An official at the Working Families Party (WFP) said Friday that he — and many of his fellow staffers — have faced a deluge of violent, racist, and sexist attacks following the progressive group’s endorsement of Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.).
“There’s been good faith debate and conversations on the Internet — and I’m here for all of it,” Maurice Mitchell, National Director of the Working Families Party, told Hill.TV. “Public leadership is about public accountability and engaging in those conversations.”
“Also, there has been some of the most violent, disgusting, racist and sexist attacks against myself, against Nelini Stamp — another leader in our party — and many, many of our staff people, every day working people who are trying to make this world better and that’s unacceptable,” he added.
Mitchell went on to praise Warren’s progressive rival Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) for speaking out against the online harassment against many of his fellow WFP staffers, emphasizing that the group hopes to unite both Warren and Sanders supporters.
“I’m really happy that folks in the Sanders campaign said that these people don’t represent our campaign at all and I think that’s the proper tone,” he said. “We want to build a movement that includes Sanders supporters and Warren supporters who are pushing the Democratic Party to the people and are pushing for bold progressive change.”
In response to the backlash following the WFP endorsement of Warren, Sanders made it clear that he does not condone “racist bullying and harassment of any kind.”
“This campaign condemns racist bullying and harassment of any kind, in any space,” Sanders tweeted on Thursday. “We are building a multiracial movement for justice — that’s how we win the White House.”
The controversy comes after supporters of Sanders’s presidential campaign cried foul over the WFP’s endorsement of Warren.
Warren won the group’s endorsement on Monday after a vote by the WFP’s national committee, which includes representatives from state and local WFP chapters as well as a separate vote of WFP members and grassroots supporters.
A WFP spokesperson said that Warren had won more than 60 percent of the vote, but the union-allied group declined to release how the vote was broken down.
Following public outcry among Sanders supporters over the decision, the group issued a statement, saying in part, “Our endorsement of Senator Warren does not diminish our respect for Senator Sanders, and to be clear, we’re going to be restlessly positive about both of them in the months ahead.”