In a trainwreck of an interview, one of President Trump’s economic advisors was asked to clear up past remarks he’d made about the non-existence of systemic racism in America and only made matters worse for himself.
CNBC’s Closing Bell anchor, Sara Eisen, confronted Trump’s director of the National Economic Council, Larry Kudlow, on Monday about his previous denials of systemic racism.
“You said, ‘I don’t believe there’s systemic racism in the U.S.,’ which I found surprising given the moment that we’re in, Larry, and given the economic data, which has only exacerbated the inequality we’ve seen, post-COVID-19. Can you just clarify what you meant?” Eisen asked.
But Kudlow did not backtrack and instead boasted that the “American system” is about “equality.”
“Well, I don’t believe in systemic racism. I think the American system is the best system ever devised for mankind. For history. We are liberty. We are equality. We are fairness. We have come a long way in this country,” Kudlow said.
Kudlow continued to minimize the problem of racism by citing the “bad apples” cliche. And then went on to authoritatively state as proof of his race relations wisdom the fact that millions of white people voted for Barack Obama not only once, but twice! (Someone needs to show Larry Kudlow Get Out.)
“Here’s a thought. President Obama, the first black president, was elected twice and he got 79 million white votes, 79 million in two elections. Now, therefore I find it hard to understand something called systemic racism,” Kudlow said.
Kudlow tried to build his case by talking about the country’s incremental positive movement over centuries on race issues and struggled to find Thurgood Marshall’s name during his rant.
He then explained that systemic racism would mean that American systems are inherently bad and that is not so because the country learns from mistakes and makes changes.
“So, my point is this. We can learn from our history. We can learn from our mistakes. Our whole history shows that,” Kudlow said. “And right now we will once again, learn from certain mistakes. Is this a systemic problem? No. Systemic means America is bad. America is wrong. I don’t believe that. I never have believed that.”
Eisen then stunned Trump’s economic advisor with economic facts that proved the reality of systematic racism in America.
“I don’t think it means America’s bad. I think you have to look at the explanations for why the net worth of a white family is 10 times more than the net worth for a black family,” Eisen said. “Or a black family led by a household with an advanced degree doesn’t make as much as a white family who is led by a household with a high school degree.”
“I mean, the statistics are endless,” Eisen added.
Kudlow, who had just defiantly spoken about the meaning of systemic racism while denying its existence, astonishingly replied, “I’m not sure what this systemic term really means.”
Kudlow basically whimpered away saying, “This is a complicated matter,” before hitting on some talking points about minority employment gains made before COVID-19. But then he wanted the world to know that even though he doesn’t know what the term means, he doesn’t believe in it.
“And that’s why I do not believe in whatever it may mean. Systemic racism,” Kudlow said.