Rep. John Lewis (D-GA) appeared on a segment of MSNBC’s “Hate in America” special on Memorial Day to answer questions from Hardball host Chris Matthews on white supremacy and anti-Semitism in America.

During the interview, Lewis told Matthews he believes that the election of President Donald Trump stopped America from heading in the positive direction during past Democratic administrations.

Fox News reports:

Matthews asked specifically how Trump was elected in 2016, “knowing his attitudes about race, about division.”

“I’m not so sure, but somehow and some way, his message arrested that movement toward goodness and openness. People stopped respecting the worth and dignity of all of us,” Lewis said.

In the same interview, Lewis said that Trump appears to “feel at home” with what’s happening in the country, pointing to Trump’s remarks concerning the Charlottesville riots in 2017.

“I don’t think this president has been helpful. I think he feels at home with what is going on. When he reacted to what was happening in Charlottesville, you know, ‘Good people on both sides,’ I cried,” the lawmaker said.

“It’s not the America that I dream for, the one I was trying to help set right. It’s not the America we had during the days of President Kennedy and Lyndon Johnson. It’s different.”

There is a lot of wrong to unpack here. Let’s start with what Lewis claimed Trump said about Charlottesville. People have debunked this myth over and over again. Here is the transcript from Trump’s press conference:

“Excuse me, they didn’t put themselves down as neo-Nazis, and you had some very bad people in that group. But you also had people that were very fine people on both sides. You had people in that group – excuse me, excuse me, I saw the same pictures you did. You had people in that group that were there to protest the taking down of, to them, a very, very important statue and the renaming of a park from Robert E. Lee to another name.”

After another question at that press conference, Trump became even more explicit:

“I’m not talking about the neo-Nazis and white nationalists because they should be condemned totally.”

I agree with Lewis that we do not want to see in America the violence, the injuries, and the death of an innocent young woman. But like many other Democrats, he perpetuated the media-driven falsehood about what Trump said in response to what happened in Charlottesville, which only makes matters worse.

While the mainstream media and the left have a vested interest in keeping this myth going as we head into the 2020 election cycle, it’s unfortunate to see a civil rights pioneer like Lewis join in on it.

Secondly, did the Obama administration see a positive direction on race? No, we weren’t, as Joel Pollak documents here:

In fact, a widely-cited Gallup poll shows race relations began to decline during President Barack Obama’s second term, in the aftermath of the Trayvon Martin controversy and through the Black Lives Matter movement that followed.

In 2010, Lewis was at the center of another alleged racial hoax, when several Democratic members of the Congressional Black Caucus claimed that Tea Party protesters had shouted the “n-word” at him as he walked through their demonstration on the weekend that Congress was voting on Obamacare. The claim, widely repeated throughout the media and used to malign the Tea Party as racist, was never substantiated.

As Pollak also noted, Lewis took the low road in 2008 with comments he made about Republican presidential nominee Sen. John McCain and his vice presidential running mate Sarah Palin. The civil rights icon insinuated they were racists who reminded him of the days of segregationist Gov. George Wallace.

Let’s also not forget the countless times people dismissed legitimate criticisms of President Obama’s agenda as nothing more than “racist attacks” against the president.

On the issue of anti-Semitism in America, what can we attribute to the rise in attacks against Jewish people? People have debated this subject for the last two years, with Democrats predictably blaming Trump.

But is it the non-stop false painting of Trump, who often stands shoulder to shoulder with Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu, as a raging enemy of the Jewish community?

Or could the slow, but steady rise – and acceptance of – anti-Semitism within the ranks of the Democratic party be one of the factors? After all, two Democratic women who unapologetically support the anti-Semitic BDS movement and who have routinely repeated anti-Semitic tropes were elected to the U.S. House last year in a blaze of glory.

Furthermore, Democratic leaders like House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer have essentially become apologists for the anti-Semitism routinely displayed by Reps. Rashida Tlaib (MI) and Ilhan Omar (MN).

Do not forget the Congressional Black Caucus and their longtime embrace of the anti-Semitic Nation of Islam Minister Louis Farrakhan, which neither the mainstream media nor Pelosi, Hoyer, nor other Democratic leaders have objected or condemned. Lewis, by the way, ranks as the senior-most member of the CBC.

On the other hand, Republican leaders stripped Rep. Steve King (R-IA) all his committee assignments in January after he made disturbing remarks suggesting there was nothing offensive about white nationalism and white supremacy.

The issues of anti-Semitism and white supremacy in America are severe ones that deserve honest, frank debates that center around finding out the who, what, when, where, why, and how (as in how do we combat them?). Unfortunately, we’re not going to get those types of constructive discussions from any of the programmings on left-leaning cable news outlets – nor their guests.

You can watch Lewis’s full interview below:

— Stacey Matthews has also written under the pseudonym “Sister Toldjah” and can be reached via Twitter. —

 
 
donate
Donations tax deductible
to the full extent allowed by law.