When will Bernie Sanders call out the sexism and homophobia of his top supporters?

In the past 24 hours, Bernie Sanders’ top supporters from leading left-wing groups Justice Democrats and Chapo Trap House have launched sexist attacks on Elizabeth Warren and Amy Klobuchar, in the case of the former, and homophobic attacks on Pete Buttigieg from the latter.

The smears are part of a larger pattern of abusive behavior from Sanders supporters, recently documented by CNN, that are now reportedly costing Sanders support, including the all-important Culinary Union in Nevada, that blasted Sanders yesterday for his supporters’ vicious attacks.

First came the tweet yesterday from Justice Democrats co-founder Kyle Kulinski, who has endorsed Sanders in the Democratic primary, which many took to be sexist, in part because it boils down Elizabeth Warren’s entire campaign to the notion that she expects to be elected simply for her gender, and that, as a woman, her substance is non-existent. And in the case of Klobuchar, she’s little more than an angry women.

Justice Democrats was formed out of Bernie Sanders’ 2016 campaign, and is closely aligned with freshmen member of Congress Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (aka AOC), who has also endorsed Sanders and campaigns with him.

As one woman explained to me, the use of the term “female” instead of “woman” is a “big giant red flag.” “A plant can be female,” she told me. “A horse, a dog. Only a human is referred to as a woman. It’s dehumanizing. I think a lot of women I know and follow would take issue with the word choice. And it is a choice. A very specific one. Never meant to revere the person they’re referring to. Those people are called ‘women.'”

This comes on the heels of scores of Sanders supporters sharing images of snakes on social media over the past few weeks to suggest that Elizabeth Warren is a snake. The same happened when Warren tweeted last night in defense of the Culinary Union, here is a sample:

Adding to Sanders’ woes, yesterday an employee of socialist podcast Chapo Trap House — which earns over $160,000 per month from subscribers, and on whose show Bernie Sanders and his top staffers David Sirota and Briahna Joy Gray have appeared (Joy Gray, who bragged in 2017 that she voted for Jill Stein in the presidential election the year before, went on Chapo only a few weeks ago) — tweeted what appears to be a homophobic attack against Pete Buttigieg. The image from a movie, below, shows a group of seemingly naked young men, surrounding another nude young man, who is on his knees while his mouth is forced open and a white substance is put on his tongue.

As if that image weren’t enough, the clip is from a movie called “120 Days of Sodom.” Get it? Sodom. Sodom and Gomorrah. Sodomy. Gay. Oh but it gets even better. It’s a scene where a young man is forced to eat feces. That just happens to be another longtime religious right anti-gay slur: They claim that during sex, gay people end up eating eachother’s feces. Yep, nothing homophobic at all about that choice of clip.

In addition to Sanders, Sirota and Joy Gray have appeared on Chapo’s podcast in recent months. And according to an old tweet of Sirota’s found on Google — he has since deleted his tweets — it appears Sirota was a paid subscriber to the podcast. It would be interesting to know if any Sanders’ staffers are still contributing financially to Chapo, and what Sanders plans to do about it.

Buttigieg, along with Warren and Klobuchar, is a regular target of the pro-Sanders far-left, who have taken to changing their Twitter handles to attack the gay candidate.

It remains to be seen if Bernie Sanders will repudiate his most extreme supporters. To date, Sanders has refused to distance himself from comedian and podcaster Joe Rogan, whose endorsement Sanders welcomed even though Rogan, according to Forbes, has a “history of giving a platform to conspiracy theories and making comments criticized as racist or bigoted towards transgender people.”

Sanders ran into the same problem with his recent endorsement of congressional candidate Cenk Uygur, a co-founder of both Young Turks video channel and Justice Democrats. Sanders was forced to withdraw his endorsement of Uygur due to Uygur’s history of “making offensive comments about women, Jews, Muslims and other groups.”

More on Uygur’s comments from the Daily Beast:

Among those remarks, many of which were initially uncovered by The Wrap, include complaints in 2000 that the women of Miami didn’t want to sleep with him because “obviously, the genes of women are flawed. They are poorly designed creatures who do not want to have sex nearly as often as needed for the human race to get along peaceably and fruitfully.”

Under an entry outlining the supposed “Rules of Dating,” Uygur said that “if I haven’t felt your tits” by the third date, “things are not about to last much longer. In fact, if you don’t get back on track by the fourth date, you’re done.”

Another blog entry, posted in 2004 by The Young Turks senior vice president of operations David Koller, described a road trip with Uygur in which Koller describes three underage teenage girls he encountered as “whores in training.”

The Young Turks have also been sued for racial discrimination by a black former employee.

Justice Democrats, to its credit, forced Uygur out of its organization in 2017, after his previous comments objectifying women came to light. Bernie Sanders, however, apparently did not feel the earlier sexist comments precluded his endorsement of Uygur until it caused Sanders bad press.

And Chapo Trap House has also faced accusations of insensitive behavior. More from the Daily Beast:

The gonzo, acerbic style practiced by the eXile lives on today in the “Dirtbag left,” a loose assortment of thirtysomethings grouped around the popular “Chapo Trap House” podcast and sympathetic toward the newly resurgent Democratic Socialists of America. As is usually the case with the far left, the Dirtbags’ main enemies are not conservatives but mainstream liberals, whom they view as too moderate and civil for the coming revolution. On Twitter, two of the podcast’s mostly male cast recently posed around Bill Cosby’s Hollywood Walk of Fame Star under the caption, “Hey libs try taking THIS statue down,” while another host mocked a rape victim. Frequent Chapo guest Sam Kriss, a British communist and prominent supporter of hard left Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn, was recently suspended from the party and fired from his job as a columnist at Vice following accusations of sexual harassment.

Finally, Bernie Sanders’ 2016 presidential campaign recently faced its own accusations of sexual harassment. When asked about the accusations on CNN, Sanders said: “I certainly apologize to any woman who felt she was not treated appropriately, and of course if I run we will do better the next time,” he said. When asked if he knew about the women’s complaints, Sanders replied: “I was a little bit busy running around the country trying to make the case.”

Sanders has been accused in the past of not being as interested in civil rights (be they LGBT, race, or gender -based) as he is economic rights. And it’s a complaint that old-school socialists often face, that they have a dogged focus on money to the exclusion of all else. And certainly with regards to Sanders’ endorsements and adherents, he seems to often show an indifference to intolerance, if not an outright tolerance of it.

Sanders again has the chance to show Democratic voters that his movement is about more than anger. Will he finally rise to the occasion?


Follow me on Twitter: @aravosis | @americablog | @americabloggay | Facebook | Instagram | Google+ | LinkedIn. John Aravosis is the Executive Editor of AMERICAblog, which he founded in 2004. He has a joint law degree (JD) and masters in Foreign Service from Georgetown; and has worked in the US Senate, World Bank, Children's Defense Fund, the United Nations Development Programme, and as a stringer for the Economist. He is a frequent TV pundit, having appeared on the O'Reilly Factor, Hardball, World News Tonight, Nightline, AM Joy & Reliable Sources, among others. John lives in Washington, DC. .

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One Response to “When will Bernie Sanders call out the sexism and homophobia of his top supporters?”

  1. Great content! Super high-quality! Keep it up! :)

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