CNN panelist claims Gillum and Abrams losses show country is still racist; what is she missing?

CNN panelist claims Gillum and Abrams losses show country is still racist; what is she missing?
CNN panel (Image: CNN video screen grab)

[Author’s note: The original version of this post incorrectly referred to John James as a gubernatorial candidate. As a alert reader Robert Jacoby pointed out below, James was running for the Senate seat in Michigan held by Debbie Stabenow, who was re-elected.]

As part of CNN’s post-mortem of last night’s midterm, Ohio State Senator Nina Turner lamented the defeat of black gubernatorial candidates Stacey Abrams and Andrew Gillum. Considering the purely racial angle of her comments, it is surprising that she neglected to mention another black candidate who lost his race — John James — but that is obviously because he is a Republican and, therefore, only nominally black.

In her remarks, which begin at 0:20 in the video that follows, Turner submits that one obstacle to victory was the “racialized nature of the election brought on by the president,” which other members of the panel accepted as fact. It would be interesting to know exactly what Turner was referring to since the only mention of racism that surfaced in the election was the fatuous accusation leveled by Gillum after his opponent, Ron DeSantis urged Florida voters not to “monkey this up” by voting for an extreme progressive.

But the most noteworthy portion of Turner’s indictment of the midterms came when she explained, “This is about the future of America … whether or not we are as a country fully ready to be represented in executive office by people who are black and brown.”

By Turner’s own lights, the country has had five black governors, not to mention countless black mayors. But the 800-pound gorilla in the room (er — make that “800-pound canary”) is that for the eight years prior to the election of Donald Trump, the highest executive office in the land was occupied by a black man. Has Turner forgotten so soon?

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Howard Portnoy

Howard Portnoy

Howard Portnoy has written for The Blaze, HotAir, NewsBusters, Weasel Zippers, Conservative Firing Line, RedCounty, and New York’s Daily News. He has one published novel, Hot Rain, (G. P. Putnam’s Sons), and has been a guest on Radio Vice Online with Jim Vicevich, The Alana Burke Show, Smart Life with Dr. Gina, and The George Espenlaub Show.


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