In an interview on Thursday’s Fox & Friends show, a Black pastor told Fox News host Elisabeth Hasselbeck that her argument that President Barack Obama is making life worse for Black people was one that “someone white would make.”
Reverend Jacques Degraff, a Democratic strategist, was asked by Hasselback if the president was contributing to making life in America more difficult for Blacks. She cited the unemployment difference between Blacks and whites as an example.
“Someone white would make that argument,” Degraff replied.
“I hear that, and I want you to understand that I’m listening here,” Hasselbeck said. “And I might be a white woman, but I fully want to understand and have this conversation because I think it’s one that’s important to happen.”
Hasselbeck went on to ask if the president and his wife, first lady Michelle Obama, were making the situation worse after opening up about their experiences with racial profiling in an interview with PEOPLE magazine.
“I think the reality is this, that being Black in America is challenging, it’s oppressive,” Degraff explained. “What they’re doing is humanizing the position of president.”
Hasselbeck also said she couldn’t understand how Michelle Obama could joke about a racial incident on the Late Show with David Letterman in 2012, and then discuss it during an interview about race relations with PEOPLE.
“So how is that helping then to come back now and describe it differently?” Hassebeck asked.
Degraff explained that the change in the context of the interview was why she was able to discuss “her inner experience.”
“Every African American is familiar with that,” he said.
Hasselbeck’s response implied that the first lady had to think about whether or not her situation was racist. Degraff clarified for her that Blacks in general “have similar experiences with ignorance.”
Even though she agreed with Degraff that being Black in America is challenging, she snuck in one last dig at the president before she ended the interview.
“The policies, in fairness, have made that much tougher,” Hasselbeck concluded.
Degraff explained to her that Blacks “have learned to deal with our pain and put a smile on irritating, annoying or downgrading situations.”
The disconnect between the Hasselbeck and Degraff was obvious throughout the entire interview. Degraff had to repeat himself multiple times about how Blacks have to deal with racism in America, while Hasselbeck tried to find a way to blame Obama for not representing all Americans.