March 22, 2022 One MSNBC commentator was so appalled by Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, questioning Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson about her support for critical race theory, he claimed it was like watching the senator commit a "hate crime" against the Supreme Court nominee.
Jackson faced several questions Tuesday from Cruz about her knowledge and support of critical race theory. Jackson has previously praised New York Times' reporter Nikole Hannah-Jones’ "1619 Project" and serves on the board of trustees of an elite, private school in Washington D.C., which promotes CRT books such as Ibram X. Kendi’s "How to be an Anti-Racist."
During a break in the hearing Tuesday evening on "The Beat," political strategist and MSNBC commentator Chai Komanduri asserted that Judge Jackson was only being asked about CRT because she is a Black woman. He told MSNBC host Ari Melber, the CRT questions were about "casting her as a radical. As a Black radical who is out to get White people."
Komanduri went on to say watching Cruz question Jackson felt like witnessing a "hate crime." "'[I]t's really ugly. Quite frankly, it looked like I saw Ted Cruz commit a hate crime, in that hearing room. It was McCarthyism at its worst," he said. He also accused the GOP of stirring up racial grievances against the Black nominee. "He wants to gin up White grievance, him and Marsha Blackburn, the GOP want to gin up White grievance, ahead of the midterm and link Judge Jackson to that cause. It's really frankly was disgusting and ugly to watch," Komanduri added.
Tim Hains, March 3, 2022
CHAI KOMANDURI: "I think it's very important to note the GOP admiration for Putin actually predates Donald Trump. He did not necessarily initiate it or lead it when it really began.
And the reason it began is because, in many ways, Vladimir Putin's Russia really exemplifies a lot of the ideas that Republicans talk about. Russia is the ideal red state. I mean red as in republican. Not red as in communist.
Russia is a fossil fuel economy. It is a country where the religious right has tremendous power in making social policy, which you see when it comes to LGBTQ issues. It's a country that's a militaristic powerhouse. Perhaps maybe not as much as we thought so before this invasion, but they are a country that spends more of their GDP on the military than the United States does. It is an ethnostate that prioritizes the identity of white Russians. It is a country where democracy has been successfully rolled back and an alpha male leader is now in place.
In all of these areas, we are seeing Republicans articulate a lot of these ideas. Vladimir Putin has put them in practice and that's why so many Republicans have admired him all these years."
ARI MELBER (HOST): Why a president you once worked for, Obama, and the current president Biden, draw this equivalence and whether you think they’re correct? …
CHAI KOMANDURI (GUEST): The theory there is, "Oh, can't these folks get along? Can't they get together? Can't they work things out?" That's very much the media narrative. It's also the media narrative that tends to root for bipartisanship, regardless of the policy consequences for the American people. So, I do think that is a major problem. The reality is, when you talk about Fox, you're not really talking about a romantic comedy. You're talking much more about a slasher film. You know, Fox's information is out to kill democracy and it does, and it has, killed Americans. You know, Fox News in my opinion is much more Freddy Krueger than it is Tom Hanks. ...
ARI MELBER (HOST): What do you think at the political level, which is the other part of this, the Democratic party needs to do?
KOMANDURI: I think we need to really push back on the idea that conspiracy theories are somehow equivalent to conservative opinion. They're not the same the same thing. You know, I think a lot of people, for example, will listen to me and say, "Hey, you're a Democrat. Of course you feel this way about Fox News." Well, think about this as a thought experiment. Imagine if we had Bill Kristol or George Will running Fox News. They would not run a single segment that I as a Democrat would agree with. However, it would be nothing like the Fox News that exists today, the Fox News of Marjorie Taylor Greene, the Fox News of ivermectin enthusiasts, the Fox News as the favorite news channel of Vladimir Putin and Viktor Orbán. That is what Fox News has become. And I think that that disinformation is extremely dangerous and I think it's very necessary that Democrats really push back on the idea that this Fox is peddling conspiracy theories, not conservative opinions.