Sanders may have made some gains in the Presidential race with anti-racism statement and a hug.
Bernie Sanders, who hopes to land the Democratic nomination to the 2016 U.S. Presidential elections, seems to have taken a cue from how John F. Kennedy won the election in 1960 – by consolidating the votes of the marginalized.
Kennedy was a Roman Catholic in a country where the majority were, and still are to this day, Protestant, and a Democrat to boot. His opponent Richard Nixon, the Republican candidate, was a Quaker and held the upper hand, or so it was believed. Kennedy, who wasn't what one would have identified as a mainstream American, found resonance among all those like him, and beat Nixon by 100,000 votes to become the youngest President of the United States.
Bernie Sanders doesn't have age on his side, but like Kennedy, is member of a religious minority in the United States. He made his Jewish background clear when a young Muslim student asked him how he proposed to combat Islamophobia. He stated clearly that homophobia, racism and sexism have been used for long to divide people, and those who actually did so, got richer while the others were fighting among themselves. He wanted to create a nation where the people could stand as one, added Sanders.
He invited Remaz Abdelgader, the hijab-wearing student who had asked the question, to the stage and hugged her, saying his father's family died in the concentration camps and he would do everything to purge the country of racism. He seemed to have won Ms. Abdelgader's vote, as she would later say that she saw him as the next President of the United States and he was someone that blacks, Muslims, gays and Latinos could look up to. Several marginalized communities such as these are reported to be in favor of Hillary Clinton as President, but Bernie Sanders' speech at George Mason University in Fairfax, Virginia, could have changed all that.
Sanders invites Muslim student on stage, gives her a hug. Seems like a rare politician who is also good human being. https://t.co/lgUfcdOeQM
— Arash Karami (@thekarami) October 29, 2015
Sanders' wife is a Roman Catholic, and he has remarked that it is essential that people listen to what Pope Francis, the spiritual leader of 1.2 billion Catholics worldwide, to say. He has also quoted the Servant of the Servants of God on economic matters. Sanders notes that Adolf Hitler won the elections in 1932, and 50 million Jews were subsequently annihilated – making politics very important, something he imbibed right from his childhood. At 74, he is the longest-serving Independent in the history of the United States Congress.