At a town hall last night, Bernie Sanders promised a Muslim student that he would fight racism as president. "I will do everything that I can to rid this country of the ugly stain of racism, which has existed for far too many years," Sanders said. Sanders was speaking at George Mason University, where he unveiled a plan to decriminalize marijuana at the federal level. During the Q&A portion of the evening, one student expressed fear and concern about divisive campaign rhetoric aimed at Muslims — specifically calling out Ben Carson and Donald Trump as "the biggest bigots." "As an American Muslim student who aspires to change this world, I hope to be a human rights attorney. Hearing the rhetoric that's going on in the media makes me sick," the student said. Sanders invited her to the stage and embraced her. Sanders began his response on a personal note. "I'm Jewish. My father's family died in the concentration camps," he recounted. The candidate, most known for his embrace of socialism, also connected intolerance with class divisions. Politicians, according to Sanders, have always used racism and homophobia to distract from economic suffering. "Rich got richer, and everybody else is fighting with each other," he said.
But Sanders outlined a different vision for the future: "Our job is to build a nation in which we all stand together as one people," he said. "If we stand for anything, we have got to stand together and end all forms of racism. And I will lead that effort as President of the United States."