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Sanders: As President I Would Formally Apologize for Slavery


Wednesday at Tindley Temple United Methodist Church in Philadelphia, Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) said if elected president of the United States, he would formally apologize for America’s history of slavery.

When asked if he would apologize for slavery, Sanders said, “You want the short answer? Yes. There’s nothing that anybody can do to undo the deaths and misery—how many people we don’t even know who died on the way over here from Africa in the ships. But we have got to do everything we can to wipe the slate clean by acknowledging the truth. You know truth is not always an easy thing. There are a lot of things that we have done in this country that are shameful. We have got to recognize that and own up to it. So the answer is yes.”

When Sanders was asked earlier by Philadelphia Sunday SUN’s Catherine Hicks about his position on reparations, he said, “I think my view is pretty close to President Obama’s, and that is we understand the legacy of slavery. We understand that. And as I mentioned and as everybody in this room knows, what we’re seeing in many African-American communities, outrageously high levels of unemployment, inadequate education, inadequate healthcare. And I think what we have got to do as a nation is invest in those communities who need that investment the most. And there is legislation introduced by some members of the Black Caucus, which I support, which takes a look at those communities around America which have long-term structural poverty issues and they become the communities that receive the highest priority for federal funding. In other words, let us make sure that in every way, federal funding goes to those communities who need it the most, and most cases that will be minority communities.”

While in Africa in 1998, then-President Bill Clinton apologized for the slave trade but the official Office of the United States Presidency has not formally apologized for slavery.

Follow Pam Key on Twitter @pamkeyNEN

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