Transgender star Angelica Ross is going on a social media hiatus following backlash from supporters of Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT).
“Going to take a break from social media for a while and let me team run my accounts,” Ross tweeted Sunday.
Going to take a break from social media for a while and let me team run my accounts.
— Angelica Ross (@angelicaross) September 22, 2019
The actor-activist hosted the LGBTQ presidential forum in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, Friday, which featured all of the Democrat presidential candidates except Sanders.
— GLAAD (@glaad) September 23, 2019
The 38-year-old star spoke to the Guardian following the forum and criticized Sanders for skipping the event.
“I was disappointed to not see all of the candidates here. I was further disappointed to hear this was not the only LGBTQ event Bernie was making other commitments for,” Ross said. “You don’t show up for both of our LGBTQ events? That’s obviously telling us all we need to know.”
The Pose actor claimed access to inside information, which purportedly revealed that Sanders’ prior commitments included visiting historically black colleges and universities as well as an “old black barbershop”:
I’m going to risk being super real here for a second. When you’re on the campaign trail, what’s happening a lot – and what a lot of these candidates have to avoid – is being seen as looking for a photo op. To be seen in certain communities and spaces. I heard that he was not only visiting the [Historically Black Colleges and Universities] but also visiting an old black barbershop.
“Found out Bernie has a prior commitments to visit HBCUs in North Carolina and Prestige Barber College (a black barbershop) and will be touring the civil rights museum,” Ross tweeted last week, alongside a sarcastic GIF of The Office’s Michael Scott:
Found out Bernie has a prior commitments to visit HBCUs in North Carolina and Prestige Barber College (a black barbershop) and will be touring the civil rights museum. pic.twitter.com/BQPj7iglZ7
— Angelica Ross (@angelicaross) September 16, 2019
Ross told the Guardian that it is a struggle to “get folks in my own black community to understand that being black and being LGBTQ are not mutally exclusive”:
What I hope Bernie would learn is you don’t have to pander to just one aspect of the black community. If he would have been at the LGBTQ forum tonight, he would have seen we were talking about issues affecting people of color. I think it was a huge misstep on his part. And I’m not here for any of the excuses. I say: ‘Make it up to me. Make it up to us.'”
So I spoke to @guardian after the #LGBTQforum and held back nothing. Spoke of the HUGE MISSTEP from absent candidates as well how I feel about my brother @KaramoBrown’s recent backlash. https://t.co/Mbrgx8d7ZX
— Angelica Ross (@angelicaross) September 21, 2019
Several social media users disagreed with the former model’s critique of Sanders.
“To question Bernie Sanders stance on lgbtq rights is the most ridiculous thing ever and shows your bias against him,” one user wrote.
“I don’t think he skipped this forum because he doesn’t believe in equal rights for all,” another said.
“Except you decided to focus on one candidate who has the most robust background on this issue. Also, he was at a HBCU which was already scheduled. To think sanders is weak on LGBTQ is frankly laughable,” another added.
The backlash continued to escalate, leading Ross to announce a break from social media “for a while.”
This would not be the first time Sanders has experienced accusations of harassment and intimidation related to his supporters. Black leaders signed a letter last week, which detailed alleged “hateful, violent, and racist threats” from people who identify as Sanders supporters. The alleged harassment followed the socialist senator’s loss of the Working Families Party (WFP) endorsement.
As Breitbart News reported:
A draft of the letter, obtained by Splinter News, claimed that Sanders supporters have called black leaders “Uncle Tom,” “Slave,” and “Cunt.” The alleged threats followed Sanders’ loss of the WFP endorsement, according to the letter.
The leaders continued, demanding the Sanders campaign “unequivocally denounce the racism in its ranks, and issue a public statement separating themselves from these abhorrent attacks.” They also urged Democrats across the board – both Sanders supporters and Warren supporters – to come together to “defeat one of the most serious threats to peace and justice in our lifetimes.”
“We cannot wait to make justice real amongst the resisters — our lives literally depend on each other,” the leaders added in the letter.
Sanders followed up with a tweet, which read, “This campaign condemns racist bullying and harassment of any kind, in any space. We are building a multiracial movement for justice — that’s how we win the White House.”
This campaign condemns racist bullying and harassment of any kind, in any space. We are building a multiracial movement for justice — that’s how we win the White House.
— Bernie Sanders (@BernieSanders) September 19, 2019
Nina Turner, national co-chair for the Sanders campaign also responded.
Anyone directing racist, sexist &otherwise personally derogatory tweets/messages towards @MauriceWFP or anyone on his team @WorkingFamilies is a coward and is not in alignment w/ @BernieSanders or our collective mission.
— Nina Turner (@ninaturner) September 19, 2019