After Shooting, CNN Anchor Cues NAACP Smear: DeSantis ‘Waged War on Black America’

News & Politics

In the aftermath of a racially motivated murder spree in Jacksonville, Florida, CNN host Fredricka Whitfield on Sunday afternoon allowed two of her guests to try to push blame onto Governor Ron DeSantis (R-FL) while discussing the killings.

At about 2:20 p.m. Eastern, the CNN host gave no pushback when her guest, Wisdom Cole of the NAACP Youth and College Division, charged that Governor DeSantis has “waged war on black America.”

Whitfield threw a softball, just asking for deep thoughts: “What are your thoughts today, especially after hearing even more details about how the suspect targeted black people, left behind evidence that he hated them, and even with swastikas on his guns?”

Cole quickly got to scapegoating Republicans as he began his response:

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Today brings feelings of deep sorrow and grief, but also brings a lot of questions. To the governor who has waged war on black America, we must ask: How many lives must be lost in the hands of white supremacy before you choose to put people over your political agenda? To the federal lawmakers who refuse to act, how many lives must be claimed at the hands of inaction before you pick up the pen and do your job? What kind of world are we creating for our children?

A couple of hours later, Whitfield had CNN contributor Van Jones on to discuss the story. Jones complained about people who accuse black of complaining too much and the media of discussing race too much:

…but what you can wind up doing is giving aid and comfort to people who say, “Yeah, that’s right,” you know, “we do not have to talk about racial injustices anymore — we don’t have to,” at the very moment when some people are getting worse and not better on the issue.

He then accused Governor DeSantis of being opposed to teaching black history as he added:

And so this is just something I think we just have to be a little bit more careful. We don’t know how these words sound. You have — I saw — at the Republican debate, I was nervous because you had Ron DeSantis up there who has been, I think, very irresponsible as a leader in stoking some of this — I don’t think deliberately — but when you say you don’t want any of this black history being taught, that, you know, it’s going to stir up this stuff and it’s all over — I think that sends the wrong signal.

This smearing of Republicans is sponsored in part by Chase and The Farmer’s Dog. Their contact information is linked.

Transcripts follow:

CNN Newsroom with Fredricka Whitfield

August 27, 2023

2:21 p.m. Eastern

FREDRICKA WHITFIELD: What are your thoughts today, especially after hearing even more details about how the suspect targeted black people, left behind evidence that he hated them, and even with swastikas on his guns?

WISDOM COLE, NAACP YOUTH AND COLLEGE DIVISION: Today brings feelings of deep sorrow and grief, but also brings a lot of questions. To the governor who has waged war on black America, we must ask: How many lives must be lost in the hands of white supremacy before you choose to put people over your political agenda? To the federal lawmakers who refuse to act, how many lives must be claimed at the hands of inaction before you pick up the pen and do your job? What kind of world are we creating for our children?

You know, there is an HBCU nearby where young people are now feeling traumatized and struggling to go back to school because they are in an area where they see themselves being the targets. Young people I serve are tired. They’re tired of living in fear. They’re tired of witnessing violence. But, most of all, they’re tired of their so-called leaders who refuse to protect them.

(…)

CNN Newsroom with Fredricka Whitfield

August 27, 2023

4:08 p.m.

VAN JONES, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR:  My plea to people watching this is that there — it has become a little bit of fatigue, you now, post George Floyd. “All you guys talk about race too much — black people are always complaining about this stuff — you’re overly sensitive — you’re overly woke.” And I understand, you know — we don’t like talking about this stuff all the time either — but what you can wind up doing is giving aid and comfort to people who say, “Yeah, that’s right,” you know, “we do not have to talk about racial injustices anymore — we don’t have to,” at the very moment when some people are getting worse and not better on the issue.

And so this is just something I think we just have to be a little bit more careful. We don’t know how these words sound. You have — I saw — at the Republican debate, I was nervous because you had Ron DeSantis up there who has been, I think, very irresponsible as a leader in stoking some of this — I don’t think deliberately — but when you say you don’t want any of this black history being taught, that, you know, it’s going to stir up this stuff and it’s all over — I think that sends the wrong signal.

I think all leaders need to be very, very concerned that we do have a rising tide of hatred and violence toward certain groups of people. And you’ve got to be able to say it’s black people. You’ve got to be able to say it’s Jewish people. You’ve got to be able to say it’s Latin folks. You’ve got to be able to call the names of the groups that are under the gun — LGBTQ, whatever it is — without being dismissed as woke…

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