Jane and Bernie Sanders in Kissimmee, FL, March 10, 2016.

Bernie Sanders Takes Over Twitter With #BernieMadeMeWhite

Senator Bernie Sanders is trending on Twitter with the hashtag #BernieMadeMeWhite.

According to U.S. Uncut, “Twitter is expertly skewering the corporate media for erasing the contributions that people of color have made to the Bernie Sanders campaign with #BernieMadeMeWhite.”

Mainstream media have ignored Sen. Sanders as much as possible and denigrated his campaign when they couldn’t ignore it. Sanders, they claimed, only appealed to white voters. The Nation said Bernie Sanders appealed to white working-class voters; the Washington Post said he appeals to white rural voters.

Leslie Lee III, an African-American writer, disagrees. He’s the man who created the #BernieMadeMeWhite hashtag. Lee complained that the perception that Sanders has a minority problem and that his only supporters are “Bernie Bros” — white males who are rude on social media — is inaccurate. Lee, who tweets as @tokyovampires, found that insulting to the many people of color (POC) and women who support Sanders over Clinton, Trump, Cruz, or Kasich.

“It hit a peak… when Hawaii, the least white state in the nation, retroactively became white or ‘not diverse’ due to the fact that Bernie won it. So, I started #BernieMadeMeWhite….. Since my real existence as a black person who supports Bernie is ignored… might as well embrace my new whiteness.”

Bernie Sanders soared to victory in Hawaii, Washington, and Alaska.

Hawaii, Alaska, and Washington are generally considered ethnically diverse states. Less than a quarter of Hawaii’s population is white, with roughly 50 percent being of Asian heritage. Approximately a third of Alaskans are POC, mainly Native American, Pacific Islander, African American, Asian, and mixed race. Washington is in the top 10 most ethnically diverse states in the United States.

Asian Americans, Hispanic Americans, African Americans, and women have taken to Twitter, celebrating Bernie Sanders’ success in the polls by joking that since they support Sanders, they must be white. Ashlyn Shockley declared that since she was a Sanders supporter, she must be not only white, but male.

Some joked about the changes that had occurred to them since #BernieMadeMeWhite. They joked about changes in diet.

Others joked about appearance.

Some joked about their musical tastes changing now that #BernieMadeMeWhite.

Along with the jokes, some serious statements were made, including comments about white privilege, institutional racism, voting rights, driving while black, equal pay, racial profiling, children being bullied, and more.

Contrary to what the mainstream media may say, Bernie Sanders’ supporters are a diverse group. Will Leslie Lee’s hashtag open some eyes? Twitter Moments says #BernieMadeMeWhite is more than a meme.

is more than a meme, it’s a corrective to a blind spot in the narrative about his supporters.

If elected, Bernie Sanders will be the first Jewish president of the United States of America. His supporters include men and women, old and young, Christians, Muslims, Sikhs, Jews, POC, and whites.

Is Hillary Clinton too far ahead of Bernie Sanders for him to catch up, or is this hashtag #BernieMadeMeWhite enough to attract attention and get Sen. Sanders the voter support he needs to win the Democratic nomination?

[Photo by Gerardo Mora/Getty Images]

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