MSNBC has moved on from the collusion-delusion and is suddenly peddling a new tale: that America under President Donald Trump is just like the Jim Crow era, where blacks were threatened with violence if they tried to vote and racial segregation was required by law.
“It’s like a bad Dracula movie,” said Henry Louis Gates Jr. in an appearance on Morning Joe on Monday while host Joe Scarborough furrowed his brow to give Gates’ words maximum weight.
“Look, voter suppression and a very conservative Supreme Court in 1883 declared the Civil Rights Act of 1875 unconstitutional,” said Gates. “So think about, 12 years of black freedom followed by an alt-right rollback and a president who refused to renounce white supremacy, Andrew Johnson. Does this sound familiar?”
Scarborough, a former Republican congressman from the Florida Panhandle, didn’t point out to viewers the obvious — that there was in fact no ‘alt-right’ in the Deep South after the Civil War, and that all of those involved in suppression of black votes after Reconstruction were Democrats.
He let Gates continue the fable as he promoted his documentary on Reconstruction, which is to air this week on PBS.
“It’s the perfect parallel,” said Gates, “…eight years of black freedom, as it were, under Barack Obama basically drove a lot of people crazy, and we saw this rise of white supremacy, that — I don’t know about you — but I thought, been long buried. It’s like a bad Dracula movie, man, you thought, ‘Damn, aren’t you dead? Didn’t we put a stake in your heart?’ And then it comes back. So the closest historical parallel to what we’re seeing today with the rise of white supremacy as a backlash to the Obama administration is the collapse of Reconstruction.”
But evidence that black votes are suppressed would be very hard to find, especially in large cities, where majority-black precincts often have 95-100 percent voter turnout.
At the end, Scarborough asked Gates if he was more hopeful about the future, considering that Democrats won the House in November and considering “demographic changes that are happening in the country.”
Gates said that if Democrats had not won, he “would really be worried” but that he’s still worried about the Supreme Court, saying affirmative action is “under attack” along with the right to abortion.
But it’s not likely that many people heard what he said, as MSNBC ratings have been dropping precipitously since Attorney General William Barr announced that Special Counsel Robert Mueller and his team of investigators had found no evidence that the Trump campaign colluded with Russia to interfere with the 2016 election.
Only two people had commented on Twitter about the Henry Louis Gates Jr. interview by 2:30 p.m. Monday. Neither of them seemed very impressed with the segment:
Well, I won't be watching this character's PBS show anymore.
— Phil Hall (@BizSuperstar) April 8, 2019
"Morning Joe guest" has a name, I'll bet.
— Sinead O'Brien (@Sinead_OBrien5) April 8, 2019
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