During Wednesday’s “First Take” on ESPN, co-hosts Stephen A. Smith and Skip Bayless continued the ESPN race discussion about Carolina Panthers quarterback Cam Newton leading up to the Super Bowl although the quarterback said he never intended the discussion to be about race.
Bayless first said if he deals with what Newton feels as opposed to how he interprets how he feels, then it makes him “feel guilt and shame on what went on before” him, which Smith responded by saying the “generation of folks who obviously felt a level of guilt” elected President Barack Obama.
Partial transcript as follows:
SMITH: What you cannot deny is the fact that this man feels the way that he feels. You have to deal with that. The more you ask him and implore him to be specific, then you’re asking him to engage in a level of history that he may not want to go down that road, and more importantly, the more specifics you ask for, the more you’re trying to knock down his perspective. You’re not going to knock down his perspective because what he feels is what he feels. You have to deal with what he feels as opposed to what you interpret his facts to be.
BAYLESS: OK, if I deal with it, then it makes me feel guilt and shame on what went on before me. I can’t fix it. I try to be the best i can be right here, right now and in the present. And I don’t want to feel guilt and shame because I’m trying to do it the right way.
SMITH: Well, let me tell you this. I would make the argument that’s how Barack Obama became the president of the United States. Sixty-nine million people voted for this man. There’s only 30-plus million blacks in America so where the other 30-plus million come from? It came from a generation of folks who obviously felt a level of guilt because of what has happened in this country historically.
What I’m trying to say to you, of course there are many millions who obviously felt he was the better candidate. But there is no question that there was guilt on the part of at least a small segment of this nation, which includes millions, who obviously felt that way. What I’m trying to say to you is when something like that is a fact, then obviously it speaks to what has happened historically.
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