"Google ‘Sanders + race’ and you’ll get the impression that Bernie Sanders and all his supporters are White nationalists," Leslie Lee III said in a new Raw Story interview that delves into why he created the #BernieMadeMeWhite hashtag with this tweet:
.@HillyesRose @MisaelFrancoO @TheBpDShow @cenkuygur Ever since I voted for Bernie, I’ve been bingewatching Friends. #BernieMadeMeWhite
— L. (@tokyovampires) March 27, 2016
#BernieMadeMeWhite trended on social media this weekend as Bernie Sanders supporters, especially those of color, responded to what they called the mainstream media’s Whitewashing of his recent Democratic caucus wins. Raw Story cites a recent CNN piece that analyzes Sanders’ wins in Hawaii, Alaska and Washington—or as they describe them, "largely White and rural" states, despite Hawaii’s people of color majority.
In case you didn’t see it, here are a few emblematic tweets:
I’m so thankful that #BernieMadeMeWhite.
Can we stop worrying about racial profiling and hate crimes now? pic.twitter.com/NqE1zD5bSz
— Simran Jeet Singh (@SikhProf) March 28, 2016
#BernieMadeMeWhite along with an entire state full of Asians. #HawaiiSoWhite
— Annabel Park (@annabelpark) March 27, 2016
#BernieMadeMeWhite and now I am looking to move out of this neighborhood, you know, cause of the property values, of course.
— Carolyn Hyppolite (@CKHyppolite) March 27, 2016
Lee, a Louisiana native who currently resides in Japan, spoke with Raw Story about his motivation for creating the hashtag. Here, he discusses mainstream media’s apparent role in erasing Sanders supporters of color:
If you watch just CNN and MSNBC and read The Washington Post you can create a little bubble for yourself where Bernie Sanders is just some cooky old white guy that a few dumb white guys like. If you encounter something that pierces that bubble, the Jonathan Capeharts and Amanda Marcottes of the world will write a thinkpiece to repair the tear before you log off Facebook.
However, women who support Bernie and POC who support Bernie will remember this in November if Hillary is the nominee. Most will be willing to forgive, but a lot won’t. It’s terrible strategy on the part of Clinton and her surrogates to erase us, because they’re going to need us very soon.