Niall Stanage, THE HILL
WASHINGTON (The Hill) — Bernie Sanders is making a push for support from black and Hispanic voters as he seeks to intensify his challenge to Hillary Clinton for the Democratic presidential nomination.
Sanders, the independent senator from Vermont, has made a number of comments recently aimed at rebutting the suggestion that his backing will be limited to white progressives.
“As a nation, we have got to apologize for slavery,” he said during an appearance on a black-oriented Sirius XM radio show hosted by Joe Madison last week. In an interview published this month in The Nation, he described police brutality against African-Americans as “a huge issue,” adding, “How do you have police departments in this country that are part of their communities, not oppressors in their communities?”
Speaking to the Hispanic organization La Raza on Monday, he noted that “racism has plagued this country for centuries” and drew on his own experiences as the child of an immigrant who “came to this country from Poland at the age of 17 without a nickel in his pocket.”
Sanders’ embrace of minority concerns and sensibilities can hardly be called opportunistic. His involvement with civil rights stretches back to his youth, when he attended the 1963 March on Washington where Martin Luther King gave his most famous speech, organized financial support for the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC) and was arrested for protesting segregation.