Appearing on CNN on Monday in order to discuss President Trump and the NFL, commentator Keith Boykin had the following exchange with host Kate Bolduan:
BOYKIN: We have a white supremacist as the President of the United States. He's encouraging white supremacy, and the fact is —
BOLDUAN: Are you really gonna?
BOYKIN: Yes, I'm gonna say [that], and we can debate that later, but the fact is —
BOLDUAN: No! But don't also throw the grenade, Keith. If you think he is a white supremacist — you really believe that this president is a white supremacist?
BOYKIN: It almost doesn't matter what I think, or whether he is or not because he's —
BOLDUAN: Words matter. You say this all the time.
BOYKIN: The reason why I say this is because he's encouraging and inciting these people. I mean, if this is really about respect for the flag —
BOLDUAN: Is this different for you post-Charlottesville?
BOYKIN: That's exactly the point I was going to make. If it's really about respect for the flag, why didn't he call for those young white men in Charlottesville who were marching with a Confederate flag to be fired from their jobs?
It's not about respect for the flag, it's about fanning the flames of racial hatred — and this president is a master of that. And that's the reason why he's playing the plantation politics. He thinks apparently that he is a slave master of black people in the NFL, of black people in the country. He's attacking Jemele Hill and Colin Kaepernick, and he's attacking Steph Curry. He’s attacking black athletes and black sports figures, but he doesn't want to attack the white supremacists and the Ku Klux Klan members in Charlottesville.
This goes right back to what I wrote on Saturday about the watering down of powerful language. Boykin calling President Trump a “white supremacist” when there is no evidence to support such a claim is not only detrimental to political discourse, but an insult to those affected by real racism and bigotry.