The Slatest

No, Bernie Sanders Didn’t Play a Homophobic DMX Song at a Rally

Democratic presidential candidate, Sen. Bernie Sanders (D-VT) arrives for a campaign rally at Ventura College on May 26, 2016 in Ventura, California. 

David McNew/Getty Images

UPDATE: Edwin Acuna admitted on Saturday afternoon that he edited a DMX song into video of a Bernie Sanders rally to make it look like the Democratic presidential hopeful entered the room while a horrifically homophobic song was playing on the loudspeakers. It all seems to have been a practical joke that got out of hand as the video created by an avowed Sanders supporter became viral after it was picked up by several large online news outlets, including Billboard and The Source. It took several days for the outrage to kick in and on Saturday the Sanders campaign insisted the video had been doctored.

Slate reached out to Acuna to try to clarify what happened. Acuna wrote back a few hours later with a statement that explained the editing of the video “started off as a goof, and turned into a social experiment.” Acuna added that “everyone and their mothers went nuts” using the video “for their own agendas.” The full statement reads:

To make a long story short, It started off as a goof, and turned into a social experiment. Literally everyone and their mothers went nuts, using it for their own agendas to prove that some how Bernie Sanders was anti gay all along, I chose that song because I knew it would shake up both ends of the spectrum. So I want to ask everyone, The younger folks out there, I really do appreciate the immense love everyone gave Bernie Sanders, but please think more about the political process and get involved instead of having to have a viral video to motivate you to make a move and vote. To those Hilary supporters, I hope you feel at a lose for words and I say that with all due respect, I respect your stance but Id like to ask you how it feels to believe you almost had a 1up on Bernie and a reason to shame him only to come up short? Just like you all accused the Bernie supporters of being senseless for following this man coming out to a DMX you too are a victim of blindly believing everything you see on the internet. With that said, I hope everyone remembers what memorial day is all about and RIP to all my dead soldiers, its more than just a 3 day weekend. God bless america.

Original post at 3:57 p.m.: In what may be one of the most confusing episodes featuring an allegedly doctored video from this already very weird nominating contest, the Bernie Sanders campaign is staunchly denying that the senator entered a rally to an extremely homophobic DMX song in California earlier this week. The reports began on Thursday, when a video popped up on YouTube and Twitter that appeared to show Sanders entering a rally in California to DMX’s Where the Hood At?

Billboard even got a comment from DMX on Sanders using his song: “When God shows up he shows out.” And that’s where it seemed to end until the video started making the rounds and people started realizing that the song in question has some horrifically homophobic lyrics:

Man, cats don’t know what it’s gonna be
Fuckin with a nigga like me, D-to-the-M-to-the-X
Last I heard, y’all niggas was havin sex, with the same sex
I show no love, to homo thugs
Empty out, reload and throw more slugs
How you gonna explain fucking a man?
Even if we squashed the beef, I ain’t touching ya hand
I don’t bunk with chumps, for those who been to jail
That’s the cat with the Kool-Aid on his lips and pumps
I don’t fuck with niggas that think they broads
Only know how to be one way, that’s the dog
I know how to get down, know how to bite
Bark very little, but I know how to fight
I know how to chase a cat up in the tree
Man, I give y’all niggas the b’iness for fucking with me, is you crazy?!

Outrage began to spread.

Except none of it actually happened, according to the Sanders campaign. “Never thought I’d have to say this, but no @BernieSanders did not walk out to a #DMX song in Lancaster earlier this week,” Sanders’ press secretary wrote on Twitter.

Warren Gill, another Sanders spokesperson, also denied the song was used. “Someone ripped the music from this video and placed it over Sanders’ entrance,” Gill told the Washington Blade.

Other videos from that rally also don’t seem to have any DMX music playing. And the campaign provided its own clip to prove its point.

The source of the original video appears to be the Twitter account for one Edwin Acuna (@Edwinprime), who seems to be an avowed Sanders supporter. Slate has reached out for comment and will update this post if he responds.