This would make him the first president to formally apologize for slavery.
President Bill Clinton, in 1998, went to Africa to apologize for the United States’s involvement in slave trade, but stopped short of apologizing for slavery itself.
Sanders made the statement at a Black Lives Matter event at the Tindley Temple United Methodist Church in South Philly with more than 200 people.
Question: Will you become the first president to formally apologize for slavery? Sanders: “Yes.” pic.twitter.com/SXcz7N7XMJ
— Max M. Marin (@MaxMMarin) April 6, 2016
The topic came up when an audience member asked Sanders about slavery.
“An American president has yet to muster up the courage to formally apologize for the 400 heinous years of rape, death, and inhumanity that occurred during the enslavement of black people in this country that still impacts million of slave descendants.”
The questioner then asked the Democratic candidate point-blank if he would apologize.
“Want the short answer?” Sanders asked in response. “Yes.”
This isn’t the first time that he’s called for an apology for slavery.
In 2015, the Vermont senator went on a radio program and said that the nation as a whole should apologize for slavery.
“As a nation—I don’t think as a president, but as a nation—we have got to apologize for slavery,” he said to host Joe Madison on Sirius XM’s “The Black Eagle.”