Michael Eric Dyson: "When Will Obama Finally See That He Doesn't Have To Run From His Blackness?"

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On MSNBC's The Ed Show Thursday evening, network commentator Michael Eric Dyson scolded President Obama for focusing more on guns than race in his statement earlier today. Dyson criticized the president for running away from his "blackness" and spotlighting gun control instead.

"The question is, Ed, when will this president finally see that he doesn't have to run from his race or run from blackness which are obviously there, and the tether to the issue of gun control and violence in this country," Dyson said. "He must use his bully pulpit to excoriate those forces that are demonizing all American citizens, in this case those who happen to be African-American."

"If you look at the descending order of greatness of nuance there, Bernie Sanders talked about the ugly stain of racism, Hillary Clinton talked about race, guns violence and division," Dyson said. "And then President Obama, oh, who by the way, Martin Luther King, Jr. talked about this, and then he talked about hatred across the races. Huh?"

Interestingly, Dyson said Obama cannot pretend this is solely an issue of gun violence when the shooter could have used a knife instead. Dyson says when a person says they are "here to kill black people," the president cannot pretend this is an issue of gun violence.

"When a young man goes into a church and says, I'm here to kill black people, the president cannot pretend this is an issue of gun violence because if that man had a knife, he would have tried to kill the people with a knife. It doesn't matter the implement," Dyson said.

"Although, of course, it makes a big difference in terms of our gun control issues," Dyson added.

ED SCHULTZ: I think the president showed tremendous leadership today, we have to talk about this. Even it's -- a time of mourning and a time of healing as the president said, were you surprised at how strong his comments were on gun violence?

MICHAEL ERIC DYSON, MSNBC: I was surprised and disappointed that the president obscured the obvious racial dimensions that begged relief and address, here is -- if you look at the descending order of greatness of nuance there, Bernie Sanders talked about the ugly stain of racism, Hillary Clinton talked about race, guns violence and division. And then President Obama, oh, who by the way, Martin Luther King, Jr. talked about this, and then he talked about hatred across the races. Huh?

The question is, Ed, when will this president finally see that he doesn't have to run from his race or run from blackness which are obviously there, and the tether to the issue of gun control and violence in this country. He must use his bully pulpit to excoriate those forces that are demonizing all American citizens, in this case those who happen to be African-American.

When a young man goes into a church and says, I'm here to kill black people, the president cannot pretend this is an issue of gun violence because if that man had a knife, he would have tried to kill the people with a knife. It doesn't matter the implement. Although, of course, it makes a big difference in terms of our gun control issues. It matters, the hatred in his heart to do away with these human beings. I think, again, what we need is upfront leadership that articulately addresses the issues at hand and that shows how they converge together, not separate them.

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