(CNSNews.com) - Sen. Bernie Sanders, asked about Confederate statues at a CNN-sponsored town hall Monday night, said they belong in museums, not on village greens.
"I think these relics might be placed in museums,” Sanders said:
But I don't want kids coming out and looking at a statue of someone who believed in slavery. Those are not – (applause) you know, I understand history, and you can’t wipe out history, and I don't want to wipe out history. In those places -- they should be placed in historical locations.
But on town greens, we want kids to look up and say wow, this was someone who was a great leader for liberation. This was somebody who believed in racial justice; somebody who fought for working people; somebody who believed in women's rights, those are the people we want our kids to learn from and to respect, not people who believed (in) and defended slavery.
Sanders accused President Trump of trying to divide Americans along racial lines. He specifically mentioned Trump’s involvement in the Obama “birther” movement:
I see, especially coming after Trump, the most important thing that we can do as a nation is everything possible to end all forms of discrimination in this country. Right now, we are dealing with, as everybody knows, everybody knows, we're dealing with systemic racism.
We have a wealth gap in this country, I don’t know if everybody knows it, where white families are now worth ten times more than black families; where black women are three times more likely to die than white women in child birth; where the infant mortality rate is much higher; where there is discrimination in housing; where there’s discrimination in education.
Okay? And clearly one of the main goals and one of the main priorities of a Sanders administration is to do everything humanly possible to end racism in America, to end sexism in America, to end homophobia in America. And we’re seeing a rise in religious bigotry as well.
We are one people. Dr. Martin Luther King reminded us in a very profound way that we judge human beings, not by the color of their skin, or other superficialities. We look at people, we judge people based on their character. And that is the goal of my administration.
In response to another question, this one about his choice of a running mate, Sanders said: "I will tell you one thing, though. You know, that person will not be an old, white guy. That I can say definitively.
"And I do want to say this and in all seriousness, that our cabinet and our administration will very intentionally look like America. So when you turn on -- I think it’s important that all of our people see themselves reflected in the administration of the president of the United States, and we will absolutely do that."