Princeton Prof Tells MSNBC, Americans 'Are Choosing to Be Racist' If They Support Trump on Caravan

By Susan Jones | October 24, 2018 | 8:28 AM EDT

Central Americans head north in a migrant caravan on October 16, 2018 near Esquipulas, Guatemala. (Photo by John Moore/Getty Images)

( - There was much hand-wringing on MSNBC's "Morning Joe," as the liberal hosts and their chorus of liberal experts criticized President Trump for calling himself a "nationalist"at a recent rally. By extension, they also criticized Trump supporters who are falling for Trump's "lies" and "fear-mongering" regarding the thousands of Central Americans now making their way to the U.S. border.

President Trump has called the "caravan" an assault on our country; he has warned that gang members and "unknown Middle Easterners" are in the mix; and he continues to brand Democrats as advocates of open borders and crime at his many campaign rallies.

Just this morning, the president tweeted:

-- "We are a great Sovereign Nation. We have Strong Borders and will never accept people coming into our Country illegally!"

-- "For those who want and advocate for illegal immigration, just take a good look at what has happened to Europe over the last 5 years. A total mess! They only wish they had that decision to make over again."

On Wednesday, Trump's political enemies at MSNBC conceded that the "caravan" may indeed be galvanizing Republican voters, but for the wrong reasons. They denounced the president for using the caravan as a "racist scare tactic" (Mika Brzezinkski); and for his "big lie" and "fear tactics" (Joe Scarborough).

MSNBC contributor Jonathan Meachum explained it this way: "Basically, white folks are looking for someone to blame for the fact that they feel that their opportunities have been limited, and immigration is just the particular manifestation of that."

Guest contributor Eddie Glaude, Jr., the chair of African-American Studies at Princeton University, admitted that the caravan may end up being a winning issue for Trump "because people are choosing to be racist."

"There is an old southern phrase often attributed to Maya Angelou -- when people show you who they are, believe them," Glaude said.

Glaude continued:

And Donald Trump has showed us who he is since the election and over the last two years. Look, when you say I'm a nationalist in front of that crowd, that crowd that's majority -- that's majority white, in the context of your race baiting with regards to immigration, we know that immigration law in this country has always been about race, ever since the first naturalization act in the 1800s. We know that that's the case. Right, and the idea that Jonathan said that the blue wave might be a blue trickle because it's working.

So we're talking about the moral character of Donald Trump, but by extension we're talking about the moral character of the nation. What does it mean that this is working? What does it say about who we are? Right? This is PROFOUNDLY racist, and we have these moments in the history of the country where we can actually change the course of our pattern, the direction. We can actually be otherwise.

But in those moments it seems to me we have always historically chosen to double down on a notion of whiteness. And here Donald Trump is putting it before us again, and it seems that every single time that we do it, democracy takes a body blow.

And so here we are in this moment where what we think is a blue wave, which I think will be determined by those unlikely voters, those nonvoters, may turn into a trickle because people are choosing to be RACIST, Jonathan. They're choosing to act on the basis of their fear and that fear is rooted in the fact that white people think that they can't have the life that they should have as white people.

Host Joe Scarborough lectured viewers:

Well, you know, history will record 13 days from now whether this works or not. For decades to come, for generations to come, history will record whether Donald Trump's appeal to racism and bigotry and hatred will work or not.

Here's the incredible thing, that in 13 days you will have the choice to determine how history is written, more so than any election in our lifetime. This will be either a verification of who we have been or a rejection of who we have been and a determination of where we are going, if we still believe that we're one nation under God and if we still believe that out of many we are one.

And so we can't say whether this is working or not because we won't know whether this is working or not until you get up 13 days from now and take your family and friends to the school nearby you or the post office nearby you or a community center nearby you and vote. Do you realize that? How awesome is that? How awe-inspiring is that, that you, not me, not Mika, not anybody on this panel -- YOU have the power to write history and determine whether what you're seeing on TV every day works or not.

And you've got 13 days to call your friends, your neighbors, your loved ones, whatever party you're in, whatever side you're on, however you want this election to turn out, the history of this country, who we are and who we will be -- will be determined 13 days from now. That's pretty powerful.

Sponsored Links