New York Times op-ed columnist David Brooks ignited a wave of backlash after insulting rural Americans who have no contact with the “expert class.”
The political commentator’s pompous contention, during an appearance on MSNBC, that the right feeds on conspiracy theories and have been “left behind” while those in blue cities are “thriving,” sparked much head-scratching and criticism on social media.
A video clip of Brooks speaking to MSNBC’s Katy Tur last week was posted on Twitter by Rashad Robinson, president of the progressive racial justice organization, Color of Change.
While Robinson’s views may not typically align with those of Republicans and supporters of President Donald Trump, his reaction to Brooks’ comments on those thriving in “blue cities” was echoed by many others on Twitter.
Last week on @MSNBC, @nytdavidbrooks said there’s demand for conspiracy theories on the right because “blue cities are thriving” and “people left behind in the rural parts of America feel threatened”. What? Mr. Brooks: Who exactly is thriving in “blue cities”? pic.twitter.com/MxD30DOU0X
— Rashad Robinson (@rashadrobinson) December 9, 2020
“Look at how much more Republicans are affected by conspiracy theories than the Democrats, so it can’t just be the internet, there must be some demand,” Brooks said, pointing out the “two core problems.”
“A lot of people in the expert class live in blue cities who are thriving,” he claimed. “And a lot of people left behind in the rural parts of America, they feel threatened economically, culturally, socially and they have no contact with the expert class.”
He went on to contend that “those of us in the expert class – journalism and academia – have to do a better job of reaching out in post-Trump, establishing relationships and showing some respect,” he said.
Brooks added that there also has to be economic policies “so people don’t feel threatened,” suggesting that the way to “cure distress” is by “keeping promises to people who are unlike yourself.”
Reacting to the remarks, Robinson tweeted his confusion and asked, “Who exactly is thriving in ‘blue cities’?”
“Maybe you are ‘thriving’ but millions of people of color around you, who make your thriving life possible, are most definitely not,” Robinson tweeted, calling out the network for “letting this misinformation go unchallenged.”
Who’s most exploited for profit in this country? Who’s left behind and needs economic justice? @MSNBC does no favors to our political future by letting this misinformation go unchallenged. Stop erasing Black suffering in a misguided attempt to “reach out” to Trump voters.
— Rashad Robinson (@rashadrobinson) December 9, 2020
“What is this nonsense from @nytdavidbrooks,” journalist Yashar Ali asked in a tweet.
“Who listens to these idiots?” Townhall columnist and lawyer Kurt Schlichter wondered.
“I’m increasingly convinced that anyone urging the ‘expert class’ to reach out to the ‘people left behind in rural America’ has never interacted with Trump voters in real life, spend time in actual rural areas, or is aware Black people also live in the Midwest,” Rita Konaev noted in another tweet.
Others also joined the pile-on over Brooks’s condescending remarks.
This is why we shouldn’t listen to talking heads who are completely out of touch with those of us living in the real world and his assessment on why people are prone to conspiracies is completely off base.
— Sapientia🌬😷💨🎏 (@terrasapientiae) December 9, 2020
45% of the population of Philadelphia lives below the poverty level. What the hell is this jack wagon talking about? I swear liberals lie about everything.
— Trump Won! Biden Cheated! (@ganggreenie36) December 9, 2020
Expert class? David Brooks is a pompous ass of a man. Blue cities thriving? You could drive a truck through Grand Central Station and never hit a single person. Thriving my ass!
— Wade Moore (@WadeMoore78) December 9, 2020
What an arrogant jerk.
— Jonny (@Jonny_B_good_) December 9, 2020
😂I’d love to see these liberal utopias😂😂
— Grundle (@DamnGrundle) December 9, 2020
Lol, who is this guy kidding? “Blue cities” are literally 💩 holes.
— Covfefe-Elect 2020 (@covfefe2020Q) December 9, 2020
Was his appearance written by JD Vance and directed by Ron Howard?
— Kris (Kringle) Wernowsky 🎄🎅🏼❄️ (@kriswernowsky) December 9, 2020
This *is* David Brooks. He has made his entire career on making these kinds of overly broad generalizations that fit simple traditional media narratives that fall apart and reveal themselves as classist and racist and sexist under even the slightest scrutiny
— DA Hollafish ✊🏽✊🏾✊🏿✊🏼✊🏻✊ (@dahollafish) December 9, 2020
They live in an alternate universe.
— President-Elect Noreen Ann 🇺🇸 (@NoreenOBrien63) December 9, 2020
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