“When I was a kid, President Kennedy did not want to introduce the civil rights bill because he said it wasn’t popular, he didn’t have the votes for it, et cetera. Dr. King kept putting people in the streets in harm’s way to put the pressure on so that the bill would be introduced. That’s what finally worked,” Lord said, comparing the civil rights struggles to what President Trump attempted to do with health care.
Lord made the comparison during a discussion of an article from The Wall Street Journal that said the president was “threatening to withhold payments to insurers to force Democrats to the negotiating table” and that their “abrupt disappearance [from the marketplace] could trigger an insurance meltdown that causes the collapse of the 2010 health law, forcing lawmakers to return to a bruising debate over its future.”
While on air a visibly frustrated host Don Lemon attempted to get Lord to see how his comparison was offensive, however, Lord doubled down, explaining that he was young his father lost his job “defending a black waitress.”
— Yashar (@yashar) April 14, 2017
“I made a comparison between Trump and King deliberately and with reason. Both men used or are threatening to use crisis to pass legislation,” later wrote in an opinion piece for CNN explaining why he made the on-air comparison.
Quoting Dr. King’s own words, in which King called for supporters “to create a situation so crisis-packed that it will inevitably open the door to negotiation,” Lord continued, “In Dr. King’s day, the objective was negotiation that would lead to the passage of civil rights legislation. Today, President Trump is using the threat of crisis to negotiate his stated objective of legislation to repeal and replace Obamacare. Different goals, yes. But the strategy of creating a crisis to obtain a specific legislative outcome is exactly the same.”
We’ll let the expressions of CNN host Alisyn Camerota and guest Symone Sanders speak for what we think of that.