Posted on February 22, 2016

Dolores Huerta Says She Was Shouted down with ‘English-Only’ Chants from a Sanders Crowd

Janell Ross and Abby Phillip, Washington Post, February 20, 2016


{snip} Dolores Huerta, a longtime civil rights and farm-labor activist, as well as a confidante of the late Cesar Chavez, tweeted this Saturday night from a Nevada caucus location:

And unfortunately for Sanders’s supporters, there’s video that at the very least backs up Huerta’s assertion that there was a lot of shouting and hissing while she was on stage at a Nevada caucus location. A caucus organizer had called for an interpreter willing to explain the process and latest updates to Spanish-speaking caucus-goers. Huerta, clad in a Clinton campaign T-shirt, volunteered.

The Washington Post’s Abby Phillip caught up with Huerta to find out what happened next.

“The person who was running the caucus . . . people were saying we need a translator, so he said the first person that comes to the stage can be the translator,” Huerta said. “So I went up to the front to be the translator.”

The video above shows that her appearance onstage wasn’t so well received. Some Sanders supporters may have been disturbed by the idea of a Clinton supporter interpreting events for the entire crowd. But that doesn’t explain everything Huerta said she heard from the crowd.

“It was mostly the organizers,” Huerta continued. “The Bernie organizers were shouting, ‘No, no, no.’ Then a Bernie person stood up and said said, ‘No, we need to have it, I can also do translation’ or whatever. The person who ran the caucus said, ‘Well, we won’t have a translator.’ The sad thing about this is that some of the organizers were shouting, ‘English only! English only!’ The Bernie organizers.”

Again, this is what Huerta says happened when she tried to interpret from English to Spanish at a Nevada caucus site. The crowd apparently included a large number of Bernie Sanders supporters. And given that much of the Las Vegas strip’s workforce is made up of Latino Americans and Latino immigrants, one would expect that some people in the crowd might have wanted to hear Huerta.

Instead, Huerta and actress America Ferrera, an on-the-record Hillary Clinton supporter, both tweeted that Huerta was shouted down with chants of, “English only!”