The verbal showdown kicked off Monday night on “Anderson Cooper 360” after a handful of officials slammed Trump in Martin Luther King Day remarks, including Rep. Hakeem Jeffries (D-N.Y.), who likened the president to the grand wizard of the Ku Klux Klan.
Cortes felt the rebukes were unfair.
“They’re trying to marginalize him and our entire movement,” Cortes said of Trump’s critics, including Blow, who has racked up a portfolio of scathing op-eds on the president. “They’re trying to say, ’You have no standing in polite society ... because you’re disrupting the system that we have built which was built on identity politics which serves the interests, yes, of a lot of politicians who happen to be of color but not communities of color.”
But Blow wasn’t buying Cortes’ defense.
“Never say on television that I tried to slander anybody,” Blow said. “I’m telling you the truth and you’re lying as you normally do.”
The two then began shouting over one another as Blow demanded Cortes pipe down and allow him to speak.
After Cortes backed off, Blow stressed his belief “that people who pretend not to see racism or defend racism as Steve just did are part of that racism.”
After viewing clips of past Trump statements, Cortes asked for elaboration on what he believes to be only alleged racism as if he were unaware of the meaning of the president’s words.
“I’m not knocking you for supporting his racism,” Blow said. “I’m just saying that that’s what you’re doing. I have eyes and I have ears, and I can see you doing it and you can see yourself doing it and you just need to own it.”
Despite Cortes’ implication that Trump doesn’t harbor racist attitudes, his behavior continually indicates the opposite. In May 2016, Trump made an accusation of bias against a judge simply for his Mexican heritage. Then there was Trump’s verbal attack the following July against a Muslim Gold Star family. That’s in addition to his travel ban against Muslim majority countries, his labeling of Haiti and African nations as “shithole countries” and his slowness to disavow white supremacy following violence in Charlottesville.