In an article published today at The Daily Beast, left-leaning, African-American reporter Keli Goff chronicles the degrading and racist treatment she has experienced from supporters of socialist presidential candidate Bernie Sanders.
Titled, “The Racist Side of Bernie Sanders Supporters,” Goff’s piece recounts how she was bullied and harassed by supporters of the Vermont socialist after sharing her opinion that polling data shows Sanders to be unelectable.
Sanders supporters flooded my accounts with nonstop accusations—one more over the top than the next. I am “a disgrace,” “a liar,” a secret paid Hillary Clinton “mole” or “shill.”
One white Sanders supporter had the temerity to suggest to Goff, “You need to be better informed on the needs of Black people.”
When another Bernie fan suggested on Facebook that instead of attacking Goff, Sanders supporters should attempt to “inform” her about the issues (a word Goff found highly insulting since it implies only someone lacking education could disagree on their chosen candidate), a second supporter chimed into argue that “[Goff] chooses to ignore the issues and work for her own personal interest. If that is the case than to me everything is allowed as long as it’s not physical violence.”
As Goff points out in her Daily Beast piece:
By his rationale, if David Duke encouraged other white nationalists to send endless messages—filled with insults and taunts (but not facts)—but none of them physically threatened me, should I feel safe?
Goff also notes how in this age of political correctness where even “microaggressions” are scrutinized, Bernie supporters have been notably lacking in racial sensitivity—even using the hashtag #MississippiBerning to promote the Sanders campaign on social media.
“A witty and clever turn of phrase,” Goff comments, “unless of course you are a black American who hears the words 'Mississippi burning' and immediately thinks of church bombings and lynchings.”
Goff holds Sanders himself largely responsible for the racist and thuggish behavior of his supporters, stating that he has "declined to denounce such behavior vigorously":
Just as Donald Trump’s supporters would not demonstrate thuggish behavior, such as assaulting protesters, without getting signals from their leader that it’s acceptable, the same is true of Sanders’ supporters.
Perhaps the most important takeaway lesson from Goff’s article is that blacks are doing themselves a disservice by assuming that the Democratic Party is automatically their greatest champion. She concludes:
I have a feeling that whatever the outcome of this election, more minorities have come to realize over the course of this primary season that the word ‘progressive’ is not synonymous with ‘tolerant.’