The Trump Left: How an Army of Bernie Sanders Supporters Have Already Begun Harassing Democrats Online

On February 24th, Bernie Sanders asked his supporters to play nice via a fundraising email.
“As we engage with our opponents in the Democratic primary, we will forcefully present our views and defend ourselves against misrepresentations...But, let us do our very best to engage respectfully with our Democratic opponents―talking about the issues we are fighting for, not about personalities or past grievances. I want to be clear that I condemn bullying and harassment of any kind and in any space.”
Less than a week later, many of us who have had the audacity to vet Bernie Sanders have already seen Sanders' plea blatantly ignored and have been the victim of online attacks and harassment. This is nothing new for many of us and it shows the kind of toxic culture that has been created as a result of Bernie Sanders' now second presidential campaign. We have gotten to a point where there are combined efforts by both Sanders supporters and obvious Russian trolls to denigrate and degrade anyone who they deem a threat to the candidacy of Bernie Sanders. Like Donald Trump supporters, these people willingly harass those simply for the joy and pleasure of it while ignoring what valid criticism we might offer against Bernie Sanders. As a result of these actions, many prominent Twitter users are now documenting harassment as a way to share with media just how real the problem has become.

What's hilarious about this strategy is that it has the opposite intended effect for Sanders supporters. For example, I posted a tweet last week asking how people of color, in good faith, could support Bernie Sanders even with his abysmal record on civil rights (and this was BEFORE the whole #Berniesoblack debacle). Somehow, this Tweet entered the Brosphere and made the rounds and I awoke the next day to find over 100 comments shaming me for being anything from an outright racist to someone who sought to portray himself as a White savior. Many commenters chose to attack my physical appearance as if insulting my inability to grow facial hair somehow diminished my original point. Unsurprisingly, none of the criticism of my tweet addressed my original assertion that Bernie Sanders has consistently engaged in policies and actions that have not only not helped but have greatly harmed people of color. Instead, much like with Michael Cohen's testimony before congressional Republicans, the criticism was directly addressed to me as a person and not the message I was conveying. 

Yet what these Sandernistas seemingly failed to realize is that I would have a superior number of allies rush to my defense. Allies who have seen the Bros in action and know how vicious they can be. As someone who ended up on a hit list created by a Bro in 2016, I'm used to this attention and I'm used to blocking both BernieBros and Russian bots with ease. However, what their latest attack on me ended up doing was providing me with over 200 defenders and thus new followers who now have access to this blog as well as our vetting resource at The People's View. I also tend to use humorous gifs in several responses and this not only confuses BernieBros who are used to successfully bullying others but also provides many of my new supporters with a laugh at just how juvenile the Bros truly are. Many of them were "drive-by" tweets where they posted and left but for those that stuck around and endured my gifs, it was a beautifully embarrassing situation to be a part of. In the end, I stand here today with 200 new supporters who have access to our work and this essay chronicling the abuse of a population whose candidate begged them to play nice and who refuse to do so, thereby exposing themselves once again for the world to see.

Please proceed, Bros.