As everyone on earth is fully aware, a picture of Bernie Sanders social-distancing at the inauguration, all bundled up and wearing mittens, became a “yuuge” rage, as zillions of memes popped up with Bernie’s iconic image in the unlikeliest of places.
It’s inconceivable to me that there’s a living soul on the planet who hasn’t seen the image, but here ya go — just in case.
— Al Jazeera English (@AJEnglish) January 27, 2021
While I had as much fun with the meme thing as anyone, I have to say that I began to grow tired of them early last week, until I saw the following — with the caption:
“You’ve got to listen to me! There’s a man out there!”
— Dr. Hold My Beer, Bf.D (@RealLibSmacker) February 1, 2021
That… was ROFL hilarious.
To further digress, the meme is a take-off of the classic “Twilight Zone” episode, “Nightmare at 20,000 Feet.” Bottom line: the memes were funny. Except to Ingrid Seyer-Ochi, that is.
As reported by The Blaze, Ms. Seyer-Ochi is a San Francisco public school teacher who not only saw no humor in the Bernie memes; in her mind, mittens-wearing, bundled-up Bernie Sanders at the inauguration embodied the “privilege trifecta”: “White privilege,” “class privilege,” and “male privilege,” all rolled into one. Congrats, Bernie — well done!
“Sen. Sanders is no white supremacist insurrectionist. But he manifests privilege, white privilege, male privilege and class privilege, in ways that my students could see and feel.”
You’re not a “white supremacist insurrectionist,” Bernie, but you sure know how to play one on TV!
“Sen. Sanders is no white supremacist insurrectionist. But he manifests privilege, white privilege, male privilege and class privilege, in ways that my students could see and feel.” https://t.co/uyAGMpAuR9
— SFChronicle Opinion (@sfc_opinions) February 1, 2021
In an op-ed for the San Francisco Chronicle titled Bernie’s mittens: A lesson for S.F. high school students in subtle white privilege, Soci-Ochi recounted her discussion with her class about Bernie and his outfit.
She began the op-ed by talking about “a few weeks back”, and how she “processed the Capitol insurrection” with her students — notably “images of white men storming through the Capitol, fearless and with no forces to stop them.”
Did I mention that formerly, Seyer-Ochi was a UC Berkeley professor?
She recalled telling her students as they watched: “This is white supremacy, this is white privilege. It can be hard to pinpoint, but when we see, it, we know it.” Then, she wrote, she and her students “analyzed images from the inauguration.” [Obsessed much, were ya?]
What do we see?” she asked her high school students. “We saw diversity, creativity and humanity, and a nation embracing all of this and more.” The image of Bernie, she said, “was barely on our radar.”
Then came the following day. “He was everywhere,” she wrote.
She asked, again: “What do we see?” “They saw a white man in a puffy jacket and huge mittens, distant not only in his social distancing but in his demeanor and attire.” [Oops.]
Via The Chronicle op-ed:
“We talked about gender and the possible meanings of the attire chosen by Vice President Kamala Harris, Dr. Jill Biden, the Biden grandchildren, Michelle Obama, Amanda Gorman and others.
“We referenced the female warriors inspiring these women, the colors of their educational degrees and their monochromatic ensembles of pure power.
[How obsessed do you have to be to talk about “the possible meaings” of the clothes people wear to a presidential election, outdoors, in cold weather?]
“And there, across all of our news and social media feeds, was Bernie: Bernie memes, Bernie sweatshirts, endless love for Bernie. I puzzled and fumed as an individual as I strove to be my best possible teacher.
[“I puzzled and fumed…” You know what, that’s on you — and shame on you for taking your students down that ridiculous obsessive path with you.]
“What did I see? What did I think my students should see? A wealthy, incredibly well-educated and privileged white man, showing up for perhaps the most important ritual of the decade, in a puffy jacket and huge mittens.
“I mean in no way to overstate the parallels. Sen. Sanders is no white supremacist insurrectionist. But he manifests privilege, white privilege, male privilege and class privilege, in ways that my students could see and feel.”
Pretty sure that’s on you, teach. Call that number.
How can I ask this tactfully? What the hell did that woman expect Bernie to wear on his hands? Leather gloves? Ooh.. more “privilege.”
And that “puffy jacket”? We can’t have that in cold weather, can we? Why Bernie might as well have spray-painted “I’ve Got White Privilege!” all over that “privilege-laden” coat — just to make sure everybody understood how privileged he is.
These people — black, white, brown, orange (heh), color is irrelevant — make a mockery out of themselves and their message(s). When it gets to the point of pointing out Bernie Sanders, of all people, and his “puffy jacket” and “huge mittens”?
Stuff a sock in it. Or a “yuuge” mitten.