13:39 GMT08 March 2021
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    Social media users spent days talking about Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders' "grandpa" inauguration outfit, including a beige parka and oversized hand-knitted mittens, with the outfit spawning endless memes, knock-offs, and even merch. Not everyone was equally enthused, however.

    A San Francisco educator is being given a lesson in humility online after penning an op-ed in which she argued that Bernie's famous mittens constitute a form of "subtle white privilege".

    In a piece for the San Francisco Chronicle, high school teacher and former UC Berkley professor Ingrid Seyer-Ochi expressed outrage over the fact that although the 20 January inauguration featured powerful women like Kamala Harris, Jill Biden, and Michelle Obama wearing "monochromatic ensembles of pure power", social media seemed to focus almost all its attention on Bernie and his mittens.

    "I puzzled and fumed as an individual as I strove to be my possible teacher. 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", Seyer-Ochi complained.

    "I mean in no way to overstate the parallels. Sen. Sanders is no white supremacist insurrectionist", the teacher continued. "But he manifests privilege, white privilege, male privilege and class privilege, in ways that my students could see and feel", she added.

    According to Seyer-Ochi, she could not imagine "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. Unless those same folk had privilege. Which they don't".

    Seyer-Ochi's piece didn't go over well online, with people on both sides of the political spectrum, including both supporters of Sanders and conservatives opposed to the perceived excesses of woke culture, flocking to Twitter to express their outrage.

    "Jesus, do they not have editors at @sfc_opinions?", Rolling Stone journalist and progressive podcaster Matt Taibbi asked. "This column denouncing Bernie-mittens as white privilege makes Thomas Friedman read like Tolstoy", he quipped, referring to the NYT columnist regularly denounced by progressives for his pro-war, pro-globalism, and pro-Israel stances.

    "So Bernie represents the terrible privilege of the white and rich because he *reads article* didn't wear expensive clothes", another user quipped.

    "San Francisco liberals live in ethnically-cleansed gentrified neighbourhoods with rents no working-class person of any race can afford but pretend that wearing mittens when it's cold is doing a white privilege in order to displace their culpability", another user, going by the handle @SocialistBoomer wrote.

    "I feel bad for your students who had to deal with a teacher trying to make them hate the only politician on that dais who gave a damn about them", one user suggested.

    Others suggested Seyer-Ochi was just "mad" that Bernie upstaged Biden at his own inauguration.

    "When he turned around and used that moment to raise millions for charity that was also traumatising for my students too", one user joked. "Now I understand, why everybody around the world is laughing about the US education system", another added. Hundreds of other users penned similar replies.

    A few users also suggested that it was IDPOL liberal positions like the one expressed in Seyer-Ochi's piece that have caused so much "damage" to the American Left.

    Sanders' disheveled appearance, frizzy hair, crinkled and rumpled suits, and general carefree attitude about his attire have repeatedly been the subject of media attention. A self-professed democratic socialist, Sanders has also been a prominent supporter of civil rights for his entire adult life, famously taking part in a sit-in at the University of Chicago's administration building in 1962 to protest racially segregated housing, and even getting arrested in 1963 during a demonstration on Chicago's South Side.


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