On Sunday evening's CNN Newsroom, during a segment with liberal CNN contributor Marc Lamont Hill, host Ana Cabrera wrongly claimed that President Donald Trump had lamented that it is a scary time for "white men" when in reality his actual quote did not mention race at all but referred to "young men."
At 6:42 p.m. Eastern, after beginning the segment by discussing the case of a white woman who called the police on a black man just because he was in public with two white children that he was babysitting, Cabrera brought up NBC's Saturday Night Live making fun of Trump's quote referring to accusations against Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh of attempted rape as a teenager.
Cabrera incorrectly recalled: "President Trump and his son Don Jr. said this week, white men have a lot to fear right now." She then showed a clip from SNL in which comedian Michael Che joked "I heard the President say on T.V. that, quote, it's a very scary time for young men in America when you can be guilty of something that you may not be guilty of..Come on. Old, rich white dude telling us it's a scary time in America? That is pure comedy."
Even though the SNL clip accurately displayed Trump's actual quote which showed no mention of race, Cabrera and Hill still went along with the race-related premise as they discussed the matter afterwards.
Without correcting her misquote from earlier, Cabrera asked: "Why do you think that is Trump's strategy?" Hill responded:
That's always Trump's strategy -- to close ranks around a certain kind of racial tribalism -- to close ranks around whiteness. When you say, "Make America Great Again," that's a dog whistle to white folk -- that's not to black people. He's always doing that. And so the whole, "They're stealing our country," plays into his immigration policy, and it stokes white fear. Saying that it's a scary time to be a white man because you get accused of something you didn't do.
Hill also repeated the discredited myth that Trump advocated for the Central Park Five to be executed as Hill continued: "For that to come out of Donald Trump's mouth -- the man who falsely accused and wanted to kill essentially the Central Park Five and has never apologized for it -- it is really rich coming from him."
In reaction to the other stories where black males were wrongly accused, Hill lectured: "We live in a world that's still shot through with white supremacy. The idea that white lives are certainly worth more, the idea that white Americans have a heightened sense of citizenship, an irrational fear of black bodies even when they're doing ordinary things like barbecuing or sitting in a Starbucks or babysitting."
A partial transcript is below. Click "expand" to read more.
ANA CABRERA: President Trump and his son, Don Junior, said, this week, White men have a lot to fear right now. Here is comedian Michael Che's take.
MICHAEL CHE (actor) I heard the President say on T.V. that, quote, it's a very scary time for young men in America when you can be guilty of something that you may not be guilty of.
I have a joke for that. I just thought it was hilarious. Come on. Old, rich White dude telling us it's a scary time in America? That is pure comedy. And I will be stealing that line.
CABRERA: Why do you think that is Trump's strategy?
MARC LAMONT HILL: Oh, that's always Trump's strategy, to close ranks around a certain kind of racial tribalism, to close ranks around Whiteness. When you say make America great again, that's a dog whistle to White folk. That's not to Black people. He's always doing that.
And so, you know, the whole "they're stealing our country" narrative plays into his immigration policy. And it stokes White fear, saying that it's a scary time to be a White man because you get accused of something that you didn't do.
For that to come out of Donald Trump's mouth, the man who falsely accused and wanted to kill, essentially, the Central Park Five and has never apologized for it, it's really rich to come from him. So at this moment, when Donald Trump says it, I'm not surprised, but it's still disturbing.