|They only think they know what it is to be poor...|
There are a couple things worth kicking around. First, it was likely just the typical Sanders rhetoric. High on emotional appeals, low on facts and substance. I could give it a pass but for two other things. Second, that's not something he pulled out of the air. That was debated when I was in college. Part of the idea behind Hate Crimes legislation is that somehow starving or being killed because you are black is just a tad worse than having it happen if you're white. It's the idea behind the whole 'Non-white, non-Asian, non-Native American, non-Hispanic Lives Matter' movement.
Finally, let's face it, if a Republican candidate said something similar, such as immigrants don't know what it's like to have your own neighborhood intruded upon, can you imagine the outrage? Part of this is the media. Willing to take a race bating statement, ponder it, kick it around, and even inject it with credibility because it scratches all of the right leftist itches, it is the propaganda with which we live.
Of course, at its heart, it is a contemptible thing to say. Hundreds of millions of poor people who have lived throughout the world know exactly what it is to be poor, even though they were afflicted with the unfortunate genetic predisposition toward whiteness. Many millions in our country knew as well. And if we had a news media in the country, they just might call him, and all who are supporting his statement, out on it. Poor is poor, and while we can admit different people may experience it differently, there is no way we can believe they don't know what it is to be poor.
My father had his family split up and sent to different parts to he country in the Depression in order to eat. Many others did the same. And while they were fine with FDR's attempts to alter the course of events, they never let their support of government policies stand in the way of their desire to earn the way out of their poverty. Perhaps that's what Sanders really meant. Not so much whites don't know what it is to be poor. Perhaps what he was trying to categorize is those poor who know what it is to work your way out of poverty, instead of waiting for handouts from the government. I'm just guessing.