Published On: Thu, Aug 27th, 2015

Ken Burns says America is still racist, blames Donald Trump and birther movement

During an interview on CBS’s Face the Nation on Sunday, host John Dickerson introduces PBS star Ken Burns as “the most renowned documentary film maker of his time.” Burns then turns aim at GOP candidates and the “racist” America.

Honoring the 25th anniversary of the Burns documentary The Civil War, PBS is reairing the film, but then announces during the show that CBS that America is still quite racist under Obama, and birtherism was a thinly disguised use of the N-word.

“We pretend with the election of Barack Obama, that we’re in some kind of post-racial society, and of course, you know, we’re not! The Onion magazine got it right when he was inaugurated. It said ‘Black man given worst job in world.’ And what we’ve seen is a kind of reaction to this – the birther movement, to which Donald Trump is one of the authors of, is another politer way of saying the N-word. It’s just more sophisticated, and a little bit more clever. He’s other. He’s different. What’s actually other and different about him? It turns out it’s same old thing, it’s the color of his skin.”

Burns is no stranger to claims that critics of President Obama are racists and prejudice. He said in a 2012 interview with Ed Rampell for  The Progressive:

photo/ George Zimmerman protester planted by a leftist group

photo/ George Zimmerman protester planted by a leftist group

“People have glossed it over, and said things like “birther” or “he’s a Muslim.” They would have used the “N” word a couple of generations ago. It’s still complicated, but we’ve also made progress. The person that they’re referring to happens to be the president of the United States, which a lot of people swore that they would, you know, die, rather than let that happen. And nothing’s happened; he’s proved to be an effective leader…

RAMPELL: Some of those people are “the birthers of a nation.”

BURNS:  Well, it’s not of a nation. What they reflect are the oldest thing: If you can’t be honest with your racism, then you disguise it, you call it something else. You say, “Oh, he’s not really an American.” You start a “birther” movement. Because you’re delegitimizing — this is what Jim Crow did, this is what slavery did. It’s the same thing… In France, when we were at the Cannes Film Festival, they asked: “Could this happen today?” And we said: “Well, there’s a Black kid named Treyvon [sic] Martin who’s just died — and yeah, he’d be alive if he wasn’t Black.”

H/T Newsbusters

Racist poster from 1866  - Library of Congress

Racist poster from 1866 – Library of Congress


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