Tavis Smiley, host of PBS’s Tavis Talks, fired back at Donald Trump after the GOP front-runner called the author and television host a “hater” and a “racist.” Smiley appeared on CNN to respond and blasted Trump for his failure to condemn the “dark side” of America that supports Trump.
Earlier this week, Smiley appeared on ABC’s This Week to discuss the Donald Trump campaign. Smiley called Trump an “unrepentant, irascible religious and racial arsonist” for his repeated inflammatory comments about Muslims and immigrants.
Donald, not one to let any sort of insult fly under the radar, went to Twitter and slammed Smiley as “a racist and a hater.”
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 11, 2016
“First of all, for a guy with a Wharton degree, he’s got to do better than ‘hater and racist,’” Smiley responded on CNN. “Can we just remove the word ‘hater’ from our lexicon?”
Smiley went on to point out the irony in Trump calling him a racist, while Trump has refused to condemn his racist supporters, like the white supremacist groups who made robo-calls in support of Trump. Smiley said that Trump’s priorities were out of order if he could start Twitter feuds and call others racist while not taking accountability for his supporters.
“How can he get around to calling me a racist and a hater in less than 24 hours, but since the weekend he hasn’t gotten around to condemning a white supremacist for supporting his campaign?” Smiley asked.
“What troubles me quite frankly is that we keep talking about… Trump rising in the polls as if somehow this is happening miraculously. It’s happening in part because, as your lead-in shows with these now white supremacists supporting him — it’s happening because he’s appealing to a certain base voter in this country.
He’s appealing to the dark side, the night side of America and that’s why he’s rising in the polls. And we ought not cover him without condemning him for doing that.”
Featured image via screen grab