Trump supporters are trying to defend his racism with more racism. CNN's Don Lemon refused to play that game.
Donald Trumps complaint to lawmakers that Haiti and African countries are shitholes and his wish to limit immigration to mostly white places like Norway has set off a furious debate on racism in the media.
And in their quest to defend Trump, his supporters are resorting only to more racism, as right-wing talk radio host and former Virginia Trump campaign co-chair John Fredericks tried to do with CNNs Don Lemon on Thursday night.
Lemon responded, in spectacular fashion, by cutting his mic and kicking him off the show on live TV:
This is how you handle racism…you cut them off! Don Lemon is a national treasure! pic.twitter.com/JuKadPjtZM
Shomeo (@SassBaller) January 12, 2018
FREDERICKS: Well, Don, its not about race, as you like to make it because thats easy and lazy. Its about economics. My comment, back to Maria, is that your children are going to have a much better economic future and a better chance at a job than they would have had under another president. Now
LEMON (To other guests): I heard it, Im just giving him his time.
FREDERICKS: Let me, let me you called on me, so let me finish. Truer words
LEMON: You know what, you know what, John Fredericks? You know what, you know what, John Fredericks? John, until that last comment you know yeah, Im gonna cut you off. Please cut him off, can we take him off the screen? Can we take him can we get rid of John Fredericks? Thank you. First of all, I was gonna let him speak until you doubly insulted me. I dont even need to respond to the lazy comment. I laid it all out in the thing. We can have this conversation and we dont need someone whos gonna make excuses for racism.
Quite apart from the fact that Fredericks called Lemon lazy a stereotype of African-American men that dates back to their enslavement his insistence that Trump was talking about economics and not race is categorically false.
While most majority-black countries are extremely impoverished, there are extensive historical reasons that are less about racial differences than racial exploitation.
Haiti, for example, was a French colony that was home to some of the most barbaric slavery in world history. After gaining independence, Haiti was repeatedly sanctioned and invaded by Europe and the United States which in turn became rich off of exploiting the natural resources they plundered.
If Trump and his surrogates truly believe majority black countries are shitholes because of economics and not race, it would make no sense to oppose immigration because there would be no reason to think that black immigrants, transplanted into a thriving economy like the United States, would not do as well as white immigrants. In fact, studies show African immigrants have higher incomes than Americans as a whole, and are more likely to have a bachelors degree.
Trump has no grasp of this. He thinks poverty is a function of skin color, and assumes dark-skinned immigrants bring the poverty with them.
It is clear that Fredericks believes exactly the same thing and Lemon exposed that on air for the racism it is.