June 23, 2015

This is one of those CNN moments that makes you wonder whether any of their producers have a brain in their head.

Because a New York Times op-ed writer wrote a thing that was provocative, CNN decided they had to discuss it.

Here's that thing Timothy Egan wrote and then appeared on CNN to defend:

The first black man to live in the White House, long hesitant about doing anything bold on the color divide, could make one of the most simple and dramatic moves of his presidency: apologize for the land of the free being, at one time, the largest slaveholding nation on earth.

Let that sink in. This lily-white dude wants the first African-American President of the United States who is married to a woman whose family descended from slaves to apologize for slavery in the United States.

The reason for Obama to do the honors, says Egan, is because he wouldn't have the same "ancestral baggage," being that he's the son of a Kenyan and a white American woman.

In the words of the only sane person on this panel (Joe Madison), "Hell no."

"There is no way that the first African-American President should be the first President of the United States of America to apologize for an institution that was based on white supremacy," Madison said.

"That should be the next white President of the United States."

Cue Don Lemon. "Why does that matter, Joe?"

Uhhhh. Speaking slowly, Madison once again reiterated that an institution based on white supremacy is not something a black President should be expected to apologize for.

Lemon just thinks it would be SO COOL to have President Obama do this, because no white president would do it and wouldn't it be awesome?

Joe Madison -- bless his heart -- spoke very slowly so he would understand.

"Once again, this is not an institution that was created by an African-American. If you want to talk about being really heartfelt, then it should come from those individuals whose heritage benefitted from this. This is absolutely the most absurd thing that I have ever heard."

This seems like a simple enough idea, doesn't it? No Black President should apologize for white supremacy and the pain that inflicted on black people. Right?

Egan's rebuttal to all of this was that "it doesn't have so much to do with color as it has to do with--[Obama] is the Commander-in-Chief of this nation that has this sin behind it, and great institutions are not afraid of apologizing for their pasts."

I refer Timothy Egan to the Chuck Todd school of tone-deaf explanations.

Color, Mr. Egan, has everything to do with it. Everything.

Why should any African-American cover the sins of white men? It's really that simple.

Can you help us out?

For 18 years we have been exposing Washington lies and untangling media deceit, but now Facebook is drowning us in an ocean of right wing lies. Please give a one-time or recurring donation, or buy a year's subscription for an ad-free experience. Thank you.


We welcome relevant, respectful comments. Any comments that are sexist or in any other way deemed hateful by our staff will be deleted and constitute grounds for a ban from posting on the site. Please refer to our Terms of Service for information on our posting policy.