Bernie Sanders Says 'We Will Go to War Against White Nationalism and Racism'

Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders told a group of people Saturday that if elected president in 2020, he will "go to war" with white nationalism and racism. Sanders said he would use every tool at his disposal, including executive orders.

Speaking to a crowd of mostly African Americans at the Young Leaders Conference in Atlanta, Georgia, Sanders described his family background as being Jewish and from Poland.

"My father's whole family was wiped out by Hitler and his white nationalism," said Sanders, who is one of many Democratic presidential hopefuls in 2020. "Too many people have fought over the years, too many people have died against racism to let it resurface and flourish in America."

Then he made his declaration.

"We will go to war against white nationalism and racism in every aspect of our lives," he said.

We will go to war with White Nationalism.

— Bernie Sanders (@BernieSanders) August 17, 2019

Sanders told the crowd that whenever someone hurts or kills someone because of their skin color, that's it's "not just a hate crime," but that it is also "domestic terrorism."

He said that if such attacks are carried out in America, then "we're gonna throw the full force of the law against those people."

Then the senator said things would move forward by actions and not just words. He said he would have a government, administration and cabinet "that looks like America."

"And when we combat white nationalism and when we combat racism, we are gonna use all the laws in our power, including executive orders in every area to make certain that we end the discrimination which now exists in heatlh care, where black women are dying three times the rate of white women when they give birth," Sanders said.

Sanders added he will end "redlining" in housing discrimination and "end the absurdity of black kids leaving school much more deeply in debt than white kids."

Bernie Sanders
Senator Bernie Sanders, an independent from Vermont and 2020 presidential candidate, speaks onstage during the 2019 Young Leaders Conference - 2020 Presidential Candidates Forum at Georgia International Convention Center on August 17, 2019 in College Park, Georgia. Photo by Paras Griffin/WireImage

Meanwhile, as Sanders was making his speech on Saturday, a protest on the other side of the country took place in Portland, Oregon, with a counterprotest staged by an Antifa group.

Fox News contributor Dan Bongino said Antifa was "a domestic terror organization committed to attacking civil liberties and free speech." Bongino's tweet accompanied a video from another tweet that show the Portland protests in what looks like Antifa members attempting to pull people from a bus while swinging fists at them.

Antifa attacks people on a bus. They try to pull them out and hit them with a hammer. #PortlandProtests

— Andy Ngô (@MrAndyNgo) August 17, 2019

Sanders did not mention whether or not groups like Antifa, a leftist group, would be targeted as domestic terrorists, despite Bongino's remarks and then President Donald Trump this week calling Antifa a terrorist organization.

Sanders was not the only 2020 Democratic presidential candidate to appear at the Young Leaders Conference in Atlanta, which draws about 5,000 delegates — mostly African American, according to WXIA.

There were forums with Corey Booker, Pete Buttiegieg and Julian castro on Friday. Elizabeth Warren was among the speakers on Saturday.

Sticking with the white nationalism theme, castro said Friday that, "The first thing that we need to do is get the white nationalist that is currently in the Oval Office out of the Oval Office," which brought cheers from the crowd.

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