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NBC’s Beschloss Smears Youngkin, GOP as ‘Playing the Race Card’

nbc’s-beschloss-smears-youngkin,-gop-as-‘playing-the-race-card’

November 7th, 2021 5:01 PM

Appearing as a guest onMSNBC’s The Sunday Show, NBC News presidential historian Michael Beschloss charged that Virginia Republican governor-elect Glenn Youngkin “played the race card” to get elected, and was “perfectly happy to connect with Virginia’s horrible, violent, ugly history, which is centuries of slavery, white supremacy politics.”

Left-wing host Jonathan Capehart — who had previously heard the liberal, race-baiting analysis at a symposium — cued up Beschloss to repeat the charge: “And you had a very bracing assessment of the role of whiteness — of white — and white grievance in the Virginia election. I would love for you to reprise that.”

The liberal historian then gladly complied:

Well, I could even go further, Jonathan. As it was said decades ago at another historical moment, Glenn Youngkin in Virginia played the race card, and he played it from the bottom of the deck. And, you know, that would make a statement in any state of the Union. It particularly makes a statement in the Commonwealth of Virginia. Virginia — as you both know — has a glorious history. — George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, James Madison, flawed leaders but did have a great commitment to democratic principles and the Bill of Rights in all three cases.

Further tearing into Youngkin, Beschloss added:

But here we are now, also Glenn Youngkin was perfectly happy to connect with Virginia’s horrible, violent, ugly history, which is centuries of slavery, white supremacy politics. The eve of the Civil War, which state of the Union had the largest number of enslaved people in this country? It was Virginia — half a million people in 1860.

He then tied in former Presidents Ronald Reagan and Richard Nixon:

So all I’m saying is that anyone who operates politically or runs for office in the Commonwealth of Virginia owes it as a duty to be respectful of that tradition and not try to revive it. This connects to Republican politics back to Ronald Reagan talking about welfare queens and Richard Nixon talking about law and order just as infamous as Glenn Youngkin talking about Tony Morrison, a world-renowned, justifiably black woman who got the Nobel Prize announcing Beloved which I’m not sure he’s ever read and using that to send not a dog whistle, but an air horn to people who believe in white supremacy.

The NBC News historian did not mention that Nixon’s 1968 Democratic opponent — Hubert Humphrey — also called for “law and order.”

Capehart then shifted to playing the now-famous clip of veteran Democratic strategist James Carville complaining about the “woke” left. After liberal MSNBC contributor Zerlina Maxwell defended wokeness, arguing that it just means being opposed to being a “jerk,” Beschloss fretted that Democrats are allowing conservatives to stigmatize the word “woke.” Here’s Beschloss:

But for Democrats and progressives to allow conservatives to turn the word “woke” into an epithet and weaponize it against them is a terrible mistake. We’re talking about Virginia as an example of this. If “woke” means having a proper respect for America’s ugly racial history and trying to make sure that that never happens again anything like it. “Woke” should not be used as an epithet to prevent that happening.

This episode of The Sunday Show was funded in part by Fidelity. Their contact information is linked.

Transcript follows:

The Sunday Show

November 7, 2021

11:03 a.m.

JONATHAN CAPEHART: And you had a very bracing assessment of the role of whiteness — of white — and white grievance in the Virginia election. I would love for you to reprise that.

MICHAEL BESCHLOSS, MSNBC PRESIDENTIAL HISTORIAN: Well, I could even go further, Jonathan. As it was said decades ago at another historical moment, Glenn Youngkin in Virginia played the race card, and he played it from the bottom of the deck. And, you know, that would make a statement in any state of the Union. It particularly makes a statement in the Commonwealth of Virginia. Virginia — as you both know — has a glorious history. — George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, James Madison, flawed leaders but did have a great commitment to democratic principles and the Bill of Rights in all three cases,

But here we are now, also Glenn Youngkin was perfectly happy to connect with Virginia’s horrible, violent, ugly history, which is centuries of slavery, white supremacy politics. The eve of the Civil War, which state of the Union had the largest number of enslaved people in this country? It was Virginia — half a million people in 1860.

So all I’m saying is that anyone who operates politically or runs for office in the Commonwealth of Virginia owes it as a duty to be respectful of that tradition and not try to revive it. This connects to Republican politics back to Ronald Reagan talking about welfare queens and Richard Nixon talking about law and order just as infamous as Glenn Youngkin talking about Tony Morrison, a world-renowned, justifiably black woman who got the Nobel Prize announcing Beloved which I’m not sure he’s ever read and using that to send not a dog whistle, but an air horn to people who believe in white supremacy.

CAPEHART: And, in fact, you said in that symposium that Virginia is the capital of white supremacy

(…)

ZERLINA MAXWELL, MSNBC CONTRIBUTOR: Well, I think the use of the word “woke” as a pejorative is actually — it says more about the person saying that than it does about the people who are so-called woke. I mean, all it — woke means that, I mean, if you reduce it down, just not being a jerk.

(…)

BESCHLOSS: But for Democrats and progressives to allow conservatives to turn the word “woke” into an epithet and weaponize it against them is a terrible mistake. We’re talking about Virginia as an example of this. If “woke” means having a proper respect for America’s ugly racial history and trying to make sure that that never happens again anything like it. “Woke” should not be used as an epithet to prevent that happening.

CAPEHART: Mm-hmm. And, in fact, Zerlina put her finger on it. It used to be “woke” means “aware.” It means “aware.”

BESCHLOSS: That’s exactly right.

What do you think?

Written by Newsman

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