CNN Panel Explodes After Conservative Says Birtherism is the Same As Calling Trump Racist

Preacher Michael Eric Dyson on Thursday battled CNN’s Scott Jennings over Donald Trump’s numerous displays of racism and bigotry, calling him “complicit in the racist animus of this country.”

Dyson and Jennings were speaking with host Alisyn Camerota about a recent poll indicating half of all Americans think Trump is racist. Jennings said the poll is a “reflection of the extreme political polarization we live in in America right now.”

“We are willing to ascribe all of the worst motivations to every policy view, to every action that our political opponents tae,” Jennings complained. “In this case what the people who disapprove of Trump believe he's a racist and everything he does must be rooted in racism. Republicans were also guilty of this. We ascribed Obama's motivation to the fact that he was not born in this country, he was a secret Muslim.”

Camerota asked if “any of it has to do with President Trump's own words or actions,” listing a number of examples where Trump was accused of discriminating against minorities.

“Do you really think it's just the polarization of the public or do you think that it’s possible that Donald Trump is responsible for some of this feeling?” she asked.

Jennings said he doesn’t believe Trump is racist—he’s just uniformed.

“Yeah, the KKK just is looking for a discount on linen, it's not a racist organization, they just wear sheets when they get up at night and sleepwalk,” Dyson shot back. “Here’s the problem—this kind of grievous moral equivalency between hey, they said Obama was something, they were polarized, no they're looking at Trump, here's a guy who called Haiti and African nations s-hole countries.”

“Donald Trump talks like a racist, thinks like a racist, conjures emotions that give support to white nationalists, yeah, he's a racist,” Dyson added. “Racism is as racism does.”

Dyson said “the problem” is “not the white supremacists who are the problem, it’s white moderates and conservatives who tend to be complicit with it by trying to dismiss it.”

“Brother Jennings, much respect for you, but this is ludicrous,” he continued. “What you're doing is egregious because you're attempting to justify, legitimate and make valid what are essentially naked, raw statements of racism. This is easy stuff. This is very very clear that it has racial animus here and you're trying to dismiss it as a difference of opinion. That is itself complicit in the racist element we're talking about.”

Watch the full exchange below, via CNN:

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