Things certainly turned up a notch or three this morning on CNN when radio host and author Michael Eric Dyson wouldn’t let conservative CNN political commentator Scott Jennings off the hook when it came to the subject of President Trump’s racism.
During a New Day discussion centered on a recent Quinnipiac poll that found half of Americans believe Trump is a racist, Jennings was confronted with the president’s numerous statements and actions that could be considered bigoted or racially insensitive. After Jennings seemed to brush those aside while stating he doesn’t think the president is racist, Dyson pounced and said the problem is white moderates and conservatives “who are complicit by trying to dismiss it.”
“Brother Jennings, much respect for you but what you’re doing is egregious because you’re attempting to make valid what are essentially naked raw statements of racism,” the Georgetown professor exclaimed. “This is easy stuff! This is very very clear that it has racial animus here and you’re trying to dismiss it as a difference of opinion. That is complicitness in the racist element we’re talking about.”
Jennings shot back, saying he “disagreed with everything” Dyson had just said while declaring that most Republicans and conservatives are tired of being accused they’re “complicit in racism.”
Anchor Alisyn Camerota interjected and asked Jennings to focus on the point at hand, specifically asking him how he could “gloss over points people have found to be racist.” The former George W. Bush special assistant responded by stating he’s said many times that Trump has made mistakes with certain comments but that it doesn’t make the president racist, just misinformed. Pressed some more about Trump’s history of discriminatory housing practices, Jennings said he didn’t “know the details of those cases.”
“Thus the complicity, thus the silence,” Dyson pointed out, adding that Camerota was giving Jennings all the airtime to a guy who was “trying to legitimize and validate racism.”
Towards the end of the segment and after Dyson said Jennings and other white folks like him needed to “find your spine,” Caemorta allowed the conservative pundit to get the last word. It eventually led to the two men yelling over each other as Jennings contended he had repudiated Trump many times while Dyson claimed that Jennings couldn’t even acknowledge that Trump has been racist.
Watch the clip above, via CNN.