An MSNBC guest host sparked fury among Republicans and Conservatives of color on Sunday after labeling the Republican National Convention, which featured an array of featured Black speakers, a “modern-day minstrel show.”
Filling in for “AM Joy” host Joy Reid, Tiffany D. Cross denounced what she believed was an insincere parade of Black speakers at the convention, invoking the antebellum shows in which performers would don “blackface” and mock Black Americans for entertainment.
"I watched the Republican convention, and seeing the slew of black speakers that they had, it really did look like A MODERN-DAY MINSTREL SHOW to me."
— Mark Finkelstein (@markfinkelstein) August 30, 2020
After running clips of Nikki Haley, Herschel Walker, and Tim Scott speaking at the convention, Cross addressed viewers:
That was not a Saturday Night Live sketch. Welcome back to AM Joy, I’m Tiffany Cross. If you watched the Republican national convention last week you would almost think that the Republican Party is the one welcoming people of color, given the big display of diversity. The convention featured more than a dozen African-American speakers alone. But, don’t be fooled that the party of Trump has suddenly warmed to the same people Trump’s policies and sometimes his rhetoric directly harms. As friend of the show Elie Mystal wrote so eloquently in The Nation, the Republicans invited a cadre of professional black friends to validate Donald Trump and make white people feel a little less racist while still very much supporting white supremacy.
I mean, I watched the Republican convention, and seeing the slew of black speakers that they had, it really did look like a modern-day minstrel show to me.
In an op-ed for Newsbusters, Mark Finkelstein argued that Cross’s statements were themselves wildly racist, implying that Walker and Scott are merely minstrels pretending to be African American.
“Clearly, the Democrats and the liberal media are panicked at the prospect that President Trump could improve upon the eight percent of votes by African-Americans he received in the 2016 election,” Finkelstein wrote. “Increasing that percentage by only a few points would doom Joe Biden. And there are indications that while the president remains unpopular with black women, black men are significantly more open to his message.”
“And so, any black Americans who dare to speak in favor of President Trump must be mocked and discredited by all means necessary,” he declared. “And if that includes resorting to the most debased racial stereotypes, so be it — at least in the minds of such as Tiffany Cross.”
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