PHILADELPHIA — A Hawaii delegate’s credentials were removed after she flipped off the camera on national television during roll call at the Democratic National Convention Tuesday.
Chelsea Lyons Kent, an avid Bernie Sander supporter, is spotted standing behind Sen. Brian Schatz as he announces delegate counts, 15 votes for Hillary Clinton. That’s when Kent sticks her middle finger to the camera.
Tambry Young, treasurer for the Democratic Party of Hawaii, said after the convention convened for the evening, Kent was asked to give up her credentials.
She was also given an opportunity to apologize for the “inappropriate gesture,” but she declined.
“As a delegate of the democratic party, there is a certain decorum that people would assume we would have,” Young said. “We have delegates representing two campaigns, Sanders and Clinton, but most importantly, they are representing our state of Hawaii. The gesture is not reflective of the spirit that Hawaii is known for.”
Dylan Hooser, a Kauai delegate, can also be seen in the video throwing a shaka at the camera and smiling when Kent performs the inappropriate gesture. Hooser could not be reached for comment Wednesday.
The Garden Island could not reach Kent, but friends on Facebook were posting supportive messages on her wall, calling the screen capture of the televised moment iconic.
“I applaud you! I see this photo as iconic … the perfect capturing of an historic, political moment,” said Robin Foundher. “You are smart. You know the corruption is real and you said (expletive) you to it.”
Kent thanked her in her response.
“I have had the opportunity to speak with delegates and protesters from across the country and the frustration is palpable,” she said. “The DNC has so blatantly stifled democracy in this election. They have taken every measure to stifle our voices and this movement has a whole. We cannot afford to be silent any longer. We must let them know that their corruption has not gone unnoticed.”
After 20,000 freshly leaked emails recently surfaced showing DNC officials favored Clinton over Sanders, Sanders supporters have amped up their concerns that the democratic selection process was rigged.
“Everyone within the party, both sides understand the passion that either side has for their candidate,” Young said. “The gesture was just not appropriate.”