Liberal MSNBC host Chris Hayes made a surprising admission on his All In show during a discussion of the controversy around Hillary Clinton labeling half of Republican candidate Donald Trump's supporters as "deplorables," as she cited racism as one of their alleged faults. After he and guest Ta-Nehisi Coates of The Atlantic suggested that her claim against Trump voters had "merit," Hayes then conceded that, according to a Reuters poll from earlier in the year, a large percentage of Clinton supporters also hold views on race that by his standards would be considered "racist."
Near the end of the show, the MSNBC host posed:
So here's my question to you, so I was watching this play out, right? And we just showed the stat, right? This view to me that I think is just sort of textbook racism, "blacks are more violent that whites," right? Classically racist.
After Coates injected, "It's just racist," Hayes finished recalling that the online poll had found that, while 49 percent of Trump voters admitted to believing that blacks are more violent than whites, 31 percent of Clinton voters also answered in the affirmative on the same question. Hayes:
It's just racist. Okay. But here's the thing about that, right? So people -- all these people tweeting -- there it is, 49 percent (of Donald Trump supporters). But 31 percent of Clinton supporters. So then we're like -- then we're getting pretty deep into, "What do we mean by this word 'deplorable'?" And who gets to point the finger at whom?
Coates began his response:
That would have been a great article to read. I mean, I'm all for that. You certainly can say, you know, "Hey, you know, she was accurate, but you know what, she might also want to look in her backyard." That's certainly fair. But what people did is entirely avoid the subject because I think, even the fact that, say, if you have half of Trump supporters, you have 30 percent of Clinton supporters, this is a broad swath of white America.
He then continued: "And see, that is really the reason why the conversation doesn't, you know, need to, you don't have to take Hillary Clinton's side to look at the merits of that. I mean, there's a way of going deep in that."
Hayes then added: "Right. The argument is, you are talking about so many people, ergo it cannot be true that they're all deplorable because, 'Then what?'"