MSNBC Contributor Says Bernie Sanders Supporters Are 'Racist, Liberal Whites' and 'Misfit Black Girls,' Prompting Backlash

An MSNBC contributor claimed "racist, liberal white" Americans support Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders and he drew backlash Friday for saying only "misfit black girls" defend his campaign.

Supporters of Sanders' campaign demanded MSNBC cut ties with Morgan State journalism professor Jason Johnson Saturday after controversial remarks he made on SiriusXM's The Karen Hunter Show. Johnson, a frequent critic of the Vermont senator, accused Sanders of trotting out "misfit black girls" to defend his progressive positions, which prompted several women of color on the senator's campaign to blast Johnson for making the "sexist" remark.

Johnson also accused Sanders supporters of shutting out critical opinions from black and Latino figures, despite polls showing he has the most support among people of color in Nevada and several other primary states.

"I do find it fascinating that racist, liberal white seem to love them some Bernie Sanders," Johnson said Friday. "And always have a problem with any person of color who doesn't want to follow with the orthodoxy of their lord and savior Bernie Sanders."

"Racist, liberal whites seem to love them some Bernie Sanders.

He cares nothing for intersectionality. I don't care how many people from the island of misfit Black girls you throw out there to defend you."@DrJasonJohnson on Bernie's staff & supporters. MSNBC should sever ties.

— Samuel D. Finkelstein II (@CANCEL_SAM) February 21, 2020

"He cares nothing for intersectionality. I don't care how many people from the island of misfit black girls you throw out there to defend you," he added, prompting a gasp from another person in the studio.

Johnson, who writes "Black Power Rankings" political columns for The Root website, was the target of a trending #FireJasonJohnson hashtag on Twitter Friday urging MSNBC to stop putting him on television. Johnson did not respond to Newsweek's requests for additional comment Saturday morning.

"I hope we can have political disputes without engaging in open racism and sexism. This misogynoir is disappointing, but not surprising from @DrJasonJohnson. I hope we can all encourage each other to be better. #BernieBeatsTrump #BloombergIsAnOligarch," Sanders National Press Secretary Briahna Joy Gray responded Friday evening.

"There is a large coalition of people who believe in what he's trying to do for the working class. Because, quite frankly, there's a lot of Black people who are working class and not just misfits according to Dr. Jason Johnson of your network," author Benjamin Dixon said on Ari Melber's MSNBC show Friday evening. Dixon's jab at Johnson prompted Melber to playfully reply: "Shots fired."

In a November appearance on Joy Reid's MSNBC program, Johnson and the namesake host agreed that Iowa is a "white liberal voters' primary" in response to polls showing former South Bend, Indiana Mayor Pete Buttigieg performing well.

While Johnson received overwhelming backlash for his remarks, other social media commentators responded with more playful mockery. "I want to live on the isle of misfit Black girls," replied journalist Kenyon Farrow.

jason johnson msnbc bernie sanders
MSNBC contributor Jason Johnson claimed Bernie Sanders are "racist, liberal whites" and "misfit black girls," prompting outrage and demands the network cut ties. Screenshot: SiriusXM