Fox News resident liberal Juan Willliams admitted he doesn’t like to call anyone a racist but then easily called out President Donald Trump’s policies for emboldening racism in the nation.
And, he added, Americans are “smart enough” to see that as well.
In a panel discussion on “The Story with Martha MacCallum” on Tuesday, the co-host of “the Five” commented on the issue of racism after Fox News contributor and Wall Street Journal columnist, Dan Henninger, noted the “serious charges” being hurled at the president by the left in the wake of the MAGA hat controversy involving Catholic high school boys and a Native American.
“I think racism is one of the most serious charges you can make against someone,” Henninger said. “The left has now begun using this word…as a form of moral imperialism to drive their opponents out of the political debate and simply silence them. The idea that a Make America Great Again hat is racist is simply a corruption of language.”
MacCallum interjected that one needs to look at words and actions when determining the existence of racism, noting that despite Trump’s rhetoric being deemed offensive by some, making a “blanket” statement that he is racist may not be wise.
“You go through the actions of the presidency, the policies of the presidency, are they racist? Is the argument that’s being made by these Democratic candidates – that there’s this blanket racism charge that applies to this presidency – is tougher I think when you dig into his actions,” MacCallum said.
“I don’t,” Williams replied, citing Fox News polls and Quinnipiac polls that indicate that “about half of Americans say the president is a racist.”
“Do you think that’s partly because they’re told that every single day?” MacCallum asked.
“I don’t think that. I think people are smart enough, I think Americans are smart enough,” Williams responded, noting that ‘racism’ is a “difficult word to get out of your mouth.”
“I don’t want to say it about anybody. I think it shuts down conversation,” he said, as he then expounded on the very term.
Picking up on the host’s point about policies versus actions, Williams argued that Trump’s policies make his case, noting examples like voter suppression and voter identification, Black Lives Matter – which he called the “biggest civil rights issue on the map today” – education, opposition to minority affirmative action, as well as Trump’s stand against NFL players’ national anthem protests.
“That kind of rhetoric — even Republicans, 22 percent of Republicans in the poll I cited say Trump has emboldened racists in our society,” Williams claimed.
Henninger voiced his dissent, saying that the president’s comments can be “boorish and defensive but they are not racist.”
“You can have disagreements over questions like affirmative action,” he noted. “But to simply dismiss Donald Trump and all of his supporters as racist is a corruption and destruction of argument.”
Williams interjected to say he agreed, adding “it’s not blanket.”
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