Soledad O’Brien isn’t here for the media normalizing white supremacist ideas during this election, and she’s speaking out.
O’Brien, best known for her “Black in America” series, was a guest on CNN’s “Reliable Sources” on Sunday. During a discussion about how the media has covered Trump vs. Hillary, she pointed out that one of her biggest issues with coverage of the race is how Trump’s white supremacist supporters have been given air time, which in effect legitamizes and normalizes their presence and opinions in political discourse.
“I’ve seen, on-air, white supremacists being interviewed because they are Trump delegates,” O’Brien told host Brian Stetler. “And they do a five-minute segment, the first minute or so talking about what they believe as white supremacists. So you have normalized that.”
The former CNN anchor also referenced a recent Hillary Clinton speech wherein the presidential candidate spoke about the so-called alt-right, and laid out a “very good argument,” O’Brien said, about the ways in which Donald Trump has fueled the fire of anti-black, anti-Latino, anti-Muslim ideas throughout his campaign.
O’Brien then pointed out how, while Clinton may have factual evidence to back up her charges against Trump, Trump can simply call Clinton a “bigot” without concrete examples of her bigotry, and their comments will be covered as “he-said, she-said.”
“When in actuality... Donald Trump said she’s a bigot without the long laundry list of evidence... If you looked at Hillary Clinton’s speech, she actually did have a lot of really good factual evidence that we would all agree that are things that have happened and do exist. They are treated as if they are equal.”
When asked by Stetler whether or not she believes Donald Trump is racist, O’Brien replied that “in this case that is irrelevant.”
She added: “The thing that we’re talking about is [is he] softening the ground for people who are white supremacists, who are white nationalists, who would self-identify that way, to feel comfortable with their views being brought into the national discourse? To the point where they can do a five-minute segment happily on television? And the answer is yes. Clearly.”
Watch the full segment above.