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‘Morning Joe’ panelists blame Oklahoma fraternity racism on black culture and rap music

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MSNBC host Morning Joe

On Wednesday’s Morning Joe, co-hosts Joe Scarborough and Mika Brzezinski discussed the controversy caused by the now-expelled SAE fraternity members who led their brothers in a racist chant — and determined that rap music was to blame for it, Mediaite’s Evan McMurry reports.

Responding to a CNN interview with rapper Waka Flocka Flame — who had performed at the Oklahoma SAE chapter the previous summer — in which he said he was “disgusted” by the video in which Parker Rice led his brothers in a chant that included both racist language and a reference to lynching, Brzezinski said that some of the blame for the behavior belongs on artists like him.

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“I look at his lyrics, and you have to ask yourself why he would go on that campus. If you look at every single song [by Waka Flocka Flame], it’s a bunch of garbage,” she said. “It’s full of n-words, it’s full of f-words. It’s wrong. And he shouldn’t be disgusted with them — he should be disgusted with himself.”

The Weekly Standard‘s Bill Kristol jumped in, opining that “popular culture becomes a cesspool, a lot corporations profit off of it, and then people are surprised that some drunk 19-year-old kids repeat what they’ve been hearing.”

Scarborough added that “as anybody who watches Empire” — the hit Fox series about a family fighting for control of a hip hop media enterprise — “knows, 70 percent of the audience is white. The kids that are buying hip hop or gangster rap, it’s a white audience, and they hear this over and over again. So do they hear this at home? Well, chances are good, no, they heard a lot of this from guys like this who are now acting shocked.”

Willie Geist, who Kristol christened the show’s “expert on the gangster rap,” interjected that “there is a distinction between a bunch of white kids chanting about hanging someone from a tree and using that word in a hateful way. This is a term you hear in hip hop, that African American guys, in certain contexts, call each other. There’s a distinction.”

Watch the entire exchange below via YouTube.

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Attorney George Conway reveals two ‘great’ questions — that Trump can’t answer

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Prominent Republican attorney and Lincoln Project member George Conway on Monday offered his analysis of how reporters should question President Donald Trump.

Conway, the husband of White House counselor Kellyanne Conway, made his comments after watching video of Trump refusing to criticize Russian President Vladimir Putin.

“Who do you think poisoned Alexei Navalny in Russia?”

“Uh,” Trump replied. “We’ll talk about that at another time.”

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2020 Election

Jaime Harrison says ‘I am living rent free in Lindsey Graham’s head’ — and he might be right

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Jaime Harrison, the Democrat challenging Sen. Lindsey Graham, on Monday said that his upstart campaign is panicking the incumbent.

Harrison was interviewed on MSNBC by "The Last Word" anchor Lawrence O'Donnell, who noted the most recent polling shows a tied race.

"Have you experienced any extra fund-raising surge over the weekend?" O'Donnell asked.

"Well, Lawrence, we have gotten tremendous support and we really appreciate it," Harrison replied.

"Do you believe you have the resources and the campaign team and the ground troops you need in South Carolina to actually pull this off?" O'Donnell asked later in the interview.

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‘Not gonna work!’: A Republican tried to promote masks — and got angrily booed by Trump voters

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Republican Lt. Gov. Jon Husted of Ohio learned quickly on Monday that President Donald Trump’s voters aren’t ready for even mildly encouraging statements about wearing masks to stop the spread of COVID-19.

He appeared ahead of the president at a Trump rally in Ohio, and he tried to promote a series of Trump-branded masks. To the attendees’ credit, his speech was pretty condescending. Husted seemed to think he could convince them to wear face masks — which have become demonized on the right — just because they were branded with Trump logos.

But Husted was at least trying to encourage healthy behavior among his voters, which Trump has repeatedly declined to do. Experts agree masks are one of the most effective ways to reduce the spread of the respiratory virus, and the fact that this advice has become anathema to large swaths of the country — primarily supporters of the president — is extremely dangerous on its own terms and disturbing for what it says about our politics.

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