CNN’s Symone Sanders catches heat for belittling “unsolicited opinions” from Black men

Symone Sanders
(Photo: Brad Barket/Getty Images)

CNN contributor Symone Sanders is facing some pretty stiff backlash from social media after her dismissive tweet of Black men’s opinions spurred by an op-ed about Kamala Harris.

The issues began when Sanders dismissively responded to an op-ed in the Miami New Times by former 2 Live Crew frontman Luther Campbell that says that Harris’ history as a district attorney in San Francisco would be a legitimate issue for black voters, particularly black men. Campbell has run a youth football league in his native Miami which he uses as a way to keep young black men off the streets and out of jail.

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“Kamala Harris will have trouble persuading black voters to make her president in 2020,” Campbell wrote in the column. “First, the U.S. senator from California must explain why Donald Trump has a better prison-reform record than she had as the Golden State’s attorney general.”

“Though black voters want politicians who’ll put away thugs and killers terrorizing the neighborhood, they don’t support those who deny defendants rehabilitation and send them to prison for crimes they didn’t commit to line private prison companies’ pockets,” he added. Sanders, 29, apparently didn’t care much for what the former Uncle Luke said and dismissively tweeted the column out with a response for Campbell.

“Uncle Luke is no political mastermind or strategist,” Sanders tweeted. “Why do black men keep popping up with their unsolicited opinions about Kamala Harris?”

Sanders is a former press secretary to Independent Vermont Se. Bernie Sanders, who himself incurred the wrath of Black voters in 2016. Her response to Campbell and “black men,” which sounded similar to Tomi Lahren’s dismissive insults toward Cardi B., quickly earned her backlash from Black men and women.

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“Unsolicited? Obviously, it was solicited — it’s in the paper,” comedian and podcast host Tim Black replied. “Men can speak Symone. I know you’d rather we didn’t unless it supports your opinions. Speech is available to us all, not just MSNBC contributors like you who weaponize gender.”


Another tweeted: “Not once Ms Sanders did you refute @unclelukereal1’s article. We (Black men) see right through what is trying to be done. Kamala and those like her (you included I guess) are aligned with everyone but…BLACK MEN. It’s not gonna work.”

A number of Black women also went at Sanders.


Tangela Sears, an activist who leads the group Florida Parents of Murdered Children, tore into Sanders and said that she would confront Harris about her record whenever she visits Florida. Campbell responded by saying Sanders needs to start “cleaning this up” and chided her for attacking him personally.

“You shouldn’t have taken it personal,” he said. “I just attacked her policies not her personally. You attack me personally. Not good”


Sanders responded by saying that her “unsolicited opinions” shot at Campbell came from his suggestion that Harris came to power through “having an affair” with former San Francisco Mayor Willie Brown, not her record.

“The misogyny and talking about her husband is unnecessary and beneath us all,” she tweeted. “I have seen these sentiments shared from Black men on Sen. Harris far too often. This has nothing to do with her record. It’s about something else that’s toxic.

“That has no place here and I’m not standing for it. Because today it’s Kamala tomorrow it’s another black woman. So I’m not silencing the voices of Black men – especially when it comes to political conversation – we need you,” she added. “Your voices are vital here, a critical convo about her record is key, but I implore you to engage in a high level conversation instead of stooping to the distasteful and frankly disappointing level of Uncle Luke.”