Friday night on MSNBC’s “Martin Bashir” show, host Martin Bashir welcomed Touré, co-host of “The Cycle,” who discussed Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia’s remarks characterizing 1965′s Voting Rights Act as “racial entitlement.” Touré called the sitting justice’s statements “completely racist” and wondered that in the face of so much evidence of vote suppression from the 2012 election that anyone could believe that the Voting Rights Act is no longer needed in this country.
The segment began with video of Scalia doing a Fox News interview with Chris Wallace in which Scalia said, “It’s fun to push buttons,” meaning that he enjoys saying inflammatory things just to get a reaction from liberals, the people he views as his ideological opponents. Rachel Maddow said as much in her interview with Jon Stewart on Thursday’s edition of “The Daily Show.”
“Oh, actually, he’s a troll,’” she said. “He’s saying this for effect. He knows it’s offensive and he knows it’s going to get a gasp from the courtroom, and he loves it. He’s like the guy on your blog comment thread using the n-word.”
It was on Wednesday that Scalia said of the repeated renewals of the VRA since its inception during the Civil Rights era, “a phenomenon that is called perpetuation of racial entitlement.”
“There, isn’t that hilarious?” said Bashir. What could be funnier than injecting “race-baiting and overt bias” into arguments before the Supreme Court, he asked.
He welcomed Touré to the program, who echoed the remarks of Justice Sonia Sotomayor when he asked, ““Is fairness a racial entitlement? Is protecting people’s right to vote a racial entitlement?”
“We have these shenanigans happening all the time,” he said, referring to attempts by Republican officials in Ohio, Florida and other states to soften and outright block African-American voter turnout.
“And protecting them is an entitlement?” Touré demanded. “So, you’re giving us the right to vote, as if we were the takers in this game of makers and takers? That whole language is completely racist. And, this idea that, ‘White people work hard and then they give their money to lazy black people.’”
Watch the video, embedded below via MSNBC: