News & Politics

Bernie's Meme-Worthy Mittens Are Declared the Epitome of 'White Male Privilege.' Umkay

Bernie's Meme-Worthy Mittens Are Declared the Epitome of 'White Male Privilege.' Umkay
Jonathan Ernst/Pool Photo via AP

By now you’ve seen every conceivable meme about the mittens Senator Bernie Sanders was wearing at Joe Biden’s inauguration.

There he was, sitting all alone in a section of the concrete bleachers, looking like the grumpy old man that he is.

His mittened visage has been mocked in every imaginable way.

His mittens made a vignette from “The Sound of Music.”

Bernie’s mittens were seen building a skyscraper.

Someone put Bernie and his mittens in “The Last Supper.”

And Bernie’s mittens were seen being pilfered from the Capitol Building and sitting on a bench with Forrest Gump.

The Vermont senator is now raising money for charity with his inauguration “Chairman Sanders” look.

The lady who knitted the mittens from repurposed old sweaters has gotten a gig out of her gift to Bernie from two years ago. She’ll be working with the Vermont Teddy Bear Company.

But according to a former UC Berkeley professor-turned-San Francisco public school teacher, those adorable mittens keeping Sanders’s hands warm are a sign of “white privilege.”


In an op-ed for the San Francisco Chronicle, Ingrid Seyer-Ochi “fumed” over the Vermont senator’s casual style worn to the Biden celebration and the fact that no one else would have been given a pass for those mittens.

Yahoo News laid out Seyer-Ochi’s complaint.

“What did they see? They saw a white man in a puffy jacket and huge mittens, distant not only in his social distancing, but in his demeanor and attire,” Seyer-Ochi wrote, adding, “What did I see? What did I think my students should see? A wealthy, incredibly well-educated and -privileged white man, showing up for perhaps the most important ritual of the decade, in a puffy jacket and huge mittens.

She is right. Sanders wasn’t wearing a $1,000 morning coat and top hat, and instead was wearing a warm jacket and mittens.

The next thing you know she’ll be declaring that it’s bad form to wear white shoes after Labor Day.

Her take about the casualness of Sanders’s attire at such an august occasion would have made Miss Manners glow with pride, until she got to the politics of it all, as we knew must happen with a former Berkeley prof and San Francisco teacher.

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. 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.

She didn’t want people to be offended by him wearing casual clothes because he couldn’t afford anything else, but because he could and didn’t.

Fox News reported that the teacher discussed the symbolic importance of clothes with her students.

“We talked 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,” Seyer-Ochi wrote, referring to her students.

She doesn’t think Sanders is a “white supremacist insurrectionist,” but he “manifests privilege, white privilege, male privilege and class privilege.”

She’s gotten a barrage of criticism from lefties and others who affect a “how dare you bag on Bernie?!” take. Independent Journalist Glenn Greenwald said people should watch this space because what the woman’s tirade also displayed was quite possibly anti-Semitic.

So fierce was the criticism that even a Chronicle editor said, hey, lay off the lady.

But don’t worry about her. You can bet that in San Francisco she’ll be back berating statues of founding fathers and presidents who freed slaves in no time. After all, they wore fancy clothes, which, in her world, is also a sign of white privilege.


Victoria Taft is the host of “The Adult in the Room Podcast With Victoria Taft” where you can hear her series on “Antifa Versus Mike Strickland.” Find it  here.Follow her on Facebook,  TwitterParlerMeWeMinds @VictoriaTaft 

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