An MSNBC panel fell into disarray this week when two contributors — one black, the other white — entered into a shouting match over what constitutes racism.
The discussion on Wednesday centered on an otherwise completely irrelevant moment of tension that occurred a day earlier between White House press secretary Sean Spicer and Urban Radio Networks reporter April Ryan.
As reported by Talking Points Memo, an exasperated Spicer first accused the reporter of having an “agenda” and then urged her to “at some point report the facts.” He also demanded that Ryan stop shaking her head at him.
While some might argue that the press secretary had been somewhat rude — which, of course, he has been with many other reporters as well, mainly out of his frustration with having to constantly correct the media’s lies — few would claim he had been racist.
Political analyst and MSNBC guest Jason Johnson, a black man, was one of these few.
“The rhetoric and the behavior of this administration from top to bottom has demonstrated a lack of respect and a lack of consideration for people of color,” he argued on MSNBC. “I’m not surprised and this seems par for the course for how they’ve operated.”
As someone not obsessed with racial identity politics, American Conservative Union chairman Matt Schlapp, a white man, vehemently disagreed. Schlapp noted that Ryan, whom he called a “friend,” was often permitted by Spicer “to ask multiple questions at every briefing.”
“I think that was a moment where he pushed back and got feisty with a reporter who he has a very good rapport with on most days,” Schlapp maintained. “This is not racism.”
“You don’t get to tell other people what racism is,” Johnson fired back.
“You don’t either!” Schlapp correctly noted.
“Yes I do,” Johnson replied. “Because you don’t experience it!”
Stop right there. First, the notion that white people do not experience racism is patently false and, in fact, quite racist in itself. In fact, these days anti-white racism has, sadly, become a constant theme in society.
Second, let’s just suppose that it were true that only non-whites know “what racism is.” As an East Indian immigrant of 30-plus years, your humble correspondent would like to make it known that Spicer’s behavior Tuesday did not constitute racism. Not even slightly.
As proof, just consider the laugh Ryan and Spicer shared at Wednesday’s presser:
Now tell me, does Sean Spicer really seem like a racist bigot who hates black people?
I think not.
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H/T PJ Media