Wednesday on CNN’s “The Lead,” Georgetown Law professor Michael Eric Dyson said there was “some racist impulse” in the Republican-led Senate blocking President Barack Obama’s pick for the replacement of late Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia.
Partial transcript as follows:
TAPPER: Dr. Dyson, I think a lot of people — I know there are a lot of people who agree with that and a lot of people who disagree, not just obstructionism, Bernie Sanders said, but also racism.
DYSON: Sure. Well, it would be hard to deny the fact that Obama has faced unprecedented levels of obstruction in an American culture that is also skeptical about his birth and also skeptical about his legitimacy as president. Fifty four percent of Republicans now think he is Muslim. If he were Muslim, that would be fine, but he happens to be a Christian. Many don’t believe he is legitimately an American citizen. When you overlay that with the unprecedented amounts of obstruction he’s confronted, a person who was on the White House lawn who refuses to let him —as a reporter —continue his conversation, a white female governor who puts her finger in his face, a white congressman from South Carolina who hollers “You lie.” When you put all this together, the refusal to have an automatic raise in the debt ceiling that was denied to not any other president except Obama, that gives many people who observe the political situation here the feeling that Obama is under extraordinary duress, not only that a normal president embodies and endures, but the overlay of racism has certainly sparred people like Mr. Sanders and others to conclude that there is some racist impulse here as well.