Sanders’ Former Press Secretary Says She Experienced Blatant Racism

Are Bernie & his campaign staff Racist?

Bernie’s Former Press Secretary Says She Repeatedly Experienced Blatant Racism as a high ranking black campaign worker.


Bernie Sanders’ former press secretary says she experienced repeated incidents of racism on the campaign trail, and at one point broke down in tears in her car.

In an interview for Lenny, an online newsletter co-founded by Lena Dunham, 26-year-old Symone Sanders (no relation to the Vermont senator) spoke with writer Mikki Halpin and described several instances in which felt she was discriminated against as a high-ranking black female campaign worker.

Mikki Halpin: Last time we spoke, you told me about some really frustrating experiences you had on the road that you felt were definitely related to being a woman of color. Do you want to talk a little bit about those?

Symone Sanders: There were multiple instances. There were places where I literally I couldn’t get in. I would go to the door, the staff entrance, and people would say, “This is staff only.” I’d have to explain to them that I was staff, and they would question me. I would have to say, “I’m the national press secretary. Did you watch me on the news the other day?” It was consistently happening. There was one week where it happened the entire week.

My breaking point was a time when I had let the event staff know I was having trouble getting in places and asked them if they could just really make an extra effort for this particular day, because it had been a long week. Like, “Could you please just let folks know that I’m coming and that I’m black?”

You don’t think you’d have to say those things, but I said, “Let them know there’s going to be a black girl that’s going to come to the front and please let her in.”

Symone Sanders also described one incident in which a man came running up to her car at a campaign building yelling and banging on the window, “telling me to get the F out of here, this is for staff, and that I didn’t belong back here.”

Read More: Sanders’ Former Press Secretary Says She Experienced Racism On The Trail

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