An outrageous discussion unfolded on CNN recently focused on how most white women who voted for President Donald Trump must be “racist.”
Only one of the all-female panel hosted by CNN’s Don Lemon pushed back in the discussion on why the president resonates with most white women, delivering a blistering take-down of the argument that white women who have a “deep investment in white supremacy” voted for Trump.
Lemon began by asking liberal contributor Kirsten Powers “why white women support Donald Trump in spite of or perhaps because of his policies and his tone,” during Friday’s “CNN Tonight.”
“People will say that they support him for reasons other than his racist language,” Powers responded. “And they’ll say, ‘Well, I’m not racist. I just voted for him because I didn’t like Hillary Clinton.'”
She then seemed to attempt to “establish” that anyone who voted for Trump is racist.
“And I just want to say that’s not — that doesn’t make you not racist. It actually makes you racist. If you support somebody who does racist things, that makes you racist. So I just want to establish that.”
But Powers was not done.
“I think we have to recognize that white men are doing it as well, but sometimes I think that we would hope that we would get better behavior from white women because white women are themselves are oppressed and that they would be able to align themselves with other oppressed people,” she said.
“I think we have to remember that the white patriarchal system actually benefits white women in a lot of ways, and they are attached to white men who are benefiting from the system that was created by them, for them. And their fathers and their husbands and their brothers are benefiting from the system, and so they are also benefiting,” she declared.
UC Berkeley Professor Stephanie Jones-Rogers echoed the views, suggesting that women have a “deep investment” in white supremacy.
“You’re quoted in this Vox article as saying that, for centuries, white women have ‘invested in white supremacy because their whiteness affords them a particular kind of power that their gender does not.’ What did you mean by that?” Lemon asked.
“We tend to think of white women primarily focusing on gender oppression — that because they are oppressed as women, that that oppression will allow them to ally and to sympathize with other dispossessed and other disempowered peoples in the nation,” Jones-Rogers replied.
“But my research actually shows that they long had deep investment in white supremacy, and not only did they benefit from it, but they participated in its construction and its perpetuation — not just in the context of slavery, not just in the colonial period, but well after slavery was over,” she added.
CNN political commentator Alice Stewart was the lone dissenter in the one-sided bashing of white women, bringing a strong rebuttal to the outlandish argument.
“Voters, women and men, identify themselves as either Republican, Democrat, Independent or whatever their political party,” she said.
“I strongly disagree with the characterization that women are oppressed and by nature of that oppression they should naturally vote for another group of people that are oppressed,” she added, noting people should vote based on who is representing policies they agree with.
“I’m a Republican. I support this president, I voted for this president. I did so because of his policies – I do not agree with his tone and tenor,” Stewart argued. “But his policies are what I stand for.”
When Lemon pressed that Trump’s tone and denigrating speech are “part of his policy,” Stewart shut him down.
“No, they’re not Don. They’re separate,” she said as Powers could be seen clearly shaking her head.
“Let me just say this, Kirsten is a dear friend of mine, but I resent that she says I’m racist because Donald Trump says racist things,” Stewart said, adding that the president’s “disparaging” comments “don’t represent me.”