Cortes to Don Lemon: What Does Race Have To Do With Kavanaugh? Accuser And Accused Are White


CNN commentator Steve Cortes asked on Thursday's edition of CNN Tonight with host Don Lemon what does race have to do with the Kavanaugh confirmation and the sexual assault allegations. Cortes, a Hispanic, said that the accusers and the accused are white yet people keep bringing up how Republicans are "old" and "white."

Don Lemon said they would be saying the same thing if the Senate was made up of old black men or old Latinos. He said the current makeup of the Congress and White House is not "reflective of the diversity of the country."

"I wanted to ask Max [Boot] because I've point endlessly from liberals when they are criticizing people like Senator Hatch," Cortes said. They keep mentioning that the Senators on the [Judiciary] Committee are white. What does the racial component have to do with this? As far as I can tell everyone involved in this entire sage, all the accusers and accused are white people."

"So what does race have to do with it?" Cortes asked.

Don Lemon, the black host, jumped in and offered to answer it for Boot, a white man, who obliged.

"It is because all you have to do is look at your television (panel with 1 black man, 1 Hispanic man, 1 white man, and 1 white woman) and you will see that the makeup of the Judiciary Committee, that the makeup of the Senate who we've been looking at. The makeup of this administration is not reflective of the diversity of the country."

"We would be saying the same thing if all of the people doing the questioning were old and black or old and Hispanic. We would say they don't represent the diversity of the country," Lemon assured.

"So nobody is trying to make it a racial issue, it is what it is. It's old white guys," he continued. "And, quite frankly, on the Democratic side it was an older white lady. So what's wrong with saying that? What's wrong with pointing out the obvious?"

Hilary Rosen said Senate Republicans are even "punishing" and "bullying" women on their side of the aisle by making Susan Collins and Lisa Murkowski go through with this. She said this is the result of the "patriarchy of the Senate" who do not want to see a "change" in culture.

"Even the way the bullying of Susan Collins and Lisa Murkowski by the Senate Republican leadership. It's like their picking on the women and putting them in this awkward position. I do think it is more than the fact that they are white. I think it is more representative of resistance to change that we have to stop in this country," Rosen said.

Cortes said he understood the gender divide but reminded the panel that he is talking about race. He said liberals want to inject race when it is not relevant.

"Everyone involved in the case is white. There's not a racial component to the Kavanaugh nomination. There's absolutely a gender component. I understand that. But what I'm seeing is what I think liberals are doing here is they are trying to -- there is a grievance overlay effect. They want to inject race even into issues where race doesn't have relevance and I think it's indicative of their fixation on identity politics," Cortes explained.

An incredulous Lemon was perplexed as to how race was not relevant to the issue. The host said that the committee is mostly made up of octogenarians who believe the country has "left them behind."

"How is race not relevant when you don't have people who are making decisions for America who don't represent the diversity of this country?" the host asked. "Everyone on that committee, all 30 people, most are 85, or 84 years old. They are white. What is wrong with talking about that?"

"We break people down in categories when we talk about who is voting for who. We've got the black vote, the white vote, we've got the female vote, we've got the young people vote. What's wrong with pointing out the obvious and talking about it? That as a country these people are not on the same page as most of the people in this country. It has left them behind," Lemon said impassionately.

Cortes reminded Lemon that Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX) is Hispanic. (Editor's note: Sens. Cory Booker (D-NJ) and Kamala Harris (D-CA) are black and the Democratic ranking member is Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), a woman.)

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