D.L. Hughley shuts down CNN's Chris Cuomo over Trump's bigotry: 'White men don't decide what racism is'
Actor and comedian D.L. Hughley on CNN. Image via screengrab.

During a heated discussion with CNN host Chris Cuomo, comedian D.L. Hughley was unequivocal in calling out not just the "wanton" racism of President Donald Trump, but that of his supporters as well.

Discussing the upcoming one-year anniversary of the deadly violence at last year's "Unite the Right" rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, the veteran actor slammed not just Trump for claiming that there's blame to be had on "both sides" — referring to white supremacists and anti-fascists — but also those who echo that rhetoric.

"There can't be a moral equivalence," Hughley said. "Either it's wrong to be hateful and to promote violence and apathy and to be angry and to believe in the supremacy of one race over another, or it's not."

"Now we have people quibbling about it," he continued, quoting people who claim left-wing protesters are "just as bad" as the white supremacists and white nationalist they oppose. "If somebody oppresses me and I fight back, then I'm just as bad as the guy who was determined to take all my rights away? That's where we are in America right now."

Cuomo brought up the president's infamous "both sides" comment after the Charlottesville rally last year, but Hughley insisted it wasn't just that flashpoint but rather the entire tone in the country.

"The bottom line in this country: it is wrong to be hateful and to lead people in hate and try to subvert other people's rights and voices and to be brutal to them, or it isn't," he said. 

The host asked Hughley if he thought Trump would disagree with that statement — and got a staunch answer.

"I believe the president is a wanton racist, and I believe that America is not uncomfortable with it," the comedian said. "When you tell me 89% of Republicans support him no matter what he does, I'll say this. I can't say all his supporters are racist, but I can say, for them, being a racist is not a disqualifier."

Cuomo claimed that Hughley's assertion set a "high bar" before denouncing "white extremists and white power people and the Qanon and the conspiracy crazies" — but the actor cut him off.

"White men don't get to decide what racism is," Hughley said. "They were so bad at judging it every time it happened. They were bad at judging it during slavery. They were bad at judging it during Jim Crow. White people don't get to play this game. You don't get to decide what the rules are here."

"The bottom line is this," he continued. "We have watched children being put in cages. And the very scriptures that they quoted to put black men in chains, they used to put immigrants in cages."

"Either it's wrong," Hughley concluded, "or it isn't."

Watch the entire discussion below, via CNN: