Race baiting, most popularly manifested by Rev. Al Sharpton and Rev. Jesse Jackson, usually refers to groundless accusations of racism.
Merriam-Webster defines race baiting as “the unfair use of statements about race to try to influence the actions or attitudes of a particular group of people.”
As race baiting is still a prominent part of American media, here are some of the most prominent race-baiters today:
1.) Marc Lamont Hill – political commentator for CNN
Lamont Hill claimed in 2015 that Easter allowed the black community to fight against white supremacy.
“Men and boys rocking pastel colored suits, little girls wearing shiny shoes and white gloves and church mothers with huge, ornate hats proved that White supremacy had not stolen our joy or stripped our style. Easter Sunday was a sartorial testimony to the beauty and power of Black culture,” Lamont wrote.
During a CNN segment discussing former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani’s July comment that the Black Lives Matter movement was “anti-American,” Lamont argued that people only call things “un-American” when black people express dissent. But when conservatives in the 1980s and ’90s lamented over issues in America, Lamont Hill went on, people joined their cause.
2.) Charles M. Blow – New York Times op-ed columnist
Blow wrote in a September piece on Republican nominee Donald Trump’s black outreach that his speech and efforts were just “repackaged Republican claptrap that reinforced negative perceptions about liberalism and blackness.”
According to Blow, when Trump says that he wants higher paying jobs, good education and safety for blacks, what he really means is “I want to flood your neighborhoods with more police because you can’t control yourselves. I want you to stop freeloading, get off welfare, and get a job.”
3.) Shaun King – New York Daily News writer
King alleged Thursday that when black people become frustrated with America, they suffer “serious wrath” from the rest of the country. Meanwhile, when a white person gets upset with the current status in America, like Trump, they are rewarded and praised for it.
“It’s evidence of how this nation is devolving into a black hole of bigotry, racism and white supremacy. It’s evidence that to be black and in pain is, in and of itself, politically incorrect,” King wrote.
After the police shooting of Terence Crutcher, an unarmed black man, King wrote that “it appears that the United States seems fully intent on pushing black people far past our breaking point. Not only that, but they want us to suffer grave injustice and say or do absolutely nothing about it.”
4.) DeRay Mckesson – Black Lives Matter activist
When news broke about a man who shot and killed a reporter and photographer in 2015, Mckesson quickly tweeted “Some say disgruntled employee, others say terrorist. Whiteness will explain away nearly anything.” Initial reports alleged that the suspect was a white man dressed all in black.
Mckesson took the tweet down after reports came out that the shooter was black.
5.) Eugene Robinson – The Washington Post columnist
Robinson claimed in a September op-ed that gun rights are only for white people. If you are black, Robinson contends, then carrying a gun legally can get you killed.
“You might think the National Rifle Association and its amen chorus would be outraged, but apparently they believe Second Amendment rights are for whites only,” Robinson wrote.
In an op-ed on President Barack Obama’s speech after the Dallas shooting, Robinson alleged that America was still in the midst of a racial divide.
He also claimed Trump’s declaration that he will “Make America Great Again” cannot only be interpreted as a desire to return to a better economic age, but: “For the overwhelmingly white crowds who fill his raucous rallies, Trump promises a return to a time when the nation’s leadership and cultural norms reflected what was then a clear ethnic and racial majority.”
6.) Don Lemon – CNN anchor
On CNN’s “Situation Room,” Lemon agreed with Obama’s statement after the Dallas shooting that most people suffer from implicit bias. Sharing one of his own personal experiences, Lemon scolded his audience and told them to stop pretending that racism and implicit bias do not exist.
“We have to stop pretending that these things don’t happen, that people don’t have implicit bias that you don’t hear words and racism and prejudice in your own family, and with people you love and it’s not within you. It’s in all of us. The president said none of us is innocent, no institution is immune. So we should come from that place,” Lemon urged in July.
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