WATCH: CNN panelist Symone Sanders explains why DeSantis 'monkey' and 'articulate' comment was racist
Rep. Ron DeSantis (Facebook)

On CNN's the Lead, panelists struggled to wrap their brains around how Republican gubernatorial candidate Ron DeSantis, thinks he can get away with using racialized language to describe his opponent Andrew Gillum.

DeSantis appeared on Fox News the morning after his primarily win and warned Florida voters that lining up behind his African-American opponent would lead to "monkey this up." He further described Gillum as "articulate" in trying to explain his primary win.

Symone Sanders explained why DeSantis' dog-whistling—the practice of broadcasting racism without outwardly self-identifying as a racist—is so flagrant.

"In your view, was that an intentional dog whistle?" asked host David Gregory.

"Oh my goodness, it was," Sanders replied. "We didn't play this part of the clip but he called Mayor Gillum articulate. Articulate is something white people say about black people because they don't expect them to be able to speak well. Or children. Cause you say the child is articulate. Mayor Gillum is not a child. He's a grown man who's Mayor of a whole city," she concluded.

Watch the full exchange in the video below: