Things got tense on CNN between host Chris Cuomo and his guest, D.L. Hughley, as the two were discussing the “wanton” racism of Donald Trump, as well as his supporters.
The topic was this Sunday’s one-year anniversary of the deadly Unite the Right rally in Charlottesville. Hughley took issue with both Trump – for claiming that “both sides” were to blame for the violence – and with the president’s base for cheering on the sentiment.
“There can’t be a moral equivalence,” Hughley said. “Either it’s wrong to be hateful and to promote violence and apathy and to be angry and to believe in the supremacy of one race over another, or it’s not.”
“Now we have people quibbling about it,” he continued, quoting people who claim left-wing protesters are “just as bad” as the white supremacists and white nationalist they oppose. “If somebody oppresses me and I fight back, then I’m just as bad as the guy who was determined to take all my rights away? That’s where we are in America right now.”
Hughley said Trump’s “both sides” comment was simply part of the larger tone he has set in the country.
“The bottom line in this country: it is wrong to be hateful and to lead people in hate and try to subvert other people’s rights and voices and to be brutal to them, or it isn’t,” he said.
Cuomo asked Hughley if he thought Trump would disagree with that statement.
“I believe the president is a wanton racist, and I believe that America is not uncomfortable with it,” the comedian said firmly. “When you tell me 89% of Republicans support him no matter what he does, I’ll say this. I can’t say all his supporters are racist, but I can say, for them, being a racist is not a disqualifier.”
Cuomo claimed that Hughley’s assertion set a “high bar” before denouncing “white extremists and white power people and the Qanon and the conspiracy crazies” — but Hughley interrupted him.
“White men don’t get to decide what racism is,” Hughley said. “They were so bad at judging it every time it happened. They were bad at judging it during slavery. They were bad at judging it during Jim Crow. White people don’t get to play this game. You don’t get to decide what the rules are here.”
“The bottom line is this,” Hughley continued. “We have watched children being put in cages. And the very scriptures that they quoted to put black men in chains, they used to put immigrants in cages.”
“Either it’s wrong,” Hughley concluded, “or it isn’t.”
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