Following President Donald Trump’s appearance at the opening of the Mississippi Civil Rights Museum today, things got a bit heated on CNN between political commentator Paris Dennard — a noted Trump loyalist — and Democratic operative A. Scott Bolden. Why? Because Bolden kept pushing Dennard to essentially defend his blackness.
With the segment already growing tense as the two men kept talking over each other, Bolden pointed out that Trump’s speech today seemed worthless considering that the night before he was out campaigning for embattled Alabama GOP Senate nominee Roy Moore, who was recently quoted as saying America was last great when the country had slavery. This led host Fredricka Whitfield to ask Dennard how he could defend “as a black man” the president supporting a man who “talked about days being great in the days of slavery.”
Before Dennard could respond, Bolden immediately shouted “he can’t” and pressed the CNN contributor to provide an answer. As Dennard tried to say this was inappropriate, Bolden kept at it.
“Let’s listen to him,” Bolden exclaimed. “Let’s listen to you trying to defend yourself as a black man with Donald Trump. Let’s hear it.”
“Scott, I really wish you would hold your tongue because you will not offend my race, my family and my culture and insinuating that my blackness is in question because I support this president,” Dennard shot back.
The CNN commentator then really began to raise his voice, stating that he will not be forced to defend his blackness as Whitfield tried to regain order. She told Dennard she wasn’t trying to get him to defend his race but wanted his response as a black man to Moore’s comments on slavery and Trump’s support of the Senate candidate.
“So if you want to talk about Alabama, let’s talk about the fullness of it,” Dennard stated. “The president endorsed Luther strange. That is who he wanted to be in this position.”
“This is another pivot,” Bolden interjected, leading to another couple minutes of back and forth shouting between the two men while Whitfield gamely tried to rein the discussion back in.
Watch the crazy exchange above, via CNN.
[image via screengrab]
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