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Symone Sanders, rising Democratic media star, speaks her mind

William Douglas and Franco Ordonez, McClatchy Washington Bureau on

Published in Political News

WASHINGTON -- Don't tell Symone Sanders to shut up.

Former Virginia Republican Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli learned that the hard way after he told Sanders to "shut up for a minute" during a heated segment on CNN in August about the deadly protests in Charlottesville, Va.

"You don't get to tell me to shut up on national television," Sanders responded tersely. "Under no circumstances do you get to speak to me in that manner. You should exhibit some decorum."

At 27, Sanders is making a name and building a career for herself in politics as a Democratic strategist, cable television analyst, and in-demand event speaker by being unafraid to speak her mind.

"I feel very comfortable when I encounter situations such as" the Cuccinelli segment, Sanders said. "I'm not about to let anybody disrespect me. But I am going to be professional, I am going to do my job, and I am going to speak up."

In this week's episode of Majority Minority, Sanders discusses her path to politics, what it's like being a black women working in a largely-white presidential campaign, and the possibility of running for office.

 

Sanders served as national press secretary for Sen. Bernie Sanders' 2016 presidential campaign, one of the youngest people ever to hold that position.

The Nebraska native got the job at a time when the Vermont independent's campaign was receiving heavy criticism from blacks, particularly from Black Lives Matter activists, that Bernie Sanders didn't understand their issues.

"Common misconception is Bernie had these 'black issues' and they went out and found this black girl and they just gave her this position," Symone Sanders said. "No, I had worked 15 different campaigns -- I had never worked a presidential before -- and I went on 27 different interviews before I got the Bernie Sanders job."

She accepted the job knowing that there were few blacks in senior positions within the Sanders campaign. She endured reminders of that throughout the campaign.

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