CNN Panelist Suggests Trump's 'Inflammatory Rhetoric' To Blame For White Man's Beating

Chris Menahan
Jan. 05, 2017

CNN commentator Symone Sanders suggested the four black teens who streamed themselves torturing a mentally disabled white man on Facebook Live did so because of Donald Trump and white nationalist's "inflammatory rhetoric."

"I just want to remind folks that we cannot sit here and ignore that, at least for the last year, on very public display, the worst parts of America have been brought from the fringe into the mainstream," Sanders said on CNN Tonight with Don Lemon Wednesday. "So, that affects people on both sides."

"We've talked about white nationalists and white supremacists and the KKK, but there also, when this inflammatory rhetoric is out there, when someone is repeatedly telling you that your community is the worst of the worst, it brings out the worst of the worst in people," she said.

After Sanders denounces the attacks, she said she believes the perpetrators need "help" in addition to "some" punishment: "I would argue they need some help in addition to some consequences, but this just didn't come out of thin air. Some of the nastiest and worst things have been drug out into the mainstream."

After Don Lemon responded by saying "these people, these young people, probably never watch the news," Sanders objected, saying: "I don't think that's fair."

"Ya'll have to give young people more credit than that [sic] is," she said. "Everybody knows who Donald Trump is."

At the start of the interview, Sanders said she's not sure if the attack amounted to a hate crime.

"I'm gonna say something that's probably not very popular," she said. "We cannot callously go about classifying things as a hate crime, motive here matters."

"Was this for hate of Donald Trump, because of the things that he said? Or, was this for pure hate of white people? Because that matters," Sanders said.

She continued: "Because, if we start going around, and anytime someone says or does something egregious or really bad and sickening in this instance, in connection with the President elect, or Donald Trump, or even President Obama for that matter -- because of their political leanings -- that is slippery territory."

"That is not a hate crime," Sanders said. "Hate crimes are because of a person's racial ethnicity, their religion, their gender, a disability, it isn't your political leanings, because someone doesn't like your political leanings and they do something bad to you, that is not a hate crime."

I'm sure if a group of white Trump supporters live streamed themselves tying up and torturing a mentally challenged black man while demanding he say "Fuck black people" and "Fuck Obama" she'd be just as understanding.

Earlier this year, after another white Trump supporter was beaten by a black mob in the streets of Chicago, Sanders mockingly dismissed the incident on CNN saying "Oh my goodness, poor white people!" Sanders also made headlines for saying "we don't need white people leading the Democratic party."

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