Essays · Strangers

Appearing on All In With Chris Hayes

I used to watch Chris Hayes’s show. I didn’t stop for any reason other than I don’t have cable anymore, and my podcast app doesn’t appear to have streaming audio of his show. But I follow him on Twitter, and appreciate his feed. There’s news, there’s commentary, there’s the occasional sports tweet. If you don’t already follow him there (@chrislhayes), I highly recommend it.

So last night, I was avoiding actually watching the RNC, instead choosing to catch up on a few household chores. But in between paying bills, I checked Twitter. And I saw that someone had apparently said something super racist on Mr. Hayes’s show. I quickly found the clip, and good grief, is it ridiculous.

Yes, your eyes and ears are working. At the end there Congressman King says that whites are the ‘sub-group’ (huh?) that has contributed most to today’s society. He sort of tries to get around it by saying ‘western civilization,’ but Mr. Hayes (a white man) rightly corrects him and says essentially “you mean white people?” And then he throws to break, as fellow panelist April Ryan (a Black woman) starts to say something but then both holds herself back as well as responds to Mr. Hayes’s statement that he has to go to break.

Immediately following, Mr. Hayes went to Twitter to talk about how he didn’t know how to handle this moment, that he wasn’t going to dignify the idea that there is some sort of competition between which race is better, but then says that he thinks maybe he made the wrong call. Which I can appreciate. But I also saw this video in Ms. Ryan’s feed:

Ms. Ryan was sitting one human away from a white supremacist, a man who has been elected to represent people (some of whom must be people of color), a man who thinks people who share her skin tone haven’t contributed to society. And he said it. On live TV. And didn’t really seem to even realize that what he was saying was utter racist bullshit.

I’m pissed. I mean, I’m always pissed about racism, but I’m pissed that a person with these garbage fire beliefs is allowed anywhere near other humans, let alone Capitol Hill. And I’m not interested in any sort of ‘at least he’s honest about his racism’ kind of bullshit. No. That man is a sitting U.S. Congressman and he seems to have no problem being a white supremacist. There’s no way around it. He literally thinks the ‘white’ race is superior, and has contributed more to society than people of color.

This is what we’re facing in the U.S. right now. Xenophobic, racist, white supremacist, homophobic people who claim to want to “Make America Great Again,” as though there was some mythical time where everyone had the rights they were entitled to, and everyone felt safe, and no one was a piece of human garbage. That time does not exist.

So, how not to be a jerk when appearing on All In with Chris Hayes? You can start by not being a white supremacist. I know, it’s so low a bar it’s basically on the ground, but apparently it needs to be spelled out for the ridiculous humans like Congressman King.

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