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Stephen A. Smith defends Megyn Kelly against claims of racism

via Stephen A. Smith
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Stephen A. Smith defended Megyn Kelly against accusations of racism over her criticism of playing the Black national anthem at the Super Bowl, but said Kelly should educate herself more on Black history.

Kelly posted, “The so-called Black National Anthem does not belong at the Super Bowl. We already have a National Anthem and it includes EVERYONE.”

While Smith said calling Kelly racist went too far without evidence, he felt her statement was insensitive and detached from the Black American experience.

“I’m sick and tired of folks out there — particularly in the Black community — being so quick to throw out the word ‘racism.’ When you throw out the word ‘racism,’ do me a favor,” began the sports analyst.

“Have more evidence before you do it, so it can’t be dismissed via plausible deniability or something else,” insisted Smith.

“I don’t find her statement to be racist. I find it to be, in her eyes, patriotic. I find it to be, in her eyes, self-righteous. I find her to be a bit detached from reality being faced by Black Americans everywhere. I got that part, but I can’t go in the way that I wanted to go in about her when people are out there, from my community, just throwing out the word ‘racist.’ You don’t know that about her,” he explained.

Smith acknowledged white people may not understand the Black experience, but urged Kelly and other critics to remain open-minded and listen to understand the significance of the Black anthem given the racist history of the traditional anthem.

He respectfully asked Kelly to better understand Black history on this issue or simply accept the playing of both anthems without objection given her lack of experience with Black marginalization.

Smith said, “I don’t expect white people to have the sensibilities of Black people. I don’t expect somebody white to get it, about Black people the way I expect Black people to get it about Black people.”

He said into the camera, “Megyn Kelly, if you’re watching, you’re listening: I don’t like what you said at all. I think it comes across as highly insensitive. You cannot take into account history. You cannot acknowledge because you are historian. I’ve heard you, I’ve watched you, I’ve listened to you – profound respect for you.”

Smith added, “But you ain’t Black.”

“You haven’t been marginalized and ostracized and treated in the manner that Black people have been treated,” he explained.

“All I’m saying is if you ain’t Black, you may not understand, and if you don’t understand, why not be neutral? If you don’t understand, why not listen to the Black national anthem, and then listen to the national anthem? Why not just do that and call it a day? Why do we have to get our antennas up and get agitated and all of this other stuff because we’re hearing something that we’re not accustomed to hearing and we didn’t want to hear?” asked Smith.

Looking into the camera again, Smith said, “I don’t know you, I just know what you’ve been as a journalist and I respect the hell out of you. I respectfully say to you, could you do one or two things? Could you have a more thorough understanding of Black history, what provoked the existence of the Black national anthem and speak to that reality? Or simply stomach it?”

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