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

Lightning causes three wildfires east of Osoyoos

It is believed the fires started by a lightning storm

Vernon pipe band youth snare accolades

Two young members of Vernon-based pipe bands have danced and drummed their way to high achievements

Vernon-based pop star Andrew Allen is back with a new band

Singer-songwriter Andrew Allen is bringing his new band home for a concert this Friday

Coldstream quick to clean vandalized rainbow crosswalk

Crosswalk was defaced on the weekend

Kingfisher reels in kids for North Okanagan fishing event

Enderby centre hosts free, family fun event

When walls talk: Vernon murals see generation II

“This new movement, an app, will bring the strength of some of those same Vernon visionaries together again into a newdigital form”

Lightning causes three wildfires east of Osoyoos

It is believed the fires started by a lightning storm

Air ambulance called to second collision on Highway 1 west of Salmon Arm

Emergency crews respond to motor-vehicle collision near Second Nations Road intersection

Backhoe ‘burned to a crisp’ in South Okanagan

South Okanagan fire chief said the situation could have been a lot worse

Crash closes Highway 1 near Tappen

The collision happened about 3:30 p.m. by James Road

Heat Beat: New scopes for VJH

Vernon Jubilee Hospital receives eight new colonoscopes

VIDEO: Man found dead near B.C. teens’ truck could be linked to a double homicide

RCMP said they are looking for Kam McLeod, 19, and Bryer Schmegelsky, 18, of Port Alberni

Kelowna cab driver charged with sexual assault

RCMP received a report May 28 alleging a taxi passenger had been sexually assaulted by a cab driver

Latest plan is to fly trapped fish by helicopter over Big Bar slide

Multi-pronged plan set in motion to freesalmon blocked by landslide in the Fraser River

Most Read