Actress America Ferrara posts tweet charging Sanders supporters with disrespectful chant to beloved Hispanic civil rights leader, but video is inconclusive.
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America Ferrara late Saturday afternoon posted a tweet accusing Bernie Sanders supporters at a Nevada caucus site repeatedly yelling at 85-year old civil rights icon, and labor and Hispanic leader Dolores Huerta, "English-only."
Harrah's casino site- Bernie supporters chant "English-only" to stop civil rights leader @DoloresHuerta from providing Spanish translation.— America Ferrera (@AmericaFerrera) February 20, 2016
Ferrara is an Emmy and Golden Globe award-winning actress best known for her roles in Ugly Betty and How to Train Your Dragon. She and Dolores Huerta are both Hillary Clinton supporters.
BuzzFeed News White House reporter Evan McMorris-Santoro tweeted he had a source who confirmed the ugly attack:
regarding @AmericaFerrera tweet from earlier: I have confirmed that it happened from a source knowledgable— E McMorris-Santoro (@EvanMcSan) February 20, 2016
And later, a second source:
Update: i have a second source who was in the room at Harrah's who confirms the "English Only" chant @AmericaFerrera mentioned.— E McMorris-Santoro (@EvanMcSan) February 21, 2016
Washington Post national political reporter Dave Weigel added to the fury with this tweet:
Sanders surrogates went after Huerta in a conference call today https://t.co/r2K5zHzyj5— daveweigel (@daveweigel) February 20, 2016
Weigel also retweeted this:
At Bernie watch event, Berners booing, jeering, hissing as they're forced to watch Hillary's victory speech pic.twitter.com/gvWPnQkJ1z— kenny wassus (@kgw) February 20, 2016
Almost immediately, given she is a famous actress with nearly 100,000 followers, well-known political figures weighed in, including MSNBC's Joy Ann Reid:
Um... What??? https://t.co/mARMWlTj2c— Joy Reid (@JoyAnnReid) February 20, 2016
Exactly. She isn't just a VIP, she's an icon. Growing up out west, she was revered like MLK or John Lewis. https://t.co/yxknCL1GMn— Joy Reid (@JoyAnnReid) February 20, 2016
@WyzeChef first John Lewis, now Ms. Huerta. Ripping down civil rights icons of color and replacing them with a political candidate. Unreal.— Joy Reid (@JoyAnnReid) February 21, 2016
Then Huerta herself took to Twitter:
Twitter quickly exploded in anger:
Dolores Huerta gets racist heckling. DOLORES HUERTA. WHO ARE THE KNOW-NOTHINGS RUNNING THAT GODDAMNED 'REVOLUTION'?https://t.co/xeYSq3cytw— Miranda Piñero (@mirpinero) February 20, 2016
These assholes did this to Dolores. Huerta. https://t.co/VVyrCtDoqK— Bill Smith (@dcbillsmith) February 20, 2016
Dolores Huerta is an iconic civil rights leader in the Latino, immigrant, & farmworker community. I'm speechless. And beyond insulted.— ¡Gabe! Ortíz (@TUSK81) February 20, 2016
Berniebros now Berniebrosplaining to me Huerta hate was GOP plant, Hillary plant, or lie by America Ferrera. It's never their fault, is it.— ¡Gabe! Ortíz (@TUSK81) February 20, 2016
If you're gonna insult Dolores, insult our moms while you're at it, cause that's the kind of love we have for her.— ¡Gabe! Ortíz (@TUSK81) February 20, 2016
English only?! Seriously Bernie supporters stay classy— Monique, ASW (@jAD0ReQUi) February 20, 2016
Dear Sanders supporters: Challenging the integrity of or denigrating the legendary Dolores Huerta is a unworthy & losing cause! STOP IT!— Timothy Clark (@tvc3232) February 21, 2016
How did Huerta know the hecklers were Sanders supporters?
ThinkProgress' Alice Ollstein reports Huerta "said it was 'really clear' thanks to the caucus process."
“The room was divided with the Hillary people on one side and the Bernie people on the other,” Huerta said.
“The fellow that was running the caucus said that the first person to come up to the stage could translate, so I went up. Nobody else did,” Huerta told ThinkProgress. “Then the Bernie people started yelling no, no, no. One of their people came up, and I suggested we both translate. But the moderator decided we would have no translation. So the Bernie people preferred we would have no translation just because I was going to do the translating. It’s ridiculous, because if I had said something that wasn’t accurate, I’m sure somebody would have corrected me.”
Huerta also spoke with the Huffington Post, saying, "Shouting 'English-only' -- that is completely against the spirit of everything that we're working for."
"To deprive these voters at this crucial time of having a translation of what was going on -- this is something they need to know what's taking place," Huerta also told HuffPo. "The caucus is a kind of complicated procedure. So the Bernie supporters would rather them not have any sort of translation rather than have someone like myself, who just happened to be a Hillary supporter, do the translation."
ABC News Deputy Political Director offers this explanation:
I spoke to Dolores Huerta who confirmed & recounted the "English Only" story. Huerta walked up to the stage to translate & was shouted 1/?— Shushannah Walshe (@shushwalshe) February 21, 2016
down by Bernie Sanders supporters. She said they yelled "No, we can't do a translation. English Only!" Huerta said it was "v sad" & yellers— Shushannah Walshe (@shushwalshe) February 21, 2016
"absolutely" knew it was her. Huerta called it "disrespectful," adding a "translation was v important for this critical moment." (1/3)— Shushannah Walshe (@shushwalshe) February 21, 2016
Later, Vox posted this video, noting "the shouts aren't entirely distinct, and it doesn't prove that they were shouting 'English only.'":
Vox's Dara Lind reports, "if the reports of 'English only' chants are true, it could damage" the Sanders campaign "outreach to Latino voters."
It's not just a rebuke to Huerta — who is one of the more iconic Latinas in American political and labor history — or to Latinos. It's a rebuke to the Sanders campaign's concerted effort to reach out to Latino voters in Nevada, including Spanish speakers.
Raw Story adds that someone named Erin Cruz "told the fact-checking site Snopes that she was at the event along with members of a nurses’ union as well as actresses Gabby Hoffman and Susan Sarandon, and said that it was the moderator who asked for “English-only” during the event, and not any Sanders supporter."
Hoffman and Sarandon are both Sanders supporters.