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In a draft letter obtained by Splinter on Thursday, dozens of prominent black progressive leaders condemned the “hateful, violent, and racist threats” they said have been leveled by “self-identified [Bernie] Sanders supporters” against black leaders in the wake of the Working Families Party’s endorsement of Elizabeth Warren for president.

One of the letter’s signatories, Black Lives Matter co-founder Patrisse Cullors, said in an email that the version of the letter obtained by Splinter was not final.

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“The WFP made a decision, with its members and supporters and staff, and there is now conflict over the substance of that decision,” the letter reads in part.

It continues (emphasis mine throughout):

But let’s also be clear — the WFP is under new leadership. For the first time in its history, Maurice Mitchell, a Black man with decades of experience building movements and strengthening our democracy, alongside Nelini Stamp, a working class, woman of color and a gifted organizer with a long list of accomplishments, are now at the helm of the Party, where they should be. And apparently, some folks aren’t happy about it.

These incredible leaders who led an organization to take a risk by lifting up the leadership of Black, Latinx, Asian and Pacific Islander and white communities in coalescing around a candidate with enough time to engage their communities deeply ahead of the 2020 election, are being threatened on a daily basis, by self-identified Sanders supporters, with hateful, violent and racist threats. “Uncle Tom.” “Slave.” “Cunt.” These kinds of threats have no place in our movements, and are reminiscent of the threats Black people would receive when daring to vote even though the white supremacists would try and discourage Black people from doing so.

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The letter goes on to say that many of its signatories—which include, among many others, Alicia Garza, co-founder of Black Lives Matter Global Network; Tarana Burke, founder and executive director of MeToo; and strategist and CNN commentator Angela Rye—are “no stranger to these kinds of attacks,” that they’re patently “unacceptable,” and only work to further empower “those who have real power over our lives.”

The letter, which you can read in full at the bottom of this post, concludes:

We refuse to concede to white terror from the Left as well as the Right. We can argue about the differences between Sanders and Warren, but not if we can’t be distinguished from our real opposition.

As Black leaders in this movement, we are calling on each other to keep reaching for each other, even when it gets hard, even when we disagree, even when we’re disappointed. We demand that the Sanders campaign unequivocally denounce the racism in its ranks, and issue a public statement separating themselves from these abhorrent attacks. And we call on our movement to recommit to the real fight ahead of us. Democracy isn’t built in a day, and the WFP will need us, Sanders supporters and Warren supporters, to come together to defeat one of the most serious threats to peace and justice in our lifetimes. We cannot wait to make justice real amongst the resisters — our lives literally depend on each other.

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Splinter reached out to the Working Families Party, the Warren campaign, and the Sanders campaign for comment on the letter. Earlier this afternoon, Sanders tweeted to condemn “racist bullying and harassment of any kind.”

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Hours later, Nina Turner, national co-chair for Sanders’ campaign, was even more explicit:

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A spokeswoman with the Sanders campaign responded to questions by saying, “We condemn any hateful comments,” and referred Splinter to the senator’s tweet. Warren’s campaign and the Working Families Party did not respond to multiple requests for comment.

The Working Families Party’s decision to endorse Warren for president on Monday came as something of a shock to Sanders supporters, since the group had backed him in 2016. Detractors of the decision criticized the party’s ranked-choice voting system as lacking transparency and giving undue influence to WFP leaders. There was also criticism of the party’s refusal to release its voting tallies, instead announcing just that Warren captured 61 percent of the vote. On Thursday, WFP leaders Maurice Mitchell and Nelini Stamp responded to the criticism at some length in a Medium post, which also seemed to hint at the rancor the endorsement has caused (emphasis theirs):

We announced the results of our process as a single number that incorporates all the elements of our party. And that’s raised some questions. It’s even caused some people to make wild and unfounded speculations and accusations.

But we want to tell you why we’re committed to expressing the result as a single number.

Because we are building a single party. One that values all of our component parts for the unique role they play and refuses to drive false wedges between them.

[...]

We also want to acknowledge that a significant number of people who love WFP wish the vote had resulted in a different endorsement. We understand that, and no one wins every time. In this party, we might not always agree, but we hope we continue to treat each other with respect, compassion and integrity.

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While the race between the two top-tier progressive candidates has remained friendly so far, the WFP controversy has turned up the heat in the broader emerging battle on the left, as supporters coalesce around their candidate of choice. What seems clear is that this race is nowhere near over, and could get nastier before all is said and done.

Here’s the full text of the letter:

This week, the Working Families Party (WFP) issued an endorsement of Presidential contender Elizabeth Warren. For months, the WFP engaged its supporters, members, and chapters in a process meant to equip everyone with the tools to make an informed decision.

