During Thursday’s edition of The Beat With Ari Melber, guest host Ayman Mohyeldin interviewed Georgetown University Professor Michael Eric Dyson, so one knew that it would be a prime opportunity for liberal ponfiticating. It first focused on Florida Republican gubernatorial candidate Ron DeSantis, who has faced a media firestorm for saying that “we don’t need to monkey this up” by embracing socialism; referring to Florida’s economy and his opponent’s plans for it.
DeSantis’s critics argued that the use of the word “monkey” was a racial slur directed at his African-American opponent, Andrew Gillum and one even argued that DeSantis should drop out of the race. Dyson’s reaction to DeSantis’s comments presented no exception the hysteria.
Dyson suggested that “either he needs a rebate...on the tuition he paid for his education at both Yale and Harvard or this man is plainly lying.” He described DeSantis’s use of the word “monkey” as “not even a dog whistle,” but “this is a bullhorn.”
Dyson accused DeSantis of “playing to his racist base” by using the word “monkey,” arguing that “he is alluding to images, tropes, and metaphors of black identity that have been linked to monkeys throughout the history of the racist division of evolution in this country.”
According to Dyson, DeSantis was “trying to playing to that deeply rooted bigotry that has resurged under Donald Trump and that has proved not to be something that will discourage voters from coming out but rather that encourages those who are of that ilk to come forward.”
Later, the conversation then turned to Kanye West and his praise for President Trump. After declaring that “West is a friend of mine, I love him, he’s a genius when it comes to music,” Dyson slammed West for his “sad capitulation to the force of bigotry that is Donald Trump,” describing the President as “this orange apparition that appears out of nowhere to becloud the American horizon of consciousness and dignity.”
Dyson also expressed nostalgia for the days when West was “brave in going against the powers that be” by saying “George Bush doesn’t care about black people.” To the left, nothing says speaking truth to power like slandering Republican politicians as racist.
Dyson continued to blast West’s support for President Trump, accusing him of refusing to “address the fact that Donald Trump has been vicious, has been negligent, has been horrible when it comes to black people.”
In their latest attempt to destroy President Trump, the talking heads on cable news have directed their ire at his supporters, with Dyson calling them racist and MSNBC hosts Stephanie Ruhle and Ali Velshi calling them “selfish.” The nastiness will only get worse as the 2018 midterm elections approach.
A transcript of the relevant portion of The Beat With Ari Melber is below. Click “expand” to read more.
The Beat With Ari Melber
AYMAN MOHYELDIN: All right, now to the race to watch in Florida, Republican gubernatorial candidate Ron DeSantis is under fire for comments he made about his opponent, Mayor Andrew Gillum. DeSantis says that his comments had nothing to do with race. Take a listen.
RON DESANTIS: So we’ve got to work hard to make sure that we continue Florida going in a good direction, let’s build off the success we’ve had on Governor Scott, the last thing we need to do is to monkey this up by trying to embrace a socialist agenda.
SEAN HANNITY: Did you in any way, and do you in any way think that was something that was misstated or racist in any way? Because that’s what they’re implying.
DESANTIS: It has zero to do with race, Sean.
MOHYELDIN: All right, let’s also be very clear. Sean Hannity also campaigned at one point for Ron DeSantis in Florida. With me now is Georgetown Professor Michael Eric Dyson, a nationally recognized expert on civil rights. He has hosted campaign rallies as well with Gillum, and he’s also the author of 21 books including What Truth Sounds Like. Michael, great to have you with us this evening. First of all, your views of those comments, how did you, sir, hear those comments?
MICHAEL ERIC DYSON: Well, either he needs a rebate on the education he paid, the tuition he paid for his education at both Yale and Harvard or this man is plainly lying. This is not even a dog whistle, this is a bullhorn, this is amplification to, you know, magnitudes of, you know, decibels that everybody can hear. It shatters the air, it shatters the air, we know what he’s doing here. He’s playing to his racist base. He’s trying to manipulate racial rhetoric in defense of his position. That is ostensibly neutral, but at the end of the day and the bottom line is we know that he’s playing to that deeply rooted bigotry that has resurged under Donald Trump and that has proved not to be something that will discourage voters from coming out but rather that encourages those who are of that ilk to come forward. So he knew what he was doing when he was talking about a tall, handsome, dark skinned black man as monkeying up the process. He is alluding to images, tropes and metaphors of black identity that have been linked to monkeys throughout the history of the racist division of evolution in this country and indeed in the modern west.
MOHYELDIN: Let me, sir, play you Gillum’s response to this, take a listen.
ANDREW GILLUM: Let me be articulate and clear here, which is we’re better than this in Florida. I believe the Congressman can be better than this. I regret that his mentor in politics is Donald Trump. But I do believe that the voters of the state of Florida are going to reject the politics of division. It’s clear that the Congressman is going to join Donald Trump in the swamp. We’re going to leave them there and we’re going to continue to press toward a higher mark.
MOHYELDIN: Do you, sir, agree with his remarks both in his assessment and also with that Florida is going to reject that? Because in your first answer, you seem to suggest that they’re not, they’re not necessarily…there’s not necessarily a punishment to pay when a candidate speaks like this way to his base.
DYSON: Well, let me first of all acknowledge what he did brilliantly there. He said, let me be articulate and clear. He’s already combating the vicious misimpression and misinformation about black people, our inability to speak or articulate or to enunciate not only clearly but to express vividly and eloquently those beliefs we have. So he was doing a bit of signifying himself right there, brilliant kudos to the future Governor Gillum. But, look, he took the right road here. Michelle Obama says when they go low, we go high. The reality is it’s not much to see into the cesspool that DeSantis is in, he’s in Florida there so it’s a swamp that needs to be drained, to be certain, as Donald Trump suggests. But, yes, I think that his viewpoint is not directly opposed to mine. I’m saying that it will appeal to those people who already have preconceived ideas about what black people are. So on the other hand what Governor Gillum to be was saying, is that we will not appeal to the nasty, vicious beliefs of human beings, we will rise above them and organize the logic of democracy around a different pivot. What is that pivot? We come together, we have class and economic issues together beyond race. We have considerations of health care. We have considerations of money. We have considerations of the…earning a decent wage. Those things are extremely important, and what Gillum is saying here is that we’re not going to pitch ourselves to the narrow consideration of a DeSantis who’s trying to send dog whistles and really bullhorns to his people, the people of Florida, who are beyond that. The white people who don’t agree with him, the white voters who understand that this is the manipulation of racial rhetoric in defense of his own position, but it has nothing to do with politics at its best. I think in that sense Gillum is right, those people will prevail and I think he has a great chance of becoming the next Governor of the State of Florida.
MOHYELDIN: Sir, let me switch gears really quickly and get your thoughts on Kanye west, a cultural force of his own if you will. He’s defending Donald Trump for some of the comments he’s made in the past. Your response to Kanye West’s defense of President Trump, saying that he also wants to be liked by black people, wants to be recognized and accepted for trying to do good things for black people.
DYSON: You know, like, you know, Gillum, West is a friend of mine, I love him, he’s a genius when it comes to music. He was early on in his career courageous and brave in going against the powers that be. But this sad capitulation to the force of bigotry that is Donald Trump, this orange apparition that appears out of nowhere to becloud the American horizon of consciousness and dignity, it’s a shame that Kanye West can’t simply say “if I earlier said that George Bush doesn’t care for black people, when Jimmy Kimmel asks him, what makes you believe that Donald Trump cares for black people, you know, he’s silent. And then he comes back with this answer. He says Donald Trump wants to be liked by black people. Who doesn’t? Even those who are bigots would like for their viewpoints to be accepted and tolerated by most people, including black people. This has nothing to do with the moral particularity or the substance ethically of Donald Trump’s beliefs and Kanye West is doing a two step around the issue here. He refuses to address the fact that Donald Trump has been vicious, has been negligent, has been horrible when it comes to black people. And Kanye West is looking for a justification for his continued affiliation and alliance with a man who has proven, in no uncertain terms, to be an enemy to not only the forces of democracy but to African-American people. I love you, Kanye West, but shame on you. Don’t go to those extensive, you know, to those extents to justify him. When I had a phone conversation with Kanye after he put my tweets on blast, so to speak, my texts to him, and he talked to me, he says “look, I’m looking for people who are brave and courageous and who speak their mind. Well, we call upon you, Kanye West, to be informed before you speak. He apologized for making the statement about, you know, slavery is a choice. But he’s got to be better informed. If you’re going to speak up and speak out, at least speak from experience in something that is insightful.