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GOP senator says calling white nationalists racist is a matter of ‘opinion’

Jul 11, 2023


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This story is a Media Miss by the right as only 11% of the coverage is from right leaning media.

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Left 56%

Center 33%

Right 11%

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An exchange between Sen. Tommy Tuberville, R-Ala., and CNN anchor Kaitlan Collins is drawing criticism on Capitol Hill after Tuberville argued that white nationalism and its definition are a matter of “opinion.” His comments were made during an interview on CNN.

During the exchange, Collins defined a white nationalist as “someone who believes in the superiority of the white race.” Tuberville responded by saying, “Well, that’s some people’s opinion.”

This story is considered a media miss by the right, as it is being underreported by right-oriented news outlets and mostly covered by left-oriented outlets, according to the Straight Arrow News Media Miss tool.

Tuberville was invited on CNN to clarify statements he made during a previous interview with a Birmingham radio station in May. In that interview, when asked whether he believed white nationalists should be allowed to serve in the military, Tuberville responded, “I call them Americans.”

Despite facing criticism, Tuberville has reiterated this stance on white nationalism, arguing that the term is merely a “cover word” used by Democrats to engage in identity politics.

In the CNN interview, Tuberville also emphasized his opposition to racism, stating, “If that white nationalist is a racist, I’m totally against anything that they want to do, because I am 110% against racism.”

According to the Southern Poverty Law Center, white nationalist groups espouse white supremacist or white separatist ideologies, often focusing on the alleged inferiority of non-white persons. Their primary goal is to create a “white ethnostate,” the legal advocacy organization says.

This Merriam-Webster and other dictionaries concur with similar definitions.

The Anti-Defamation League states that white nationalism is a term that originated among white supremacists as a euphemism for white supremacy.

Polling data indicates that the majority of Americans are against white supremacy. However, there is a notable political discrepancy in which side sees it as a significant problem in the country.

A joint poll conducted by YouGov and Vice News last year found that approximately 60% of Republicans identified white supremacy extremism as either a major problem or somewhat of a problem. In contrast, about 93% of Democrats held that position, per the poll.

Furthermore, separate polling carried out by the African American Research Collaborative reveals that nearly two-thirds (64%) of Americans were worried or very worried about elected officials remaining silent or failing to speak out against white nationalists and extremists. Concerns were particularly higher among Black and Latino voters.

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