“Black Twitter” took 2016 Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders to task this weekend after he chose to ignore chants from “Black Lives Matter” protesters at the Netroots Nation left-wing bloggers’ conference in Phoenix.
The hecklers had demanded that Sanders utter the name of Sandra Bland, an African-American woman who died in jail during a Texas traffic stop. Sanders opted to discuss the economy instead, as he had planned to do.
The socialist Vermont senator’s civil rights record was called into question on social media, andRoderick Morrow, the host of the Black Guy Who Tips podcast, started a #BernieSoBlack hashtag, according to Los Angeles Times “Black Twitter” correspondent Dexter Thomas.
— Vote 4 Bernie 2K16! (@Bernie2K16) July 19, 2015
— KSpetz (@kspetzman) July 19, 2015
In an interview with the Times, Morrow said he was inspired to create the jestful #BernieSoBlack hashtag after someone started “scolding me, saying that Bernie Sanders is blacker than me. So, I just took that to the extreme, and made a joke.”
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
— Rod TBGWT (@rodimusprime) July 19, 2015
A #FeelTheBern hashtag was also trending on social media, seemingly in response to Morrow’s own hashtag.
The Times notes that soon after Sanders exited the stage at the Netroots Nation conference, his official account published a tweet including the hashtag #SayHerName in response to the chants that interrupted his speech, which read “I will #SayHerName. Sandra Bland, Eric Garner, Freddie Gray and too many others.” That tweet was reportedly deleted, and replaced with an identical one without the hashtag:
Sandra Bland, Eric Garner, Freddie Gray and too many others.
— Bernie Sanders (@BernieSanders) July 19, 2015