MSNBC’s Hasan Defends Portland Antifa Protesters As Peaceful

On Sunday’s Velshi show, as host Ali Velshi led a discussion which argued that there was a racial double standard that made law enforcement act less aggressively against white Donald Trump supporters who attacked the Capitol, MSNBC contributors Brittany Packnett Cunningham and Mehdi Hasan made provocative and false statements on the issue.

In spite of prominent Republicans widely condemning the attacks on police officers by a group of Trump supporters, Cunningham claimed that Republicans did not care unless cops were in battle with BLM supporters, while Hasan preposterously claimed that left-wing Antifa and BLM protesters had been peaceful in Portland but were teargassed anyway.

Even though Capitol Police were overrun trying to slow down rioters keeping them from lawmakers, Velshi complained because they had not managed to arrest more of the rioters more quickly as he set up the segment:

Why do blue lives only matter when it’s in contrast to black lives? Our nation’s policing culture is ingrained with systemic racism — a trait that is familiar to many Trump supporters, and, because of that, there is a built-in double standard. What you saw last week wasn’t simply a protest of violence like you saw at the social justice demonstrations last summer. January 6th was a protest that was meant to be violent and was violent at its core. More than 14,000 Black Lives Matter protesters were arrested during the spring and the summer  Last Wednesday, during the Capitol riot, there were fewer than a dozen arrests. And, as of this morning, there are about 100 arrests…

In her commentary, Cunningham claimed there was a racial double standard:

But we also see the hypocrisy of Republicans because blue lives only seem to matter when they are carrying out state actions that enact violence against black, brown and indigenous people. When the police are, in fact, getting in the way, even just a little bit, of insurrectionists, white supremacists, people who are there simply because they didn’t get their way, the Republicans have nothing to say about those blue lives mattering.

When Hasan got to speak, he also threw in misinformation of his own in claiming that left-wing activists had been teargassed in Portland simply for “standing outside” government buildings even though left-wing protesters tried to set fire to the buildings:

The aim of those people was to overrun the Capitol, maybe to execute legislators, take them hostage, definitely to stop a constitutional process. No one can accuse any Black Lives Matter or even Antifa protesters of trying to do that last year. You remember the scenes in Portland, Oregon, where they were tear gassing people just for standing outside federal buildings or state buildings. So this is absurd, the double standard.

By contrast, a couple of weeks ago, Fox News Channel highlighted the far-left mayor of Portland, Ted Wheeler, finally admitting that Antifa violence in his city was out of control after previously trying to cover for them.

The episode of MSNBC’s Velshi was sponsored in part by Fisher Investments. Their contact information is linked.

Transcript follows:

MSNBC

Velshi

January 17, 2021

9:51 a.m. Eastern

ALI VELSHI: Why do blue lives only matter when it’s in contrast to black lives? Our nation’s policing culture is ingrained with systemic racism — a trait that is familiar to many Trump supporters, and, because of that, there is a built-in double standard. What you saw last week wasn’t simply a protest of violence like you saw at the social justice demonstrations last summer. January 6th was a protest that was meant to be violent and was violent at its core. More than 14,000 Black Lives Matter protesters were arrested during the spring and the summer  Last Wednesday, during the Capitol riot, there were fewer than a dozen arrests. And, as of this morning, there are about 100 arrests, but more are expected. Right-wing media, the President, and his allies egged on their violent supporters because it was beneficial to them. Unlike the protests that were based on the video evidence of the killing of black people, the protests of January 6th were based on a lie about a stolen election.

(…)

As I was going to different cities covering the protests, I was in New York City on 14th street, and there were a group of youngsters who were lined up with zip ties waiting for transportation. The police actually pushed me back and told me if I tried to get any closer, they’d arrest me. And I was asking, “What are they under arrest for?” And they said, “Breaking curfew.” Six kids under arrest for breaking curfew in New York. During the summer riots — the summer demonstrations, they were arresting people for everything. Thousands of people walked out of this Capitol without being arrested after storming the place. Tell me about this.

BRITTANY PACKNETT CUNNINGHAM, MSNBC CONTRIBUTOR: This is a hypocrisy that has been on display for decades, generations. We always know that when people with black skin show up, the police operate one way. And when people with white skin show up, they operate a different way. But this is also deeper in some certain ways. We certainly see hypocrisy in police. We certainly see the participation of some police. The more and more we know, the more we’re finding out that there were members of Capitol police that engaged with this activity, that there were members of police departments all across this country, along with Olympians and school counselors and even more folks who participated in this insurrection. So we’re seeing the hypocrisy on full display in full technicolor as you see on your screen right now. 

But we also see the hypocrisy of Republicans because blue lives only seem to matter when they are carrying out state actions that enact violence against black, brown and indigenous people. When the police are, in fact, getting in the way, even just a little bit, of insurrectionists, white supremacists, people who are there simply because they didn’t get their way, the Republicans have nothing to say about those blue lives mattering. So if we are going to continue to endure this level of hypocrisy from Republicans who still maintain their seats in Congress and from police who continue to take up massive amounts of municipal budgets, the question is, what are we going to do differently? It is painfully obvious, but our choices still seem to be the same.

VELSHI: Well, one of the things we have to think about is, Mehdi, what you talked about with me earlier — the existential nature of this. During the summer, those protests were about saying, “Hey, you apparently have these laws that are supposed to be applied to us equally, but you’re not doing that, and we would like you to do that. We’d like the more fair application of laws to black and brown people.” This thing was weird because this move on Congress was the idea that “We think the election was stolen.” The idea that white supremacists and extremists were here as the aggrieved party is kind of fascinating because the stuff that they’re talking about isn’t really true.

MEHDI HASAN, MSNBC POLITICAL ANALYST: No, and it’s a good point you make about the threat. I mean, they were trying — the aim of those people was to overrun the Capitol, maybe to execute legislators, take them hostage, definitely to stop a constitutional process. No one can accuse any Black Lives Matter or even Antifa protesters of trying to do that last year. You remember the scenes in Portland, Oregon, where they were tear gassing people just for standing outside federal buildings or state buildings. So this is absurd, the double standard. I’m glad you raised the issue of the arrests, you know, 14,000 versus less than 100 in 10 days — the under-charging that’s going on right now. Let’s see what other charges come out, but there seems to be a lot of under-charging right now. A lot of them are being charged for, like, being on federal property and trespassing, which is kind of ridiculous, given what we know about what went down on the day comes out.

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