Professor Michael Eric Dyson has apologized following a lively debate with conservative commentator Candace Owens.
The author went head-to-head with the 29-year-old Trump supporter on MSNBC’s The Beat with Ari Melber Tuesday night, resulting in a shouting match between the two while Melber attempted to gain control and moderate with questionable results.
The MSNBC host asked both Dyson and Owens, “Do you think he (Trump) is embracing a type of racial division that is problematic for us to operate as a civil society?”
Instead of addressing the question asked, Owens shot back saying the network only invites her on to further tear Black people apart.
“Every time I’m invited on to this network I am being asked to dispute another Black person. The Black community is broken up in general and I don’t want to partake in any of that,” said Owens.
She went on to scold Melber for not addressing recent shootings in Chicago.
“We’re just ending a weekend where 71 Black people were shot in Chicago and 13 of them killed and we’re not talking about that.”
While Melber and Dyson agreed the subject should be discussed, they reminded Owens of the reason they were asked on the show: to debate race relations in Trump’s America.
“You knew what you were invited to discuss, and we’re happy you’re here,” said Melber. “It’s very important to me and this show that we have these conversations and invite a lot of people of all perspectives. If there’s a problem with that, I think you knew what the invite was to begin with.”
Dyson then began to weigh in on the subject at hand, saying Trump’s election hasn’t been beneficial to African-Americans in the slightest.
“If we’re going to be honest about Donald Trump, he has not helped black people, he has not enabled African-American people to move forward. He’s riding a crest and a wave of economic prosperity put in place by his predecessor Barack Obama.
“If we’re concerned about Black people, we’ve got to be concerned about poverty, inequality, lack of access to education, plus the… sorts of violence we see directed toward black people in this country.”
Owens then changed the focus to her own recent experience, saying she was discriminated against at a restaurant for being a Trump supporter. She also personally attacked Dyson, as if he had something to do with her individual ordeal.
“I am a Black conservative and I am not hearing anything said about the fact that about 25 white Democrats assembled to kick me out of a restaurant yesterday to throw water and to throw eggs at me because I’m a conservative that supports Donald Trump.”
“How is it plausible, professor, that you allow this to happen to your community because you decided that because we’re ideological conservatives, you are okay with this?”
Dyson responded, “I haven’t said a word… I said nothing about you… You have come on here and, like Donald Trump, reduced everything to narcissistic self-preoccupation.”
“You’re using big words, and saying nothing,” Owens retorted. “I have said nothing narcissistic. I’m talking about Trump. A narcissist looks at themselves and you are obsessed with yourself.”
“We’re out of time,” Melber intervened.
“Bless your heart, little girl,” Dyson concluded.
Watch the footage below and check out the full segment here.
Dyson has since apologized, not for his perspective, but for condescendingly referring to Owens as a “little girl.” Owens accepted, and appeared to offer an olive branch to the professor. See their Twitter exchange below.
This is really classy. I was going to reach out via email. I think the segment started off great and we likely have much more in common than news stations would like us to. Would love to buy you coffee professor, please DM me. X https://t.co/iZHwxUteQr
— Candace Owens (@RealCandaceO) August 8, 2018
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Born and raised in Compton, California, Jessica Bennett began her career as an intern at The Oakland Post, and later, The Source Magazine. She went on to write for respected hip hop publications such as DJ Booth and Hip Hop DX before becoming the Urban Editor of pop culture website, Wetpaint.com. She joined Ebony as the Entertainment Editor August 2017. Bennett has interviewed such names as Vanessa Williams, Spike Lee, Tyra Banks, Forest Whitaker, Magic & Cookie Johnson and several others.