MSNBC Ties Trump Win to White Racism on Saturday's AM Joy

On the heels of her Twitter meltdown over Donald Trump unexpectedly defeating Hillary Clinton, MSNBC host Joy Reid's AM Joy show on Saturday was not surprisingly chock full of race obsession. From guests accusing white voters of voting against their interests because of racism, to Reid claiming that there would be "neo-Nazism" in the White House, to accusations that black New Yorkers were "terrified" when Rudy Giuliani was mayor, racism was a recurring topic throughout the two hours of the show.



Early on, an all liberal panel segment discussed the likely fate of Obamacare, with the Reverend William Barber claimed that whites were voting "against their own self-interests," as he asserted that Trump's victory "was about restoring a racial hierarchy" as President Barack Obama's presidency "gave psychic trauma to so many people."

Heather McGhee of Demos Action ruled that opposition to Obamacare by whites was motivated by a belief that blacks were the primary beneficiaries of the program, as she asserted that such programs are popular "as long as it's not seen as redistribution from white Americans, real Americans, to people of color who are undeserving at best and criminal at worst."

Author David Kay Johnston claimed that Trump's support for repealing Obamacare "was sort of part of his racist appeal, and his white supremacist appeal to get votes," and insisted that "There's no question there's a strong racist element in this."

In a later segment, as she recalled Germany's concerns that the United States under a President Trump would not longer take the lead in standing against Russia, Reid turned to guest Charles Pierce of Esquire and accused Trump planning to have neo-Nazis in the White House:

How awkward is it that the country that dealt with Nazism is now the country that we're all looking to with hope that has a woman president, free college, and is being looked at as the leader of the free world while we have neo-Nazism a la Breitbart.com about to get a seat in the White House. My head hurts -- what about yours?

In a later segment, during a discussion of the possibility that former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani would be appointed Attorney General, Reid recalled his time as mayor and fretted: "And, you know, I harp on him a lot because, again, you know, to live in New York under Mayor Giuliani was to be terrified if you were a person of color, to feel hunted by the police."

Reid then moved on to worrying that Giuliani invoked former President Andrew Jackson's 1828 victory over the establishment as being similar to Trump's, leading McGhee to lament: "Making American pre-Civil War again. Yeah, I mean, really, we have weaponized the idea of white fear through this election, and Rudy Giuliani is in some ways a really strong personification of that idea."

She soon recalled the brutal 1990s era attack on Abner Louima by an NYPD officer as if Giuliani had never condemned the attack:

It is a risk that we run that someone who could be put into that position to uphold the civil rights and liberties of the people of this nation is someone with a terrible track record on police brutality. I mean, some of the most vivid memories we have of people being raped by toilet plungers comes from the Giuliani era, and he has never backed down, never backed down from defending police during that era.

In July on CBS's Face the Nation, Giuliani notably recalled the Louima case which resulted in a police officer being sent to prison as an example of the kind of bad police behavior that should be punished.

Below is a transcript of relevant portions of the Saturday, November 12, AM Joy on MSNBC:

10:18 a.m. ET
REVEREND WILLIAM BARBER, AUTHOR OF THE THIRD RECONSTRUCTION: It's irrational for people to say they voted for Trump for change when in reality the very policies President Obama put in place actually helped whites and blacks and Latinos. And what I believe is, when you have fear rooted in racism, it's irrational. And that's why we cannot walk away from the racial side of this election. Somebody called it -- they said this is Obama's, this change isn't over jobs and immigration alone and health care, it was about restoring a racial hierarchy. It's the inversion caused by Obama that gave psychic trauma to so many people. And Trump fed that. They bought into that and voted literally against their own self-interests, even their own health care.

(...)

10:20 a.m. ET
DAVID KAY JOHNSTON, AUTHOR OF THE MAKING OF DONALD TRUMP: Donald has said in the past that health care should be a right that you get, just like going to public school, and he's been in favor of no out of pocket health care. So when he went in the campaign on this rant, it was sort of part of his racist appeal, and his white supremacist appeal to get votes. And with everything else he said during the campaign, we're now going to start to see that he's going to do whatever he thinks is the right thing to do at the moment.

(...)

10:21 a.m. ET
REVEREND BARBER: Well, you know, I think what really drove this so-called notion of white evangelicalism -- which is problematic even in that term anyway -- is it's proved that it's theologically bankrupt. It was more about the backing of the money behind it, the business interests. You know, this whole business of white evangelicalism started in the '40s when pro-business groups wanted to come against the New Deal and they wanted to find a theological way to come against what Franklin Delano Roosevelt was doing, and it has grown, you know, over the years.

The reality is, they walked away from the primary pieces of the Gospel. I mean, how can you say you support somebody when he stands up and tells you, "Listen, if you elect me, I believe the minimum wage is already too high, I'm going to take people's health care, I'm going to privatize schools, I'll give money to private schools that your own children will not be able to go to." I mean, there it's theologically bankrupt really, and one of the things, that's one of the things that we have rejected in this particular election. And that is why you cannot understand this irrational vote without factoring in racism, factoring in the white rage, the white backlash that Trump -- and not just him. It began when Obama first got elected, and Ryan and others have played on, and they play on it because they want to do two things: Get elected and siphon money through the government to their pockets through tax cuts. And they racialize entitlement programs in order to do that. It is a dangerous form of politics.

(...)

10:23 a.m. ET
JOHNSTON: Whatever they do, they're not going to do it in a rush. They're going to take their time. They're going to want to limit any damage for the election two years out, and they're going to be strategically smart about this, but the outcome is not going to be good for poor and working people, and we should never forget the racist element in this. There's no question there's a strong racist element in this.

(...)

10:24 a.m. ET
HEATHER MCGHEE, PRESIDENT OF DEMOS ACTION: I think that the operative part of Obamacare was Obama. I mean, David Kay Johnston, who is a tax expert, saying that this is really about racism is extremely important here. I think that they understand, as Donald Trump did, that actually having government policies that help people have a decent way of life is, surprise, surprise, quite popular, as long as it's not seen as redistribution from white Americans, real Americans, to people of color who are undeserving at best and criminal at worst. And that is how this has been framed.


11:14 a.m. ET
JOY REID (to Charles Pierce of Esquire): How awkward is it that the country that dealt with Nazism is now the country that we're all looking to with hope that has a woman president, free college, and is being looked at as the leader of the free world while we have neo-Nazism a la Breitbart.com about to get a seat in the White House. My head hurts -- what about yours?

11:22 a.m. ET
REID: And, Vince, you know, what does it do to you, as somebody who fought these policies and who's lived under Rudy -- I mean, not many Americans have. I have lived under Rudy Giuliani as mayor of New York. You have experienced Rudy Giuliani firsthand. What does it say to you that he could be elevated to the job that Robert Kennedy had, to the job of protecting the American people, of running, of overseeing the Civil Rights Division of the Justice Department and combining him and bringing back stop-and-frisk nationally?

VINCE WARREN, CENTER FOR CONSTITUTIONAL RIGHTS: It's a horrifying prospect. I can't think of anybody who would be more ill-suited to do that job than Rudy Giuliani.

(...)

REID: And, you know, I harp on him a lot because, again, you know, to live in New York under Mayor Giuliani was to be terrified if you were a person of color, to feel hunted by the police.

(...)

RUDY GIULIANI (from election night): This is like Andrew Jackson's victory. This is the people beating the establishment, and that's how he posited it right from the beginning. The people are rising up against a government they find to be dysfunctional, and, yes, it's a defeat for the Democrats, but this is a defeat for some Republicans, too.

REID: Heather, referencing Andrew Jackson. Your thoughts?

MCGHEE: Making American pre-Civil War again. Yeah, I mean, really, we have weaponized the idea of white fear through this election, and Rudy Giuliani is in some ways a really strong personification of that idea. He's called Black Lives Matter as a movement "inherently racist." We know, those of us in the broad movement for Black Lives, that the shift from, you know, having a Department of Justice that's going to investigate widespread misconduct by police departments like those in Ferguson and Baltimore, it is a risk that we run that someone who could be put into that position to uphold the civil rights and liberties of the people of this nation is someone with a terrible track record on police brutality. I mean, some of the most vivid memories we have of people being raped by toilet plungers comes from the Giuliani era, and he has never backed down, never backed down from defending police during that era.

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