CNN Guest Lecturer Ripped Trump's July 4 Speech as a Tawdry 'Spectacle' in Advance

July 4th, 2019 8:53 PM

Looking back after President Trump's inspirational and unifying speech on Thursday night, it's embarrassing for CNN that they were dumping all over this celebration the night before.

On Wednesday's CNN Tonight, as she was substituting for Don Lemon, CNN legal analyst Laura Coates uncorked a commentary attacking President Donald Trump for holding a flashy July 4 celebration at the same time that thousands of illegal immigrants are being held in overcrowded detention centers. 

Coates began the hour: "on this Fourth of July eve as we all prepare to celebrate the birth of America, all of Washington is scrambling to prepare for an event that the president promises this will be the show of a lifetime, designed to satisfy an audience of one. "

Then she added: "There are rumblings tonight that things may not turn out the way the president wants. A source telling CNN that military chiefs fear the whole thing will amount to a campaign event with the armed forces front and center. The Washington Post is reporting that there are worries that the crowd may not meet the president's expectations. And we all know what happens when a crowd doesn't meet the president's expectations." Then she played Sean Spicer in 2017 claiming the Inauguration crowd was the largest ever.

Coates continued her rant at 10:23 pm:


LAURA COATES: The president tweeting "It will be the show of a lifetime." Indeed it will be a spectacle, but one that pales in comparison to the unconscionable spectacle that is the humanitarian crisis at our Southern border. Human beings treated like animals because they have the audacity to seek a more dignified existence for themselves and their families. The nerve of it all.

This is the spectacle I'm talking about -- photos of migrants inside detention centers, crammed into cages. A report by the inspector general of the Department of Homeland Security calling the situation "urgent," conditions "dangerous," requiring "immediate attention and action." 

After a clip of an anonymous employee describing the detention facilities as dirty, Coates continued: "The spectacle of human beings being treated like garbage. President Trump ignoring the conditions that migrants are living in without even one iota of empathy."

Without noting that Congress has been slow to supply funding to take care of detainees in spite of the record numbers of illegal immigrants being apprehended, she read some of Trump's recent comments downplaying the severity of the conditions.

She then complained: "The apathy is a spectacle in and of itself, but the way the President seems to view these migrants is nothing compared to how this treatment is making them view themselves."

Coates showed pictures that were drawn by children depicting what it was like in the facilities, and then brought up racial segregation:

Hard to watch, hard to see.  And all on the eve of the President's "show of a lifetime." Well, we've seen another show, and it's been in our lifetime, and it was through the eyes of children. When the Supreme Court was deliberating Brown vs. Board of Education, they considered the psychological impact on black children being treated as if they were subhuman -- unworthy of a desk beside their white counterparts, unworthy Americans.

After noting that the U.S. Supreme Court took into account that both black and white children reported viewing black dolls negatively but white dolls positively before striking down racial segregation in schools, Coates concluded:

So perhaps the spectacle is in not recognizing that how we treat one child in America impacts the treatment of all America's children, and perhaps fireworks are a good distraction from the real bomb bursting in air -- America's moral conviction.