August 20, 2017

A discussion about systemic racism became heated on CNN Sunday when two conservative white guests argued that talking about race should be avoided because it makes white people uncomfortable.

"It won't change until individuals who look like [Nina Turner] and I decide that enough is enough," CNN contributor Bakari Selleres pointed out. "And so many people confuse patriotism and prejudice. And what we saw on display [in Charlottesville] was so much prejudice. And I hope that individuals, especially white evangelicals in American decide to stand up and say enough is enough."

Conservative CNN contributor Rick Santorum (R-PA) recoiled at the idea of talking about racism.

"You see, that's the kind of talk that really, I think, causes problems," he opined. "That says somehow or another, if you're white, you're somehow racist... I don't know anybody who has spoken [in favor of white supremacy] but then to say this is larger problem is just -- I would just say we have problems of racism in this country. But tying that to white supremacists, I think is a whole different thing."

Turner disagreed: "Two hundred and fifty years worth of slave, almost 100 years worth of Jim Crow in this country. The fact that the systems in this country still treat black folks... as second class citizens. And part of what the [Sen. Rick Santorum] doesn't want to face is also part of the problem... nobody has said that all white people are racist."

"I hope that you're uncomfortable with the conversation," Sellers told Santorum. "Because this conversation is uncomfortable. But it's something that we have to deal with."

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