Dolores Huerta: Bernie Sanders Supporters ‘Don’t Know Who I am’

dolores huerta
Hillary Clinton supporter and civil rights worker Dolores Huerta became the target of social media attacks when she claimed that Bernie Sanders supporters shouted her off stage at a Nevada caucus event and even called for “English only.” The latter account has been disputed. Above: President Barack Obama awards Huerta a 2012 Presidential Medal of Freedom during a ceremony at the White House in Washington, May 29, 2012. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque

Dolores Huerta extended an olive branch to Bernie Sanders supporters on Sunday, saying that maybe they just don’t know who the veteran Latina civil rights leader is. Huerta’s beef with Bernie world started on Saturday evening when some Nevada caucus goers shouted her off stage when she volunteered to translate voting instructions into Spanish. The incident was hotly debated, with Huerta accusing Bernie Sanders supporters of depriving Spanish-dominant caucus goers with a translation, and reverse allegations of Huerta exaggerating claims that the crowd shouted “English only.”

“Was I angry? I wasn’t angry, because I know that a lot of people who were booing me don't’ even know who I am,” Huerta told Latino Rebels (full interview below). “Go ahead and Google me and see what I’ve done!”

She also encouraged voters to research Bernie and Hillary’s accomplishments.

Huerta, a lifelong activist, is indirectly responsible for passing legislation that empowers multilingual voters. She’s also a lifelong union advocate, who helped secure legal rights for California farm workers. Many compare her to César Chavez. In 2012, President Barack Obama awarded her the Presidential Medal of Freedom.

Bernie Sanders campaign staff have responded to the shouting incident.

"We expect our supporters to be respectful of all people and don't condone anything otherwise," spokesperson Symone Sanders told CNN.

But Bernie supporters continue to dig a hole for the campaign on social media. Over a thousand have signed a MoveOn.org petition (the site endorses Sanders) calling on Huerta to apologize for “slandering” the Senator. The petition mockingly calls Huerta a “‘Latino leader’” -- entre comillas. Other pundits -- not all Sander's supporters per se -- have taken to Twitter implying that Clinton cash partially bought Huerta's loyalty.

The civil rights activist acknowledges that the Clinton foundation gave a donation to the Dolores Huerta Foundation in 2010, but told Latino Rebels that she rejects the implication that she is personally benefitted from it. Huerta, 86, argued that the accusations are absurd, in part by reminding listeners of who she is.

“Right now I want you to know this [no money from foundation] I get $600 a month from social security. I get $2,000 a month from my beating that the police gave me in 1988 in San Francisco. And that is my income,” she said.

She said that the Clinton Foundation donation in question merely paid for the venue and other costs of her 80th birthday, adding that it was guitar legend Santana that was the night’s biggest donor. Huerta also pointed out that she campaigned for Clinton in 2008, well before the foundation-to-foundation grant was made.

“People that think I am supporting Hillary because she give me money, they are so wrong,” she said.

Bernie Sanders may or may not have won the Latino vote in Nevada on Saturday, but the words of his supporters online and offline haven’t helped his image in the community long term.

What do you think?