On Thursday, CNN political analyst and USA Today columnist Kirsten Powers attacked one of the American heroes of the Benghazi massacre, describing him as a racist.
Powers called Kris Paronto, who was part of the CIA annex security team guarding the Benghazi CIA annex during the 2012 terrorist attack, a racist after Paronto criticized her for tweeting that white people’s feelings didn’t matter when it came to dressing up for Halloween.
Powers had tweeted, “Dear white people who are upset that you can’t dress up as another race or culture for Halloween: your feelings don’t matter. The only feelings that matter are of those who feel disrespected/mocked by you appropriating their culture for entertainment. Show some common decency.”
Paronto replied on Twitter with a picture of “Game of Thrones” character Daenerys Targaryen surrounded by her acolytes, captioning it, “How Kirsten Powers sees herself after complaining about white people dressing up as other ethnicities for Halloween.”
Powers responded by tweeting that Paronto was a racist, writing, "Sorry racists, but people of color don't need a white savior. But they need white people speaking up about racial discrimination and no amount of harassment by crazy racists online is going to stop me from doing that."
Powers has gotten quite comfortable labeling others as racists; on Thursday afternoon, Powers penned a scathing attack on NBC’s Megyn Kelly in USA Today, limning Kelly as a long-time racist who got what she deserved when she was fired by NBC News for her remarks regarding Real Housewives of New York star Luann de Lesseps, who was called racist for darkening her skin to dress as Diana Ross. Kelly said, “And people said that that was racist. And I don’t know! I thought like, who doesn’t love Diana Ross? She wants to look like Diana Ross for one day, and I don’t know how that got racist on Halloween.”
In her op-ed attacking Kelly, Powers claimed, “After defending blackface, she is reportedly on her way out of the Today show, where she anchors the third hour, and perhaps of NBC altogether. But the original sin was that Kelly was hired by NBC at all.”
Kelly did not defend blackface, as Daily Wire Editor-in-Chief Ben Shapiro pointed out, but that point eluded Powers. Shapiro wrote, "The media ran with the headline that Kelly had defended blackface. She didn’t. Blackface is the heinous practice of dressing up in stereotypical makeup in order to mock black people; that’s obviously not what Kelly was talking about. You’d have to be either an idiot or intellectually dishonest to believe she was.”
Powers continued in her attack, “Kelly had a long track record of racial demagoguery at Fox News before she ever set foot in the NBC studios. It would be different if she had come to terms with her own racial animus and worked to overcome it and make amends with the communities she had harmed. But NBC hired an unrepentant Kelly, who spoke with pride of all her work at Fox News.”
Powers proceeded to claim Kelly yelled at her on Kelly's Fox show when they contended over the New Black Panthers. She then segued to erupting in a laundry list of “racist” comments by Kelly:
Kelly has made one racist claim after another: Jesus was white, Santa is white, a black teenager in a bathing suit pinned to the ground by a police officer was “no saint,” Sandra Bland would be alive if she had just complied with police orders. Kelly dismissed a Department of Justice report finding racial bias in the police department at Ferguson, Missouri, arguing that "there are very few companies in America (where) you won't find racist emails."
Powers ripped Kelly for various other issues before concluding, "Fast forward to this week, when Kelly said blackface was fine on Halloween. This time she apologized for her racist comments. But what about all the times people of color were crying out for apologies and accountability from Kelly and were ignored?”
Powers' desire to attack others as racists long-preceded her attacks on Kelly and Paronto; in 2015, appearing on Fox News with Bill O’Reilly, Powers accused O’Reilly of being a racist. Near the beginning of their exchange, she stated, “I do think racism is an issue in this country, and I don’t know why you are so unable to see that.”
O’Reilly responded, “Because I don’t think it’s an epidemic of racism; I don’t think it’s ingrained in this society, and every country on earth has racist elements on earth. Will you concede that?”
Powers stammered, “But what does that have to do with anything?”
Later, as Powers harped that America had a legacy from the era of slavery, O’Reilly responded, “We’re trying to overcome the legacy.”
Powers, disbelieving, “How?”
O’Reilly responded patiently, “Laws. Civil rights legislation —“
Powers, snidely, “Really?”
O’Reilly, still patient, “—entitlements, fast-track, affirmative action, I mean, how many more programs can we have?”
Powers, befuddled, stammered before giving a confused, non-sequitur answer: “I don’t understand how that would account for slavery.”
Moments later, she insisted, “There are a lot of people in this country who are racists.” After she bloviated some more, O’Reilly, fed up, snapped, “Most Americans are not racist. They are not.”
Powers, losing it, implied O’Reilly was a racist by accusing, “So how many black friends do you have?”
Video of Powers and O’Reilly below: