Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders (Vt.) had an awkward encounter during an MSNBC town hall when he assumed that an attendee who asked him a question was Muslim.
The questioner, Spandan Shah, informed Sanders that he is Hindu.
“The violence against religious and ethnic minorities around the country — especially in Trump rallies — is very disturbing and to be honest very scary, especially for someone who looks like me,” Shah began. “It is clear that these people who support Trump are not going to have a change of heart anytime soon, even if he doesn’t get the nomination.”
“My question to you is, if president, what is going to be your approach in uniting the country, and in particular, how do you address those people who relish in Trump’s divisive rhetoric?” he asked.
“Thank you very much for that important question,” Sanders said. “And it really is sad that you have to ask that question. That should not be happening in America.”
“People should not be frightened because they are Muslims, because they are dark-complexioned, because they are Mexicans. and what Trump has done is really, really awful, so what do we do?” Sanders continued. “For a start, we understand that, unlike Trump, what America’s strength has been, and it’s an extraordinary strength, is bringing our people together.”
“I’m Jewish. You’re Muslim,” Sanders said, “We have, you’re—”
“Hindu,” the man interjected.
“You’re Hindu. There you go, all right,” Sanders said. “But that’s what America is, and we’ve got Muslims here, and we’ve got Latinos here. What an extraordinary opportunity. We’ve got African-Americans. All coming from different cultures, helping to create this great country and learning from each other. What a golden, wonderful opportunity.”
Sanders invoked the lessons taught by Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and said we should work toward building a nation where people are judged by the content of their character rather than the color of their skin and vowed to fight “xenophobia” if elected president.
(H/T: Washington Free Beacon)