It was brave of the WFP to make an early endorsement, and it signals that the WFP is ready to be a real contender for power. Risks are important in politics — the courage to take an early stand and put it all on the line is an indication that much is at stake in this political moment, for all of us.

The WFP made a decision, with its members and supporters and staff, and there is now conflict over the substance of that decision. But let’s also be clear — the WFP is under new leadership. For the first time in its history, Maurice Mitchell, a Black man with decades of experience building movements and strengthening our democracy, alongside Nelini Stamp, a working class, woman of color and a gifted organizer with a long list of accomplishments, are now at the helm of the Party, where they should be. And apparently, some folks aren’t happy about it.

These incredible leaders who led an organization to take a risk by lifting up the leadership of Black, Latinx, Asian and Pacific Islander and white communities in coalescing around a candidate with enough time to engage their communities deeply ahead of the 2020 election, are being threatened on a daily basis, by self-identified Sanders supporters, with hateful, violent and racist threats. “Uncle Tom.” “Slave.” “Cunt.” These kinds of threats have no place in our movements, and are reminiscent of the threats Black people would receive when daring to vote even though the white supremacists would try and discourage Black people from doing so.

The virulent, racist attacks on these leaders are unacceptable and dangerous. What do we do when racism and sexism is present in progressive movements? What is the prospect of strengthening democracy when old habits just won’t die?

Many of us, the undersigned, are no stranger to these kinds of attacks—too many of us receive threats like these ones every day because we dare to organize our people towards freedom. But if we hope to take back this democracy, if we dare to struggle for electoral justice, if we really want a world where Black lives do in fact matter, all of us must take a stand against these real and persistent threats.

Online attacks, threats and smears against Black leaders are unacceptable — especially when there is so much at stake for our movements. While we punch horizontally, those who have real power over our lives take advantage of our disintegration and our disorganization. Bernie Sanders, Elizabeth Warren and perhaps a number of other candidates would be much better than what we’ve got now. And that is the real fight ahead of us.

We refuse to concede to white terror from the Left as well as the Right. We can argue about the differences between Sanders and Warren, but not if we can’t be distinguished from our real opposition.

As Black leaders in this movement, we are calling on each other to keep reaching for each other, even when it gets hard, even when we disagree, even when we’re disappointed. We demand that the Sanders campaign unequivocally denounce the racism in its ranks, and issue a public statement separating themselves from these abhorrent attacks. And we call on our movement to recommit to the real fight ahead of us. Democracy isn’t built in a day, and the WFP will need us, Sanders supporters and Warren supporters, to come together to defeat one of the most serious threats to peace and justice in our lifetimes. We cannot wait to make justice real amongst the resisters — our lives literally depend on each other.

Signed,

Alicia Garza, Principal, Black Futures Lab; co-founder, Black Lives Matter Global Network

Jessica Byrd, Co-founder, Electoral Justice Project, Movement for Black Lives

Patrisse Cullors, Co-founder, Black Lives Matter Global Network; Chair, Reform LA Jails

Kayla Reed, Co-founder, Electoral Justice Project, Movement for Black Lives; Director, Action St. Louis

Eric K. Ward, Western States Strategies (for identification purposes only)

Tracey Corder, Director of Political Action and Racial Justice, CPD Action

Jennifer Epps, AddisonNetwork President and Co-Executive Director, CPD Action

L Joy Williams

Pastor Michael McBride, The Way

Colin Hicks, Senior Political Manager, CPD Action

Rashad Robinson, President, Color of Change

Angela Lang, Executive Director, Black Leaders Organizing Communities (BLOC)

Dakota Hall, Executive Director, Leaders Igniting Transformation (LIT)

Brandon Snyder, Executive Director, Detroit Action

Sochie Nnaemeka, Director of Emerging Organizing, CPD Action

Leslie Mac, Digital Organizer, Black Womxn For

Esperanza Tervalon Garrett, Chief Executive Officer, Dancing Hearts Consulting, LLC

Tiffany Roberts, Esq.

