If a Republican had made the same blunder, God help him or her -- the gaffe would be spun as irrefutable "proof" that Republicans are so blinded by their xenophobia they can't even tell the difference between a Hindu and a Muslim.
During MSNBC's town hall on Monday, Democrat candidate Bernie Sanders had a bit of a faux pas when he assumed a young Hindu audience member was Muslim.
Ironically, the questioner was attempting to talk to Sanders about Donald Trump's divisiveness when it comes to racial and religious minorities:
“The violence against religious and ethnic minorities around the country, especially in Trump rallies, is very disturbing and to be honest very scary, especially for someone who looks like me,” he said. “It is clear that these people who support Trump are not going to have a change of heart anytime soon, even if he doesn’t get the nomination.
“My question to you is, if president, what is going to be your approach in uniting the country, and in particular how do you address those people who relish in Trump’s divisive rhetoric?”
Sander's initial reply was unremarkable:
“People should not be frightened because they are Muslims, because they are dark-complexioned, because they are Mexicans. and what Trump has done is really, really awful, so what do we do?
Then it became remarkable:
“I’m Jewish. You’re Muslim,” Sanders said. (The man shook his head)
“We have ... ” Sanders began to say.
“Hindu,” the man corrected.
“You’re Hindu. There you go, all right.”
Sanders went on to talk about Muslims, Latinos, et al, lumping them all together.
In reality, Sanders likely meant no harm. But the misstep shows he is a little oblivious -- particularly for someone running for president. Heaven help the Republican who would do the same.
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