Skip to main content

Sign up for our newsletter.

Quality journalism. Progressive values. Direct to your inbox.

Dr. Jason Johnson speaks onstage during the 2019 Politicon at Music City Center on October 26, 2019 in Nashville, Tennessee. (Photo: Ed Rode/Getty Images for Politicon)

'Deep Disdain Masquerading as Journalism': MSNBC Pundit Under Fire for Calling Sanders Staffers 'Misfit Black Girls'

"This misogynoir is disappointing, but not surprising from Dr. Jason Johnson," said Briahna Joy Gray, national press secretary for the Sanders campaign.

Jake Johnson

Supporters of Sen. Bernie Sanders, and the progressive community more broadly, voiced outrage and demanded an apology Friday after MSNBC contributor and Morgan State University journalism professor Dr. Jason Johnson referred to Sanders aides and defenders as "people from the island of misfit black girls" during a radio appearance.

"The man cares nothing for intersectionality," Johnson said of Sanders, a 2020 Democratic presidential candidate, on SiriusXM's The Karen Hunter Show. "And I don't care how many people from the island of misfit black girls that you throw out there to defend you on a regular basis."

"That's where you have crossed the line, sir," replied host Karen Hunter.

"I don't care," said Johnson.

Listen to the full segment.

The clip quickly went viral on social media and was immediately condemned by members of the Sanders campaign.

"I hope we can have political disputes without engaging in open racism and sexism," Briahna Joy Gray, Sanders' national press secretary, tweeted late Friday. "This misogynoir is disappointing, but not surprising from Dr. Jason Johnson. I hope we can all encourage each other to be better."

Phillip Agnew, a Sanders surrogate, called Johnson's comments "deep disdain masquerading as journalism."

"This isn't analysis. This isn't insight," Agnew tweeted. "Hate to see it."

Sanders campaign national co-chair Nina Turner addressed Johnson's comments during the Vermont senator's rally in Las Vegas on the eve of Saturday's Nevada Democratic caucus:

Progressives outside of the Sanders campaign joined the chorus condemning Johnson's remarks.

"No matter which candidate you support or oppose, there is no place for this type of belittling, dismissive attack on their staff," tweeted the Working Families Party, which endorsed Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) for president. "We hope there will be an apology to Briahna Joy Gray and Nina Turner."

"This is completely uncalled for," added Women's March.


Our work is licensed under Creative Commons (CC BY-NC-ND 3.0). Feel free to republish and share widely.

We've had enough. The 1% own and operate the corporate media. They are doing everything they can to defend the status quo, squash dissent and protect the wealthy and the powerful. The Common Dreams media model is different. We cover the news that matters to the 99%. Our mission? To inform. To inspire. To ignite change for the common good. How? Nonprofit. Independent. Reader-supported. Free to read. Free to republish. Free to share. With no advertising. No paywalls. No selling of your data. Thousands of small donations fund our newsroom and allow us to continue publishing. Can you chip in? We can't do it without you. Thank you.

'We Aren't Going to War': Draft Officer Shot Amid Russian Anger Over Conscription

A 25-year-old reportedly opened fire at a military recruitment office in Irkutsk after his best friend received draft papers.

Julia Conley ·


80+ Democrats Urge Biden EPA to Accept Union Demands

"Improving the rights and protections of EPA employees" will help the agency "address climate change, enhance environmental justice, and protect public health and the environment," the lawmakers wrote.

Kenny Stancil ·


Boebert, MTG Among US Republicans Celebrating Fascist Victory in Italy

"Fascism is rising across Europe," warned one observer. "And if Americans aren't careful, the MAGA GOP will usher in that same fascism here. We cannot let that happen."

Jake Johnson ·


Led by Giorgia Meloni, Fascists Set to Take Power in Italy for First Time Since Mussolini

"Italians must now repeat what their ancestors once did: defeat fascism," said the progressive movement DiEM25. "But not for the return of the politics-as-usual that brought the fascists to power in the first place."

Jake Johnson ·


EPA's Environmental Justice Office 'Won't Make Up for' Manchin Deal, Campaigner Says

"We've seen a lot of structural changes on environmental justice in the Biden, Obama and Clinton administrations, but we need to see the results," said Wes Gobar of the Movement for Black Lives.

Julia Conley ·

Common Dreams Logo