Claim Sanders’ supporters shouted ‘English only’ at Nevada caucus is disputed


Dolores Huerta shows off her Presidential Medal of Freedom Award at a museum exhibit in Los Angeles in 2014. (Photo: Damian Dovarganes/AP)

Actress America Ferrera and Latina civil rights leader Dolores Huerta, both of whom are endorsing Hillary Clinton, say that Bernie Sanders supporters shouted “English only” as Huerta was offering Spanish-language translations at a caucus site in Las Vegas Saturday.

But the Vermont senator’s supporters, including actresses Susan Sarandon and Gaby Hoffmann, say it didn’t happen — at least not the way Huerta described it.

According to Ferrera and Huerta, some of the Latino caucus-goers who arrived at Harrah’s Las Vegas Hotel and Casino did not speak English.

“I offered to translate,” Huerta, co-founder of United Farm Workers, tweeted. “Bernie supporters chanted English only! We fought too long & hard to be silenced. Si Se Puede! #ImwithHer #NVcaucus.”

But according to Sarandon and Hoffmann, it was the moderator who said “English only” after a neutral translator could not be found.

Huerta and Ferrera did not immediately respond to requests from Yahoo News for comment.

In an interview with the Huffington Post, Huerta said she offered to translate because the caucus “is a kind of complicated procedure.”

“To deprive these voters at this crucial time of having a translation of what was going on — this is something they need to know what’s taking place,” she said. “So the Bernie supporters would rather them not have any sort of translation rather than have someone like myself, who just happened to be a Hillary supporter, do the translation.”

But according to Hoffmann, it was actually Clinton’s supporters who applauded when the moderator instructed “English only.”

Sarandon tweeted a link to a video of the incident.

“NO CHANTING,” she wrote.

Nonetheless, Huerta expressed her dismay with Sanders via her Twitter feed.

“Shame on your supporters for depriving Spanish speaking caucus goers of info they need for full participation!” she wrote.

One Sanders supporter, though, told ThinkProgress that the crowd was shouting “neutral,” not “no” or “English only.”

“As the senator has said, this campaign is about bringing people together not dividing them,” Symone D. Sanders, Bernie Sanders’ national press secretary, wrote in an email to Yahoo News. “We expect our supporters to be respectful of all people and don’t condone anything otherwise.”