MINNESOTA – After defending Democratic presidential hopeful Bernie Sanders in several occasions, Representative Keith Ellison, the first US Muslim Congressman, has endorsed Vermont senator for the 2016 presidential race.
“This is not a ‘no you can’t’ campaign. This is not a diminish your dreams kind of campaign. This is a ‘believe in the possibilities we can do together’ kind of campaign,” Ellison, D-Minn., said of the Sanders bid for presidency in introducing the candidate Sunday at the Black America Forum in Minneapolis, JTA news agency reported on Monday, February 15.
“This is the right campaign if you believe this country can be better than it was,” he added while also praising Barack Obama as “a great president.” He called Sanders, I-Vt., his “dear friend.”
Ellison has been campaigning recently on behalf of Democratic presidential candidate Senator Bernie Sanders.
Going against the leadership of the Congressional Black Caucus, Ellison choose to endorse Sanders over Hillary Clinton, the former secretary of state and senator, for the 2016 Democratic nomination.
Ellison asserted that Sanders “believes in true racial justice and equality.”
Last October, Sanders invited Muslim George Mason University student Remaz Abdelgader to join him on stage during a campaign stop and responded to her remarks about Republican presidential candidate Dr. Ben Carson’s position that a Muslim should not be president.
Abdelgader expressed to Sanders the personal impact that Islamophobia in the presidential election was having on her.
Sanders pledged to end Islamophobia and all other forms of racism.
“If we stand for anything we have to stand together and end all forms of racism in this country,” Sanders said. “I will lead that effort as president.”
This is not the first time Sanders has challenged Islamophobia in the election.
After the detention of 14-year-old Ahmed Mohamed for bringing a homemade clock to school, Sanders had tweeted, “we must stand strong against anti-Muslim bigotry.”