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.

Just Posted

Good things cooking at Barn Burner BBQ event this Sunday in Yarrow

Fifth annual event in Chilliwack raises funds for the Full Cupboard

Bail denied for alleged Chilliwack firearm thief convicted of similar crime in Alberta

Andrew Scott Charpentier charged with numerous offences after guns seized from Reece Avenue address

Figures reveal spike in highway traffic jams between Abbotsford and Langley

Nearly one in 20 westbound vehicles between Abbotsford and Langley clocked at under 60 km/h

Taser takedown in Chilliwack complex after incident gets violent

Male suspect became agitated under questioning and repeatedly punched an officer

Agassiz man pleads guilty in snake venom death of toddler

Plea comes more than five years after the incident in North Vancouver

VIDEO: Find Me My Furever Home – Moni at the Chilliwack SPCA

This week’s animal is Moni, an obedient 10-year-old Australian shepherd cross at the Chilliwack SPCA

Vancouver Island teens missing after vehicle found ablaze near Dease Lake, BC

RCMP say a body discovered nearby not one of the missing teens

A year later, ceremony commemorates victims of the Danforth shooting

It’s the one-year anniversary of when a man opened fire along the bustling street before shooting and killing himself

Japanese Canadians call on B.C. to go beyond mere apology for historic racism

The federal government apologized in 1988 for its racism against ‘enemy aliens’

B.C. VIEWS: NDP pushes ahead with Crown forest redistribution

This isn’t the time for a radical Indigenous rights agenda

Two dead in two-vehicle crash between Revelstoke and Golden

RCMP are investigating the cause of the crash

Ottawa fights planned class action against RCMP for bullying, intimidation

The current case is more general, applying to employees, including men, who worked for the RCMP

Alberta judge denies B.C.’s bid to block ‘Turn Off the Taps’ bill

He said the proper venue for the disagreement is Federal Court

Most Read