A San Francisco high school teacher was taken to school herself on Twitter after penning an opinion piece complaining that the recent Internet memes celebrating Sen. Bernie Sanders' inaugural attire displayed white male privilege.
Writing in the San Francisco Chronicle, Ingrid Seyer-Ochi, claimed the memes, which feature photos of the Vermont independent in a casual gray winter coat and mittens made from a recycled sweater, were a contrast to others at the ceremony in fancier attire.
"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," Seyer-Ochi wrote.
She said she talked with her students over Zoom "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."
"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," she wrote. "I don't know many poor, or working class, or female, or struggling-to-be-taken-seriously folk who would show up at the inauguration of our 46th president dressed like Bernie. Unless those same folk had privilege. Which they don't."
Many on Twitter noted Sanders, who is Jewish, lost many family members in the Holocaust, and they do not consider him to have white privilege.
Others noted, while he might have privilege, he recognizes it, and uses it to aid those who do not. They noted he made use of the popularity of the memes to raise money to help the less fortunate.
New Englanders jumped to Sanders' defense, many noting they were not even his fans, saying that is simply how one dresses for the frigid cold, and that is indeed considered "fancy" attire in the dead of winter in that part of the country.
"Ugh. SJWs are so humorless have to take a stupid, funny meme and turn it into a meta-narrative about white privilege," wrote RealClearPolitics president Tom Bevan.
"What a stupid and appalling article: all based on how Bernie dressed. As stupid and gross as it is, it represents a large and growing sector of left-liberal thought," journalist Glenn Greenwald said.
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