Bernie Sanders’ didn’t even utter the words “corporate Democratic whores,” but he is being blasted by news outlets and on social media. A few days ago, Hillary Clinton herself participated in a racist joke at a posh fundraiser and her supporters were largely silent on the issue.
There’s a double standard in this race, and it isn’t against Hillary Clinton. It’s against Senator Bernie Sanders. While Clinton supporters bash Jane Sanders’ appearance and weight, they accuse Bernie of sexism for saying Clinton is too ambitious or unqualified to be President.
On Wednesday evening before Bernie Sanders took the stage at his Washington Square Park rally, Sanders surrogate Paul Y. Song gave a speech, during which he referenced a comment made by Clinton.
“Now Secretary Clinton has said that Medicare-for-all will never happen. Well, I agree with Secretary Clinton that Medicare-for-all never happen if we have a president who never aspires for something greater than the status quo. Medicare-for-all will never happen if we continue to elect corporate Democratic whores who are beholden to big pharma and the private insurance industry instead of us.”
Song later said he was not referring to Clinton but to members of Congress who would be instrumental in getting such legislation passed. Clinton supporters, however, weren’t buying it and called on Sanders to disavow the language.
Thursday morning, Sanders disavowed Song’s statement in a sharply-worded tweet.
Critics wondered why Sanders waited so long to denounce Dr. Song’s poor choice of words, but it is possibly that he was unaware of the “Democratic whores” phrase until later. According to Time, Sanders did not arrive at the rally until after Song’s speech was over.
The problem is, Bernie should not have had to apologize for Song, nor should Song himself have had to apologize. Clinton supporters have looked for any inkling of sexism coming from the Sanders campaign as a way to discredit him, whether those charges hold merit or not. The “Democratic whores” comment gave them plenty of fodder for accusations.
In February, Clinton surrogates Gloria Steinem and Madeleine Albright both came out with truly sexist remarks disparaging women who support Sanders. Steinem argued that the reason young women were supporting Sanders was because “that’s where the boys are.” Albright used her old standby “There’s a special place in hell…” phrase to bash women who don’t support Clinton.
But Hillary’s supporters didn’t think Steinem and Albright were sexist at all. And many have argued that Steinem and Albright were right, that women should be supporting the female candidate simply because she’s a woman.
When rapper and Bernie Sanders supporter Killer Mike of Run the Jewels repeated a phrase a female activist said to him, Clinton supporters bashed him for being sexist. The quote was taken from a conversation the rapper had with Jane Elliott, an internationally known teacher, lecturer, and diversity advocate.
“I talked to Jane Elliott a few weeks ago, and Jane said, ‘Michael, a uterus doesn’t qualify you to be president of the United States. You have to have policies that’s reflective of social justice.'”
Just like Song’s misinterpreted “Democratic whores” comment, Killer Mike’s “uterus” remark was used as evidence that Bernie Sanders is sexist.
But where is the outrage when Clinton surrogates and supporters express racist, anti-Semitic, or sexist opinions? During Sanders’ rally Wednesday night, the founder of HillaryMen Tom Watson suggested Bernie Sanders supporters are Nazis in a now-deleted tweet.
Sanders’ family on his father’s side were murdered by Nazis during World War II. The tweet is more vile and offensive than Dr. Song’s “Democratic whores” comment, but Hillary supporters may not see it that way.
Clinton’s supporters cried outrage about Song using the word “whores,” but they remained strangely silent with the presumptive Democratic front-runner participated in a blatantly racist joke last weekend with NYC mayor Bill de Blasio. It is just one more in a long list of double standards the Clinton campaign seems to live by and which Bernie Sanders fights against every day.
[Photo by Kenneth Gabrielsen/Getty Images]