An MSNBC correspondent spoke to the network’s base audience when he faulted Gov. Ron DeSantis (R-FL) for calling a Jacksonville man who fatally shot three people before committing suicide a “scumbag.”
Talking head Trymaine Lee accused DeSantis of obfuscating the mass murderer’s racism behind the sobriquet “scumbag.” The broadcaster added lawmakers conspire with fellow racists to divide other people.
His remarks occurred during the weekend broadcast of the network’s “Andrea Mitchell Reports.” Mitchell noted DeSantis was booed at a Jacksonville vigil for the three black victims.
The host added that Jacksonville pastor Jeffrey Rumlin responded to DeSantis by saying, “At the end of the day, respectfully, Governor, he was not a scumbag. He was a racist.’”
Mitchell asked Lee for his take on the issue.
“You know, for so many folks, the issue with that kind of language is it places the onus on one individual and the actions of one individual as opposed to a nationwide sickness of White supremacy in the country and the violence it fuels,” replied Lee.
“As so long as he is a scumbag or as long as there’s a mental health issue, you don’t have to engage with the idea that there are, you know, co-conspirators online, co-conspirators who create legislation that divide and other people.”
Florida’s governor has spearheaded education policies that have angered many black people because he changed the curriculum about black history taught in public schools and limited diversity initiatives in the state.
Accordingly, the largely black audience did not seem receptive to the governor’s remarks about the 21-year-old white man who killed three black individuals at a Dollar General store.
“The shooting, based on the manifesto that they discovered from the scumbag that did this, was racially motivated,” DeSantis declared. “He was targeting people based on their race.”
This guy killed himself rather than face the music and accept responsibility for his actions,” the governor added. “And so he took the coward’s way out. But we condemn what happened in the strongest possible terms.”
DeSantis concluded by noting he offered support for Sheriff T.K. Waters and the city of Jacksonville and sent condolences to the victims and their families.