clock menu more-arrow no yes

Dolores Huerta: Sanders supporters chanted "English only" when I spoke Spanish at caucuses

Labor leader Dolores Huerta attended a Nevada caucus to stump for Hillary Clinton — only to get shouted down, she and Clinton supporters said, by Bernie Sanders supporters chanting "English only" when she tried to offer a Spanish translation.

But several other people present at the rally, including some Sanders supporters, said people did not chant "English only":

This video clip shows Sanders supporters shouting Huerta down. But the shouts aren't entirely distinct, and it doesn't prove that they were shouting "English only."

Sanders's campaign has not said anything about the incident.

Throughout his campaign, Bernie Sanders has faced accusations that he's not as in tune with the issues of racial justice facing much of the Democratic base as he is with them on economic issues. He's also faced accusations that his supporters, while enthusiastic about Sanders, are obnoxious, aggressive, and even harassing toward Clinton and her supporters.

Sanders and his campaign have fought admirably to address both of these concerns. But this is very bad for the campaign's relationship with progressive Latino activists. And, especially if the reports of "English only" chants are true, it could damage the campaign's 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.


Update: Added accounts from other people at the event.

Sign up for the newsletter Sign up for The Weeds

Get our essential policy newsletter delivered Fridays.