Looks like we may have another star in the making coming out of Florida.
Rep. Byron Donalds (R-FL) went on CNN to talk about being denied access to being in the Congressional Black Caucus because he’s a Republican. Apparently, the CBC is saying that you don’t qualify to join the CBC if you’re a Republican, a very bad position to take and an effort to control what members are thinking.
Donalds made it clear in a CNN interview with Brianna Keilar that he thought it was a bad decision, that he had a lot to offer the caucus and they could benefit from hearing his perspective (and half the country he represents).
But Keilar clearly set out on a mission in the interview to rake him over the coals for being a Republican and to demonize Republicans including President Donald Trump. She doesn’t make any pretense of being objective, she just sets out to tell a black man that his thoughts/positions are “incongruous” with being in the Black Caucus. How is he inconsistent with their mission when their mission is supposed to be representing black thought in the Congress? Or doesn’t black conservative thought count?
ICYMI: This morning, I joined @CNN to discuss the importance of diverse thought and political ideology in the Congressional Black Caucus. As a young Black man born into the inner city, my perspective and conservative ideals should be welcomed to the CBC, not ignored. Watch below. https://t.co/dlc9xSXBWT
— Byron Donalds (@ByronDonalds) June 10, 2021
Keilar first falsely claimed that the voting bills being introduced in places like Florida and Texas would restrict access to black Americans. Donalds cut that down quickly, saying the bills in fact increase access.
Keilar then moved onto Donalds’ support for President Donald Trump, suggested he was a white supremacist and then showed edited clips that apparently she thought proved her point, asking Donalds isn’t support of Trump “incongruent” with the mission of the CBC? Trump of course condemned white supremacists umpteen times but folks at CNN still promote the lie. Notice the edited nature of the Charlottesville clip in there too, leaving out once again another condemnation.
But Donalds just took apart her attempt. He pointed out that was a deflection from the point of why he was there and an “First of all, whatever the president said in the past has nothing to do with this discussion at all.” Then Keilar tried to cut him off and he stopped her, saying he had not interrupted her rant.
“As a black man in America, I’m allowed to have my own thoughts on who I choose to support and who I choose not to support,” Donalds declared. “I think that it’s important, whether you’re talking about the Congressional Black Caucus or the Florida State Legislative Black Caucus or The National Caucus of State Black Legislators, organizations I have been a part of in the past, my support of President Trump has been consistent, but at the same time, I’ve had the ability to advocate for issues, ideas, proposals and funding that have helped the black community in my state. You are talking to somebody, who my first three years in college was at Florida A&M, an HBCU. My support for President Trump, whether it’s for or against, is irrelevant. That has nothing to do with this discussion. This is whether the ideology of somebody who is conservative is welcome in the Congressional Black Caucus. It’s really that simple. So to bring up President Trump to make this about him does not matter. It’s irrelevant. It has nothing to do with the situation at hand.”
Nicely done! What a disgusting attempt from Keilar. But Donalds showed his mettle against such an attack and proved he’s one to watch for the future.
WOW — this pushback from @ByronDonalds is must-watch stuff.
The optics here are incredible — Keilar lecturing Donalds on his views on race, with ad hominem "what about your Trump support" and misinformation about state voting laws to argue he isn't black enough for the CBC. https://t.co/bubzWBIVCR
— Matt Whitlock (@mattdizwhitlock) June 10, 2021
Crazy how black men don’t get the grace to think for themselves in this society. https://t.co/wacEJ1ewnf
— Barrington Martin II (@_BarringtonII) June 10, 2021