Conservative commentator Candace Owens who recently appeared on MSNBC’s “The Beat,” verbally thrashed liberal radio host and Georgetown University professor Michael Eric Dyson.
Partial transcript as follows:
OWENS: Well, the first thing that I look at is the date of the tapes. It’s remarkable that we are pulling tapes, you’ve gone into the archives, and we are looking at the year 2000. I think people are entitled to evolve their thoughts over 18 years. The second thing that I think is quite remarkable here is that we’re talking about racial division, and what sows racial division. I think the fact that every time I’m brought here, I’m being asked to dispute another black person. The black community is broken up in general. I don’t want to partake in that. This weekend where 71 black people were shot in Chicago, 13 of them killed, and we’re not talking about that. Instead we’re talking about old tapes. I have a problem, we’re doing wall-to-wall coverage on tapes that are from—
MELBER: Candace, you have a problem with who you’re appearing on the segment with?
OWENS: We should both respectfully decline tearing apart the black community for the sake of television, and because MSNBC always invites me on to do that, I am declining to do so when our community is mourning the 71 people that were shot over the weekend. We need to stop this warfare and come together and talk about things that matter. What is going on in Chicago is a bigger topic and should be a bigger topic on this network than what Trump said 18 years ago and whether or not it means that people change over 18 years, which shocker, guys, they do.
MELBER: Well, I’m going to have the professor respond. I have to respond on behalf of myself. You knew what you were invited to discuss, and we’re happy you’re here. It’s very important to me and this show that we have these conversations and invite a lot of people with all perspectives. If there’s a problem with that, I think you knew what the invite was to begin with. Professor Dyson, your thoughts?
DYSON: Look, we’re dealing with a person who has not only radically emboldened the prospects of bigotry in this country—the resurgent hate that he has articulated—if you can’t beat them, join them. He opposes Pat Buchanan on the one hand, and then subsequently when the real beliefs emerge, his vicious—it’s a cornucopia of hate that’s been brashly articulated of a man of manifest lack of serious coherence, chaotic intelligence and the lack of an ability to really express himself by not only pulling upon the strands of history, but refusing to take into consideration what’s going on today. So I think in one sense, if we’re going to talk about—if we’re going to be honest about Donald Trump, he has not helped black people, he has not enabled African-American people to move forward. He is riding a crest and a wave of economic prosperity put in place by his predecessor Barack Obama. He has refused to acknowledge the centrality of police brutality and unarmed black people being assaulted by police in this country. The reality is that Donald Trump, while claiming through rhetoric to be for the blacks, what he has done is undermine the African-American people, to exist in a country where it’s not only about the economic facts and the wherewithal we contend with, it is about the tone, it is about the rhetoric, it is about the atmosphere that has been unleashed here. And Donald Trump has done something very dangerous, and destructive. He can’t see the difference between an anti-fascist and a person who supports it. He can’t see the difference between somebody who’s against black people and who’s for them. He negates the ability to say, look, I believe in rational, civil discourse in America, but I take aside morally and politically—
OWENS: If i may interject for a second—
DYSON: Let me finish.
MELBER: We’ll go to the professor and back to you, Candace.
DYSON: Here we are, 53 years past the Voting Rights Act. We’ve seen the resurgence of an attempt to nullify and destroy that black vote. We’ve seen attempts to somehow circumnavigate around black political citizenry and agency. So all I’m saying is, if we’re concerned about black people, we’ve got to be concerned about poverty, inequality, lack of access to education, plus the kinds of sorts of violence we see directed toward black people in this country.
OWENS: Sorts of violence being directed towards black people. Am I black? I am a black conservative and I am not hearing anything said about the fact that about 25 white Democrats assembled to kick me out of a restaurant yesterday to throw water and to throw eggs at me because I’m a conservative that supports Donald Trump.
DYSON: Bless you
OWENS: The very same Donald Trump that has not — Obama did not do this. President Trump has been slashing regulations, and it has brought this economy to a place that it’s never been at. We have unemployment all-time low for both women, you brought up women, gays, black people, unemployment is at an all time low across the board. You guys refuse to acknowledge the truth we’re doing better. Fascists, Antifa attacked me, and an all-black police force in Philadelphia and they claim to be fighting racism. How is it plausible, professor, that you allowed this to happen to your community because you decided that because we’re ideological conservatives You are ok with this.
DYSON: I haven’t said a word.
OWENS: You just said a lot of words. somebody was counting.
DYSON: I didn’t say nothing about you.
OWENS: Now you’re cutting me off.
DYSON: I said nothing about you. I find what happened to you apprehensible, by the way.
OWENS: I’m attacking your arguments that you are saying — I didn’t get to finish, he went on for five minutes straight.
MELBER: I want to let you finish. but if you’re calling out the professor.
OWENS: Liberals have been attacking conservatives and you guys say nothing about it. Blacks were attacked yesterday because they support Donald Trump. Black support for Trump has doubled since this time last year. You guys try to pretend that he is pushing in a racist era in this country when we know the Democrats are the racists, have always been the racists, the parties never switched, and you should know this as a civil rights person, you know the history. You know the people under the hood of the KKK were Democrats and the party never switched. Shame you should defend what happened to me yesterday and defend our community being attacked because we support Donald Trump, because we understand that we have better economic opportunities under him than we ever had in Obama. And shame on you for crediting Obama for allowing the bloodshed in Chicago under his administration. He allowed the bloodshed, and Trump wanted to send the National Guard and the Democrats Stopped him. I’m done with this racist narrative.
MELBER: We have to go here but a couple things, you’re making a personal attack on the other guest—
OWENS: What did i attack him with?
MELBER; Professor, I’m going to go back to you. –the topic of this discussion we have tried, and perhaps are failing on live television to discuss is trump policy, the incident that you’re referring to yesterday is not necessarily this topic.
OWENS: It’s a Democrat policy, Maxine Waters, when you see them in restaurants, go up to them. It’s a Democrat policy.
DYSON: First of all, I never said anything about Ms. Owens, any particular rhetoric, first of all, when she said you allowed it. I’m not God, I don’t control the universe or weather. I did not point these people toward you. It’s reprehensible that any human being is put out of a particular establishment because of her ideology. I think that’s problematic. I did not suggest that. Number two, yeah, you are black and I am black, but that doesn’t mean we agree on everything.
OWENS: We don’t have to agree, we have to respect one another.
DYSON: When you talk about me as disrespectful, here’s what’s interesting to me. You have come on here and like Donald Trump reduced everything to narcissistic self-preoccupation.
OWENS: You’re using big words, and saying nothing. I have said nothing narcissistic. I’m talking about Trump. A narcissist looks at themselves and you are obsessed with yourself.
MELBER: we’re out of time.