Nina Turner: We Have Racist Institutions in This Country

‘The systems in this country still treat black folks, in particular, African-American folks as second-class citizens’

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TAPPER: Senator?

RICK SANTORUM, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Yes. That kind of talk that really, I think, causes problems for a lot of America that says somehow or another that if you’re white, you’re somehow racist.

And — I mean —

(CROSSTALK)

TURNER: Nobody ever said that.

(CROSSTALK)

SANTORUM: You (ph) talked about — you (ph) talked about systemic racism and as opposed to neo-Nazis.

I agree. I mean, I think everybody has stood up and said, you know, that we’re obviously against white supremacy. I don’t know of anybody who has spoken in favor of —

TAYLOR: Certainly (INAUDIBLE).

SANTORUM: Yes. Certainly nobody that I’m aware of but the idea of then saying, well, this is a, you know, a larger problem that is that — I just would say that, you know, we have problems of racism in this country. But that’s not — tying that to white supremacists, I think, is a — 

(CROSSTALK)

TURNER: Two hundred and fifty years worth of slavery — 250 years worth of slavery. Almost a hundred years worth of Jim Crow in this country, the fact that the systems in this country still treat black folks, in particular, African-American folks as second-class citizens.

And part of what the senator doesn’t want to face is also part of the problem. No one has said — Bakari and I or nobody has said that all white people are racists. But we do, in this country, have racist institutions.

Look there were white folks out there, marching against the neo-Nazis and the KKK. But the fact that we can’t deal with systemic racism in this country, something is wrong with that. 

SELLERS: And I — and I hope that — and I hope that you’re uncomfortable with the conversation because this conversation is uncomfortable. It’s something that we have to deal with.

But the fact is that we can go to East Chicago or we can go to Flint, Michigan. Let me tell you that they have environmental injustices that do not happen in Orange County.

TURNER: Right.

SELLERS: There are places that do not happen in affluent areas of this country, affluent white areas of this country. In South Carolina — 

SANTORUM: How about poor white areas?

SELLERS: We — no doubt about it.

TURNER: No doubt.

SELLERS: They are suffering. But let’s have a conversation about systemic injustices that we have. And there’s a direct — 

SANTORUM: Systemic injustices are not necessarily race injustices.

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