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CNN Debate Gets Intense: U.S. Will Be Mired in Racial Animus ‘Until White Folk Like You Can Stand Up and Find Your Spine’

CNN commentators Michael Eric Dyson and Scott Jennings had at it today in a rousing debate over whether President Donald Trump is a racist.

The conversation began with Alisyn Camerota invoking a recent poll which found half the country believes that the president is indeed a racist. Jennings, a former White House staffer under President George W. Bush, said these findings were rooted in “extreme political polarization” on both sides of the aisle. Camerota responded by referencing several of Trump’s biggest racial controversies, and asked Jennings whether the president has brought this public perception on himself. Jennings, however, continued to push back on the characterization of Trump as a racist.

Dyson eventually jumped in to slam the “grievous moral equivalency” Jennings made by comparing the arguments against Trump to the racial smears against former President Barack Obama. As Dyson continued to argue that Trump’s racism is self-evident, he eventually bashed Jennings by saying conservatives such as him are “complicit” in Trump’s racism by dismissing and validating the incendiary things the president says and does.

“This is very, very clear that it has racial animus here, and you’re trying to dismiss it as a difference of opinion,” Dyson said. “That is complicit in the racist element we’re talking about.”

As Jennings pushed back on Dyson for smearing conservatives as racists, Camerota tried to keep things under control by asking Jennings how he can overlook Trump’s various controversies on race. As Dyson tried to interject and complain that Camerota is “giving oxygen to a guy who is trying to legitimate and validate racism,” Jennings defended his position that Trump is not a racist based on the policies he has implemented.

Dyson continued to argue that Trump has bullied people and reignited racial hostilities throughout his political life, and addressed Jennings directly by saying that he and others will be complicit in racial animus in the U.S. until “white folk like you can stand up and find your spine.”

Jennings countered by saying its wrong for the Left to “ascribe racist motivations to virtually every Republican or Conservative in this country.” And Camerota had to intervene again and end the segment when things looked like they were about to get out of hand once more.

“Yelling over each other isn’t helpful,” Camerota said.

Watch above, via CNN.

[Image via screengrab]

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