Plastic Bag Challenge: Bernie Sanders Supporters Encouraged To Kill Themselves By Naples, Florida Council Man

Sam Saad III is a Naples, Florida, council member who created controversy when he posted a plastic bag challenge meme, which suggested that Bernie Sanders supporters should kill themselves. What is more, Saad’s Facebook post targeted someone whose sister was in the hospital recovering from a suicide attempt. The resulting backlash caused Saad to delete the offending image, but many in Naples were still upset at his actions.

The Bernie Sanders plastic bag challenge memes apparently come with two different variations. The first photo can be seen above, and is the meme used by Saad to attack a Bernie supporter on Facebook. The second meme apparently is targeting Bernie’s global warming policies by making a bad joke about cutting carbon emissions.

Bernie Sanders Plastic Bag Challenge Global Warming Carbon [Image via IMGflip.com]The original plastic bag challenge meme was created by 4Chan members trolling the internet. According to the Mirror, the game challenges “people to hold a plastic bag over their head while breathing heavily for up to five minutes.” The fake online challenge claimed the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) would donate $5 for every minute people held a plastic bag on their heads.

Plastic Ban Challenge 4Chan [Image via 4Chan]About a year ago, this fake challenge began to trend, and some YouTube users recorded the deed on video. The original 4Chan creator of the plastic bag challenge even wrote that he or she hoped the challenge could lead to deaths.

“This might have potential. Go on Twitter and Facebook, start posting about the “plastic bag challenge,” holding a bag over your head and breathing as long and hard as you can without passing out,” the internet troll wrote. “Hopefully inbreds do it, pass out, suffer from asphyxiation and either die or become terminally ill with brain damage. Should be fun, no?”

NBC2 News reports that Sam Saad III directed the Facebook post toward Kelly Reid. Within minutes, she responded by telling everyone of her sister’s suicide attempt.

“Not funny,” she wrote. “Especially for a City Council member and towards me right now. My sister has been in the hospital for two days; attempted suicide.”


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Many recognized that the Naples council member did not really mean that Bernie Sanders supporters should kill themselves by suicide, but it was still very shocking to some.

“It’s pretty shocking, and I thought that’s pretty low class,” said Jennifer Carson. “It’s easy for people to post things without thinking and then regret it later. It was a very shocking thing to see and I don’t think a very wise move.”

Darrin Shernak of Naples believes “people who support Bernie Sanders are this stupid that they would do something like this” so it was unwise to spread this meme in case someone took it seriously. Others like Haley Bistline claimed that “society has forgotten about this magical thing called freedom of speech”.

After Saad realized how much he had hurt Reid with his bad joke, he took the offending Facebook post down. The Naples council member did wish to comment on the issue to reporters but he did make it clear he issued a written apology to Reid.

Do you think the Naples, Florida council man went too far with his Bernie Sanders meme?

[Image via IOTW Report/Law Offices of Sam Saad III]