- By Darren Thompson
WASHINGTON — A photograph taken of Senator Bernie Sanders (D—VT) on Inauguration Day by Brendan Smialowski, a former sports photojournalist from Connecticut who documents politics for wire service Agence France-Presse, has taken over social media with what some estimate more than 100,000 memes.
On a day presumed to be entirely about the inauguration President Joseph Biden, it undoubtedly—it seemed—belonged to Mr. Sanders, whose most avid supporters came from young voters during the presidential race. He didn’t do anything out the ordinary; he attended the socially-distanced Inauguration with his arms and legs crossed while wearing mittens and a bulky winter coat.
There is pretty much a Bernie meme out there for every taste, view, and scene including many in Indian Country. Bernie outside a sweat lodge. Bernie sitting beside a powwow drum. Bernie at Mato Tipila—Devil’s Tower—with the infamous buffalo who gouged a tourist in the Black Hills last summer. Bernie with Nathan Apodaca. Bernie at the Black Hills Powwow. Bernie inside the South Dakota State Capital chambers. It doesn’t matter where he is, the overall consensus is it’s just funny.
Whitney Rencountre, administrator of the Social Distance Powwow Facebook page and graphic designer made a few memes himself. “Laughter is medicine,” said Whitney Rencountre to Native News Online.
Rencountre quickly shared his memes to the popular Facebook group and they were well loved, shared, and laughed at. “Everyone seemed to love the memes,” said Rencountre.
South Dakota State Senator Red Dawn Foster, a citizen of the Oglala Sioux Tribe, had a comment to make on her appearance in a meme of her dressed in full regalia while being sworn in the South Dakota State Capital chambers. “I think the world is finally getting Indian humor,” said State Senator Red Dawn Foster to Native News Online.
In case you’re wondering, his mittens are sold out.
Jen Ellis, the artist behind Bernie’s mittens, wrote on Twitter. "I'm so flattered that Bernie wore them to the inauguration. Sadly, I have no more mittens for sale. There are a lot of great crafters on ETSY who make them."
More Stories Like ThisHo-Chunk Trucker Spreads MMIP Message, Offers Safe Haven from Domestic Violence
Native News Weekly (September 24, 2023): D.C. Briefs
Assemblyman Ramos Honored with Award for Long Service to California Native American Commission
Navajo Nation Council Members Meet with US Treasurer Malerba
Tunica-Biloxi Tribe Chairman Marshall Pierite Launches Bid to Become NCAI President
Native News is free to read.
We hope you enjoyed the story you've just read. For the past dozen years, we’ve covered the most important news stories that are usually overlooked by other media. From the protests at Standing Rock and the rise of the American Indian Movement (AIM), to the ongoing epidemic of Murdered and Missing Indigenous People (MMIP) and the past-due reckoning related to assimilation, cultural genocide and Indian Boarding Schools.
Our news is free for everyone to read, but it is not free to produce. That’s why we’re asking you to make a donation to help support our efforts. Any contribution — big or small — helps. Most readers donate between $10 and $25 to help us cover the costs of salaries, travel and maintaining our digital platforms. If you’re in a position to do so, we ask you to consider making a recurring donation of $12 per month to join the Founder's Circle. All donations help us remain a force for change in Indian Country and tell the stories that are so often ignored, erased or overlooked.
Donate to Native News Online today and support independent Indigenous journalism. Thank you.