On Friday’s broadcast of “CNN Newsroom,” CNN commentator, author, and Temple University Professor Marc Lamont Hill weighed in on the controversy over ESPN anchor Jemele Hill’s comments about President Trump being a white supremacist by saying that the White House’s call for her to be fired is an abuse of power and arguing Trump is a white supremacist.
Hill said that ESPN is a private company and federal law bars members of employees of Congress or the executive branch from influencing a private citizen’s employment because of their political views.
He continued, “[W]hen I hear a press secretary and/or a president encourage someone to be disciplined or fired for their political views, that, to me, is not only an egregious abuse of power, but it’s also just unseemly.” Hill further stated that it’s “troublesome” that the White House is focusing on one black woman out of all the people who have called the president racist.
Hill further stated that whether or not Trump is actually racist is more important than whether or not Jemele Hill should have said he is. He then added that he agrees with Jemele Hill and there wasn’t anything wrong about what she said.
He concluded the discussion by saying, “Do I think Donald Trump is racist? Absolutely. Do I think Donald Trump is a white supremacist? Absolutely. And I don’t think it’s because of how he looks. I think it’s because of the things that he does and the things that he does not do. That is the critique here. And there has to be space within the private sector and the public sector for people to say it. You say it on your ESPN show, that might be inappropriate because it’s a sports talk show. But if you say it on Twitter and back it up, I say, ‘More power to you.’ We should defend her right to do it, just like I defend your [fellow panelist former Missouri Republican Party Chairman Ed Martin] right to make the claims that you’re making, even though I think they’re baseless.”
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