AJ Springer, Owner, Springer Communications

Carmen Berkely, Chief Strategy Officer, Dancing Hearts Consulting, LLC

Anoa Changa, Digital Strategist

Maurice BP Weeks, Co-Executive Director, Action Center on Race and the Economy

Jamecia Gray, CEO, Peak Power Strategies LLC

Brieanna Fischer, Political Strategist

Malkia Devich-Cyril, Co-founder and Director, MediaJustice

Marcus Ferrell, Chief of Staff, New Georgia Project Action Fund; former African American Outreach Director, Bernie 2016

Makani Themba, Higher Ground Change Strategies; author, activist

Heather McGhee, Demos Action

Nse Ufot, Executive Director, New Georgia Project Action Fund

Chinyere Tutashinda, Co-director, The Blackout Collective

Celeste Faison, Co-director, The Blackout Collective; Chief Strategy Officer, MeToo

Rukia Lumumba, Electoral Justice Project, Movement for Black Lives

Dorian Warren, President, Community Change

Karissa Lewis, Executive Director, Center for Third World Organizing; Movement for Black Lives

Ari Trujillo Wesler, CEO and Co-founder, OpenField

Charlene Carruthers, Founder and Executive Director, Chicago Center for Leadership and Transformation

Monifa Bandele, Senior Vice President, MomsRising

M Adams, Co Executive Director, Freedom Inc

Tarana Burke, Founder and Executive Director, MeToo

Marlon Peterson, Owner and Founder, Precedential Group

Lee Anderson, Director of Public Affairs and Strategic Communications, CPD Action

Mary Hooks, Southerners on New Ground (SONG)

Angela Peoples, Founder, Black Womxn For

Nikema Williams, Chair, Georgia Democratic Party

Dara Cooper, Co-founder and Executive Director, National Black Food and Justice Alliance

Michele Kilpatrick, Senior Research Analyst, CPD Action

Thenjiwe McHarris, Movement for Black Lives

Charles Kahn, Organizing Director, Strong Economy For All Coalition

Bennie Patterson Jr., Digital Director, CPD Action

Darrol Gibson, Political Director, Leaders Igniting Transformation (LIT)

Karundi Williams, Executive Director, Repower

Jessica Pace, Strategic Communications Consultant

Ash-Lee Woodard Henderson, Highlander Research & Education Center; Movement for Black Lives

Chris Love, Progressive Strategist

Joanne Smith, Founder & President, Girls for Gender Equity

Richard Wallace, Executive Director, Equity and Transformation (EAT)

LaTosha Brown, Co-founder, Black Voters Matter Fund

Cliff Albright, Co-founder, Black Voters Matter Fund

Candice Fortin, Political Organizer

dream hampton, Filmmaker, writer

Tamieka Atkins

Jasmyne Cannick, Journalist, Political Strategist

Jamal Watkins, Vice President of Civic Engagement, NAACP

Markasa Tucker, Director, African American Roundtable

Angela Rye

Monique “Mo” George, Co-founder, Workers for Racial Equity

Mark Anthony Clayton-Johnson, Founder, Frontlines Wellness Network

Reverend Jennifer Bailey, Executive Director, Faith Matters Network

Maria Harmon, Co-Executive Director, Step Up Louisiana

Christina Livingston, Executive Director, ACCE Action

Amanda Alexander, Founder and Executive Director, Detroit Justice Center

Glenn Harris, Race Forward

Patric Taylor, Consultant; Board Member, Brand New Congress

Adrianne Shropshire, Executive Director, BlackPAC

Loryn Carter, concerned voter

Neal Carter, Principal, Nu View Consulting

Gina Clayton Johnson, Founder and Executive Director, Essie Justice Group

Kandice Webber, Co-founder, Houston Rising

Ashton P. Woods, Director, Black Lives Matter Houston; candidate Houston City Council

Barbara Ransby, Historian, Author, Activist

Arielle Iniko Newton, Community Organizer; Founder, Black Giving Fund

Mark Winston Griffith, Executive Director, Brooklyn Movement Center

Anthonine Pierre, Deputy Director, Brooklyn Movement Center

Afua Atta-Mensah, Executive Director, Community Voices Heard Power

Jamilah Lemieux, Writer, Communications Strategist

A.Salewa Ogunmefun, Political Director, One Pennsylvania

April Reign, Founder, #OscarsSoWhite

Judith Browne Dianis, Civil Rights Attorney

James Rucker

Deanna Hoskins, President/CEO, Just Leadership USA

Aisha Moodie Mills, Democratic Strategist

Adaku Utah, Harriet’s Apothecary

Everette R.H. Thompson, Director, Interfaith Organizing Initiative/Side With Love

adrienne maree brown, Emergent Strategy Ideation Institute

Montague Simmons, Movement for Black Lives

Denise Perry, Executive Director, Black Organizing for Leadership and Dignity

Update, 9:45 p.m. ET: Alicia Garza posted a story on Medium containing a link to the final letter. Nothing in the text of the letter appears to have changed, but several new names were added and at least one dropped from the list of signatories.