Georgetown University sociology professor Michael Eric Dyson went off on CNN conservative political commentator Ben Ferguson when Ferguson conflated pro athletes' protests of police brutality with disrespect for the country and a lack of patriotism.
Ferguson attacked the demonstrators by saying they're jumping on a "bandwagon" and cast aspersions on Colin Kaepernick's character by pointing out that the former San Francisco 49ers player has made controversial statements about police and Cuban dictator Fidel Castro.
"Look at where this all started," said Ferguson. "Look at who started the protests...he's an empty suit that went out there and decided 'I'm going to kneel during the national anthem and he didn't even have the guts to vote in an election."
"First of all, black people who were wearing the uniform of the United States of America returned home from World War II as veterans and were murdered by white supremacists, bigots who denied the legitimacy and repudiated --," Dyson said.
"And that was wrong, but --," interjected Ferguson.
"Let me finish, sir," said Dyson stiffly.
"I am agreeing with you," Ferguson. "What the hell?"
"Then let me finish," Dyson said. "Those people who committed those heinous acts of course were un-American, were not patriots, and didn't understand the complicated nature of black people's relationship to a country that we often stood proudly for a flag that did not protect us."
He went on, "You can name legitimate flaws in Colin Kaepernick's approach without undercutting the basic moral trajectory of what he is saying. Because it's bigger than Colin Kaepernick. The fact is, unarmed black people still die in disproportionate numbers from police brutality."
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