CNN contributor Bakari Sellers denounced last week’s violence in Charlottesville on Sunday, calling it a “tragic day for the country.”
However, he told Jake Tapper during a panel discussion on CNN’s “State of the Union,” recent events had only brought an existing issue into sharper focus.
“It didn’t start with Donald Trump. It has been magnified and lifted up and put on another playing field. But I don’t think that anything has necessarily changed,” Sellers argued.
“It won’t change until individuals who don’t look like Nina and I decide that enough is enough,” he added, referencing his fellow panelist and CNN political commentator, Nina Turner, who is also African-American.
Sellers said the events of Saturday’s violent rally in Charlottesville, which led to the killing of counterprotester Heather Heyer, was not “a partisan issue.”
Trump ‘giving … a platform’
“So many people confuse patriotism and prejudice, and what we saw on display was so much prejudice” he said, of the far right protestors.
“I hope that individuals, especially white evangelicals in the United States of America, stand up and say enough is enough,” he added.
As for President Trump’s initial reaction to Charlottesville, in which he said during a press conference on Tuesday that “both sides” could be blamed for the violence, Sellers had stern words.
“Donald Trump is perverting and giving these individuals a platform and he should not. That’s all we’re asking for,” he said.