MSNBC's Maxwell: Whites Pushing to Reopen Economy Are Racist

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Cross posted to the MRC's NewsBusters blog

On Sunday's PoliticsNation, as MSNBC's Al Sharpton hosted a discussion of the push to reopen the economy and how doing so might effect minorities, MSNBC contributor Zerlina Maxwell theorized that those pushing to reopen want to do so because they learned that minorities are disproportionately impacted by the coronavirus.

Sharpton observed that most protesters have been white, with few minorities participating, as he cued up her commentary:

AL SHARPTON: The impact on blacks disproportionately -- the impact on the virus in terms of those that have been found positive -- those that have died have been disproportionately on blacks and people of color -- and you contrast that with what Errin (Haynes) is saying was going on in Georgia and other places with armed people marching on state houses like in Lansing, Michigan. All white -- I didn't see any blacks. If there were, there were only one or two in the crowd. What are we looking at here, Zerlina? In the middle of a pandemic -- in the middle of a national emergency, why all of this racial contrast?

Maxwell suggested that protesters became motivated to reopen the economy after discovering the virus hits minorities disproportionately:

ZERLINA MAXWELL, MSNBC CONTRIBUTOR: One of the things I think is so, so interesting is as soon as the news media hit upon what Erin was talking about -- the disproportionate impact on black and brown communities -- you saw some white Americans say, "Well, now it's time to open the economy" as if the deaths of black and brown people wasn't enough to stay at home. It wasn't enough of a reason to stay at home and keep everyone safe as if we are not as valued...

She also tried to downplay the tens of millions of job losses by suggesting there are plenty of openings in places like grocery stores:

MAXWELL: If you lost your job -- let's be clear -- you can go and get a job. There are jobs in grocery stores and jobs in these essential professions where people are going out and risking their lives to ensure that people can put food on the table -- people can go to the hospital and get all of their needs met. If you need a job, you can go get one. I think part of the problem is that those people want to reopen the economy without even giving one ounce of consideration to the workers which allow this economy to run, and that is a really big disconnect between what the protesters are talking about and what's actually happening. When America gets COVID, black America is dying, Rev.

Below is a transcript of the relevant portion of the Sunday, May 3, PoliticsNation on MSNBC:

5:26 p.m.

AL SHARPTON: The impact on blacks disproportionately -- the impact on the virus in terms of those that have been found positive -- those that have died have been disproportionately on blacks and people of color -- and you contrast that with what Errin (Haynes) is saying was going on in Georgia and other places with armed people marching on state houses like in Lansing, Michigan. All white -- I didn't see any blacks. If there were, there were only one or two in the crowd. What are we looking at here, Zerlina? In the middle of a pandemic -- in the middle of a national emergency, why all of this racial contrast?

ZERLINA MAXWELL, MSNBC CONTRIBUTOR: One of the things I think is so, so interesting is as soon as the news media hit upon what Erin was talking about -- the disproportionate impact on black and brown communities -- you saw some white Americans say, "Well, now it's time to open the economy" as if the deaths of black and brown people wasn't enough to stay at home. It wasn't enough of a reason to stay at home and keep everyone safe as if we are not as valued, which is the core of the Black Lives MatterĀ  movement ultimately, right. It's treating every single life as valuable and equally valuable, and I think it is so interesting for folks to go protest the economy.

If you lost your job -- let's be clear -- you can go and get a job. There are jobs in grocery stores and jobs in these essential professions where people are going out and risking their lives to ensure that people can put food on the table -- people can go to the hospital and get all of their needs met. If you need a job, you can go get one. I think part of the problem is that those people want to reopen the economy without even giving one ounce of consideration to the workers which allow this economy to run, and that is a really big disconnect between what the protesters are talking about and what's actually happening. When America gets COVID, black America is dying, Rev.

MRC Merch

MRC Merch