Sunday on NBC’s “Meet the Press,” Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) said he was unaware his staff had apologized to Black Lives Matter protesters and he doesn’t believe that he owes them one.
After Black Lives Matter protesters stormed the stage at a Sanders event in Seattle, the Senator met with the group.
When host Chuck Todd pointed out Sanders African-American outreach director Marcus Ferrell said in an email, “I apologize it took our campaign so long,” to have a meeting with Black Lives Matter activists, the Democratic presidential candidate said that was not necessary.
Sanders said, “Well, that was sent out by a staffer, not by me. Look, we are reaching out to all kinds of groups, absolutely. I met with folks at Black Lives Matter. We’re reaching out to Latino groups. We’re reaching out to the unions. We’re fighting to expand Social Security, and we’re reaching out to senior groups. We’re reaching out to healthcare groups because we believe that everybody in America is entitled to healthcare. We’re reaching out to everybody. But on this issue of Black Lives Matter, let me be very clear, the issue that they are raising is a very, very important issue. And there is no candidate for president who will be stronger in fighting against institutional racism and, by the way, reforming a broken criminal justice system. Chuck, we have more people in jail in the United States of America than any other country on earth. And we need real changes. We need to do away with the militarization of local police departments. We need to do away with minimum sentencing. We needed education and jobs for our young people, rather than jails and incarceration.”
When Todd asked, “I understand that but, you said a staffer put it out, but you felt an apology was necessary?” Sanders replied, “No, I don’t. I think we’re going to be working with all groups. This was sent out without my knowledge.”
Follow Pam Key On Twitter @pamkeyNEN