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Michael Eric Dyson Says He Was Trying to Be ‘Cute and Clever’ When Referring to Trump Supporters as ‘Maggots’, Offers Apology Following Backlash

Vanderbilt University professor and author Michael Eric Dyson has issued a formal apology for his comments about former President Donald Trump’s supporters during an appearance on “Deadline: White House.”

The blunder occurred during the Wednesday, June 27 episode of “Deadline: White House” in which Dyson discussed Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Army Gen. Mark Milley’s defense of critical race theory but took a quick jab at Trump supporters, stating, “speaking about the maggots—I’m sorry, the MAGA.”

Speaking on the controversial decision to remove the teaching from classrooms, Dyson stated that as an “intellectual” and a “Black person in America,” “We have borne the brunt of being disloyal to this nation. And we have stood by to see mediocre mealy-mouthed snowflake White men who are incapable of taking critique, who are willing to dole out infamous repudiations of the humanity of the other and yet they call us snowflakes and they are the biggest flakes of snow to hit the Earth.” 

The academic faced backlash on social media for his remark, including one critic who stated, “The only Maggots I see is the one coming out of Michael Eric Dyson mouth.” They added, “Blacks and Democrats get a pass for saying racists things but conservatives gets canceled, Hypocrisy to the moon!!”

While another person questioned the 62-year-old’s position at the prestigious school, writing, “WHY IS THIS PIECE OF GARBAGE ALLOWED TO TEACH AT A UNIVERSITY IN AMERICA WHEN HE HATES 75 MILLION AMERICANS….. DISGUSTING.”

Two days later, Dyson apologized during MSNBC’s coverage of the Derek Chauvin case. On Friday, May 25, the former Minneapolis police officers received 22.5 years in prison for killing George Floyd in May 2020. Speaking on the matter, Dyson said, “Black people have to bear the brunt of White rage” and “White hostility,” before abruptly addressing his Wednesday remarks.

“Let me apologize on this program,” Dyson began. “I was trying to be cute and clever when I was talking about MAGA, therefore ‘MAG-gats,’ not ‘maggots.’ I didn’t anticipate that brothers and sisters who were white would hear it as that, so I deeply and profoundly apologize for that, but I’ve been hit with an onslaught of death threats and being called the N-word out of white rage for a mistake I made, for which I am willing to apologize certainly, and what Black people are often up against is the fact that we have to be told that emotion will not judge — will not lead to our offering of justice to you … and yet so much emotion is directed at us, so much white rage is directed at us.”

Despite the apology, Dyson doubled down on his stance on the race to erase Critical Race Theory, arguing it a study of systems, not individuals. Republicans have often argued that the academic subject only encourages a larger divide among citizens. 

“All critical race theory is saying as a theory of law is that it’s not about individual acts of bigotry, or bias, or racism. It is a systemic and institutional network that must be somehow discerned and dismantled.”

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