An Arizona rally for Bernie Sanders took a dark turn after Sanders’s supporters noticed a man had unfurled a flag emblazoned with a swastika. The man, who was not identified, was swiftly removed from the Arizona Veterans Memorial Coliseum.
Video from the rally. This is the horrific stuff Bernie is facing. It needs much broader coverage in a media environment that refuses to stop demonizing him.pic.twitter.com/q7EBxArSZQ
— Eli Valley (@elivalley) March 6, 2020
Sanders did not appear to see the flag and later thanked his supporters for their vigilance.
“Whoever it was, I think they’re a little outnumbered tonight,” he said after the man was removed.
“It was absolutely wild,” Brianna Westbrook, a national surrogate for the Sanders campaign, later told the Washington Post. “I never thought I would have seen a swastika at a political event. It’s gross. It really wakes you up and you see how bad things really are and the climate that we’re in.”
Sanders would be the first Jewish president if elected to public office. The incident sparked an outcry amid suggestions that security for Sanders be increased as he continues to campaign across the country. Jewish advocacy groups went further, pointing out that antisemitic attacks have increased under the Trump presidency.
Hanging a swastika at the rally of a presidential candidate who is Jewish and had family executed by Nazi’s during the Holocaust is disturbing and threatening.
Both VP Biden and Sen. Sanders should have secret service protection going forward.
— Stacey Walker (@swalker06) March 6, 2020
Someone unfurled a Nazi flag and tried to disrupt the @BernieSanders rally but they got shoved out by Sanders supporters quick. Anti-Semitism is alive and well in Donald Trump’s America.
— 🦒 Espo (@Esposition) March 6, 2020
Absolutely sickening — and scary — to see someone proudly brandishing a Nazi flag at a Bernie rally tonight.
This is the hatred unleashed by Trump and the GOP.
All people of conscience must condemn this antisemitism against the most visible Jewish politician in the country. https://t.co/uhEgADXe2z
— IfNotNow🔥 (@IfNotNowOrg) March 6, 2020
Horrifying. Last night, a man brandished a Nazi flag at a Bernie Sanders rally in Arizona.
It’s a clear attack on the only Jewish presidential candidate — in a time of rising white nationalism & antisemitism spurred on by Trump & the GOP.
It must be condemned all over the news. pic.twitter.com/Y0XEbpvCtk
— Bend the Arc: Jewish Action (@jewishaction) March 6, 2020
This wasn’t the only disturbance at the Sanders rally. Another video soon surfaced, this one showing a protester shouting the n-word at a black supporter.
WARNING: awful, derogatory language. ⚠️ Man just Kicked out of #BernieSanders rally. The guy in white shirt got into it with Bernie supporter, calls him N-word. Unclear what led to this. @SenSanders #Arizona #BernieForPresident #BernieRally pic.twitter.com/xr8Fe5Lqzd
— Nicole Grigg (@NicoleSGrigg) March 6, 2020
The Southern Poverty Law Center last year noted that “Amid the era of Trump, hate groups have increased once again, rising 30 percent over the past four years.”
The Sanders rally took place after a lukewarm Super Tuesday performance. Although his opponent Joe Biden won 10 of the 14 states who primaried earlier this week, Sanders enjoyed a significant victory after winning California and its whopping 415 delegates.