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Bernie Sanders embraces Black Lives Matter movement

Thursday, October 8, 2015

Bernie Sanders.
Image: US Congress.

United States Presidential candidate Bernie Sanders discussed his understanding of the Black Lives Matter movement on Monday.

"Many white people are not sensitive", Sanders noted, speaking with magazine Ebony, "to the kind of abuse that African-Americans, especially younger African-Americans, receive at the hands of police officers and police departments".

The Black Lives Matter activist movement protests police brutality against African Americans, and gained traction after the death of Michael Brown last year in Ferguson, Missouri.

Sanders also recently admitted, speaking to magazine The New Yorker, that when the Black Lives Matter movement first came to light, he mishandled his dealings with them: "I plead guilty — I should have been more sensitive at the beginning of this campaign to talk about this issue [...] The issues these young people raised are enormously important".

Senator Sanders has had several incidents involving the group, including when they interrupted one of his rallies in Seattle in August. He said talking with members of the movement has helped him understand what the movement is about.

Sanders has been strongly criticized for his previous treatment of the group, particularly when his campaign began to respond to interruption from the group by shouting "we stand together" repeatedly at them.

The Senator for Vermont in his Ebony interview called the US criminal justice system "broken", saying, "One of the ongoing crises in America is institutional racism".


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