Yes I Support Bernie Sanders, and Yes I’m Angry.

You should be, too.

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Photo via Bernie Sanders on Instagram

If you watch virtually any cable news channel or read any legacy print media, then you are certainly aware that Bernie Sanders’ base has a reputation for being angry. Coming from these outlets, there’s a near constant barrage of tone policing, hostility, and resentful attitudes directed at my fellow Bernie supporters while at the same time they accuse us of just being angry and rude if we respond to it.

Frankly, I am angry, and you know what? I’ve come to embrace it.

There are between forty and fifty thousand people a year dying because they are uninsured or underinsured while we spend close to 800 billion dollars on the military and contracting as they ask us how we could possibly afford healthcare for all Americans in the richest nation on earth. Jeff Bezos just bought the most expensive property in the entire city of Los Angeles at a staggering 165 million dollars, a price that for him would be equivalent to someone who makes 60 thousand dollars a year spending 75 dollars on a house. Meanwhile his company Amazon didn’t pay a penny in taxes last year, and it was just a while ago when it was reported that they had paid to have an ambulance stationed outside of one of their warehouses for people suffering from heat exhaustion rather than pay for air conditioning.

If someone is angrier about a few random people on twitter tweeting rat and snake emojis or mocking Chuck Todd in direct response to being called “brown shirts” instead of everything I listed above, then I think their priorities should probably be re-examined, and that’s putting it mildly.

Yes, Bernie’s supporters are angry, and you should be, too.

Rather than constantly complaining about Bernie’s supporters being hostile, I wish his dissenters would pause to consider what it is that actually makes us angry. As if the problems facing average Americans weren’t enough to get us fired up, for years now we have been mocked, chastised, tone policed, and told to shut up and fall in line in spite of all the injustices we feel the need to address. For years when we have brought up our concerns we’re taken for granted, and immediately dismissed and told to just “vote blue no matter who”, as though everything we care about is invalid or irrelevant. The women and people of color who have made Bernie’s campaign the broadest and most diverse out of all others running are cast aside and erased entirely, all in the name of perpetuating a narrative that he has no real support from anyone other than young white men.

I don’t apologize for my anger, and I hope my fellow Bernie supporters won’t either. If we didn’t have our social media presence as an outlet, where else would we go? We are ignored or smeared everywhere else. Meanwhile, we are channeling that anger in to an unprecedented grassroots movement that is on track to make history. I love our anger and our movement, because it means we are passionate, and we have used it to fuel our power.

Lauren is a writer & leftist with analysis on topics related to politics & policy. She can be reached at LaurenMartinchek@gmail.com or Twitter @xlauren_mx

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