Busted: How Twitter Outed a Racist Bernie Sanders Hire

Let's take a minute to review Bernie Sanders' Sunday:

10:32 AM 

Matt Orfalea, a self-described "independent video maker beast" announces on Twitter that he has officially joined the Bernie Sanders campaign. Shaun King shares his approval by responding favorably to Orfalea's news. 

2:25 PM 

#VettingBernie Twitter unearths a YouTube video on Orfalea's channel which includes a vile, hateful, and racist video that demeans and degrades Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

2:47 PM 

Orfalea tries to diffuse the growing awareness of his past by attempting to play off his racist King video as a joke and to offer a faux apology.

5:52 PM
Reporter Alexi McCammond of Axios reaches out to a Sanders campaign aide, who speaks to Orfalea's past video work. The aide says, "His views don't reflect the senator and going forward he understands he's part of a campaign team that will respect Bernie's values."

8:31 PM 

McCammond relays a statement from Faiz Shakir, Sanders' campaign manager. Shakir says, "All initial job offers are contingent on the completion of a final review of a person's record. That vetting process had not yet been completed. It's clear some of Matt's prior social media content does not reflect the campaign's values. We accept his resignation."

In short, in less than 10 hours, Bernie Sanders and his campaign attempted to hire a new member for their national campaign without in any way vetting him or his previous work. Orfalea got onto the Sanders radar after posting a fan video of Sanders and his speeches on October 4th and word got back to the Sanders campaign about the video. However, rather than do any sort of due diligence, the Sanders campaign immediately offered Orfalea a position and they were more than willing to allow him to stay in that position, even after a racist video that Orfalea produced came to light. However, after much outcry on Twitter and social media, Sanders' campaign manager Faiz Shakir felt he had no choice but to cut ties with Orfalea after him being employed for less than a day.

Overall, this incident perfectly encapsulates the Sanders campaign. It is a campaign desperate for a spark, hence their desire to bring on an unknown in Orfalea to the campaign despite having no prior campaign experience. It also shows a campaign with limited resources, so limited that they apparently didn't have a single person on the hiring team who could Google "Matt Orfalea" and view his YouTube channel. In addition, it reveals a campaign that continues to have a tone-deaf attitude toward people of color. A campaign should not have to debate keeping on a person who has created a racist video and the fact that the Sanders campaign initially attempted to downplay Orfalea's anti-MLK video is disgraceful and utterly reprehensible. Had #VettingBernie Twitter not intervened and caused a ruckus, the campaign would have kept Orfalea on staff by simply insisting that he had moved beyond his racist past. At a time when people of color, particularly women, are the base of the Democratic Party, Bernie Sanders and his campaign were more than willing to employ a person who made a racist video about Martin Luther King, Jr. and who 11 years later, refused to believe there was anything offensive about the video that he made.

The only thing more offensive than Orfalea's video is how Bernie Sanders still thinks he has a shot of becoming the Democratic nominee for president. 

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