The Nevada caucus was a bit of a mess with Hillary Clinton eventually landing victorious. Behind the scenes, another non-controversy swirled around Bernie Sanders when noted feminist and Hillary Clinton supporter, Dolores Huerta, claimed his supporters screamed “English only” at her when she offered to translate at a Nevada caucus site. Shocked reactions were aimed towards the alleged offenders, but it turns out no one ever yelled “English only.” To think that people were denied a translation would be surprising, especially coming from fans of Bernie. However, some of his supporters are allegedly making sexist remarks towards Hillary and her supporters (although the Bern has denounced such sentiments in response).
Susan Sarandon, respected activist and woman, cleared the air with what she witnessed – no one was screaming “English only.” She says they were shouting “neutral,” for a neutral translator that was not affiliated with either Bernie or Hillary.
The confusion was summarized by Erin Cruz, a volunteer independent observer at a Nevada Caucus site:
“The moderator was at the front, on the stage with the microphone. The Hillary camp was on the left side of the room, and Bernie supporters were on the right side. Undecided voters were in the back of the room, and observers were in the back wall of the auditorium.
“Once he got started he said he would like somebody to translate. Immediately, the Hillary camp starts ushering up Dolores Huerta, who is a prominent Latina activist, and very outspoken for Hillary. We were yelling for the process to stay neutral, taking objection because we felt there should have been a translator, but it should have been someone undecided, not someone for Bernie, or someone for Hillary.
“The caucus chair quiets us down and says, ‘We need a translator, the first person who gets to the stage can be the translator.’ A Bernie guy went up, somebody else for Hillary went up, and nobody agreed with that. The caucus chair said, ‘Since there’s no consensus on a translator, the caucus will be conducted in English only.’”
Sarah Falanga, another witness, explained what happened to US Uncut:
“We were shuffled into the caucus room, the doors shut, and Hillary had her observers, and we had the nurses for Bernie that were there. They got started, they gave us a few details, what to do, then someone said that there’s a large population that needs help with a translator, so the caucus chairman said whoever gets here first will be the translator. An older lady, who was a part of Hillary’s team, went up. We said no, there needs to be a neutral party translating so we don’t get anything wrong. So the caucus chairman said, we’re going to do this in English. All we said was we need a neutral party to be up there.”
Huerta gave her account after the event:
“What happened is the person who was running the caucus said we need a translator and he said the first person that comes to the stage can be the translator, so I walked up to the front and then some of the organizers, the Bernie organizers, decided to shout ‘no, no, no.’ Then a Bernie person stood up and said, I can also do translation. So then the person running the caucus said we won’t have a translator. Then some of the organizers were shouting ‘English only, English only.’ This is bad.”
Meanwhile, Susan Sarandon continued to share her findings on Twitter:
It seems as if the Democratic Party, who was supposed to provide a neutral translator, did not do so. It’s more fuel on a fire that’s burning under the split divided supporters of both candidates, and another in a long line of Hillary Clinton conspiracy theories. All of this is just strange, especially considering how Clinton shares an office space with the Democratic National Committee located in Nevada.