Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders spoke at the annual Netroots Nation convention in Phoenix Saturday. While onstage, Sanders was heckled by protestors. The demonstrators shouted a multitude of comments at Bernie pertaining to police brutality, such as “Black lives matter!” and “Which side are you on?” Sanders responded by citing his work during the Civil Rights Movement.
“Black lives, of course, matter, “ Sanders said. “I spent 50 years of my life fighting for civil rights and for dignity…If you don’t want me to be here, that’s OK. I don’t want to outscream people.”
After watching a video of the conference, Roderick Morrow, host of The Black Guy Who Tips podcast, started the now highly popular hashtag #BernieSoBlack. The hashtag was meant as a comedic jab at the white progressive. His tweet read, “Little known fact Bernie Sanders was actually the one who told John Carlos and Tommie Smith to put up black power fist in 68 #BernieSoBlack.”
With 125 retweets and 155 favorites, other tweeters joined in to criticize Sanders.
“Not to disrespect what he did with Martin Luther King,” Morrow told The Daily Beast. “But, if you want to connect with black voters, they need to know what you are going to do now and going forward, not what you’ve done in the past.”
Sanders’ camp quickly replied to quell the criticizers. His campaign Twitter account sent out two tweets to solidify his point on race relations.
“We want a nation where young black men and women can live without fear of being falsely arrested, beaten or killed. #BlackLivesMatter,” the first tweet read. He finished his commentary by tweeting: “Sandra Bland, Eric Garner, Freddie Gray, and too many others.”
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