for service during Korean War

Surrey officer-impersonation scam continues ‘almost daily’

Police reiterate warning that demands for Bitcoin in exchange for waived charges are fraudulent

North Delta yoga studio’s Fridays at the Farm to benefit local animal sanctuary

The outdoor four-class series will benefit Perfect Pastures Animal Sanctuary in Ladner

Jamie Bacon pleads guilty to charge in Surrey Six case

The plea brings an end to a complex legal case that has spanned more than a decade

COVID-19: Update on the pandemic for Surrey, White Rock and beyond

JULY 9: Canada ill-prepared for second wave: report

B.C. identifies 20 new COVID-19 cases, travellers specified in count

Pandemic total 3,028 cases, 51 people from outside Canada

Filing deadline in RCMP sexual-harassment class-action extended due to COVID-19

Plaintiffs now have until January 2021 to submit claims for up to $222,000

Hefty undeclared driver charges piling up, ICBC warns customers

Average extra penalty $2,971 after an at-fault accident

Survey, hotline launched amid probe into racist blood-alcohol guessing game at B.C. hospital

Mary Ellen Turpel-Lafond has been appointed to lead an investigation by Health Minister Adrian Dix

B.C. appeals judge’s decision to leave three clubhouses in Hells Angels hands

The province has filed two notices of appeal related to the B.C. Supreme Court decision

Conservation officers relocate Spirit bear known to roam northwestern B.C.

Bear roamed valley north of Terrace for many years

B.C. premier applauds call to decriminalize drug possession

Police shouldn’t struggle with health issues, Horgan says

Vancouver double homicide leads to arrest in Harrison Hot Springs Wednesday

VPD and RCMP tracked dumped vehicle connected to killings to Chilliwack

Indigenous leader Ed John pleads not guilty to historical sex charges

Ed John’s lawyer entered the plea by telephone on behalf of his client

Most Read

l -->