Liberal comedian Bill Maher punched back at Michael Eric Dyson, the Vanderbilt University professor, during a tense exchange about race on Friday's episode of HBO's "Real Time."
To begin the panel portion of his show, Maher declared that "Democrats got their ass kicked" in elections last week, especially in Virginia. Dyson attributed Republican success to parents being "spooked" by critical race theory, but Maher promptly fired back.
"The point is parents who were spooked by critical race theory, none of whom can define it, when you ask them what it is, they don't know," Dyson claimed. "But what they do know is that black people are being centered, their history is being taken seriously."
"I find that a disingenuous argument because I don't think that is what people are objecting to," Maher shot back. "They are not objecting to black history being taught. There are other things going on in the schools."
"Like what?" Dyson responded.
"Like separating children by race and describing them as either 'oppressed' or 'oppressor.' I mean, there are children coming home who feel traumatized by this," Maher explained. "That's what parents are objecting to."
In response, Dyson claimed the real problem that people who oppose CRT have is not CRT, but the "notion of centering black people as historical agents."
After back-and-forth between Maher and Dyson, Brown University Professor Glenn Loury interjected that Americans should get "beyond race," and that children should not be "put in boxes" based on their race.
Dyson is the same person who disparaged Republican Winsome Sears, the Virginia Lt. Gov-elect, who last became the first black women elected to the office.
Speaking on MSNBC last week, Dyson reduced Sears to a puppet who is controlled by racist Republicans.
"The problem is here they want white supremacy by ventriloquist effect," Dyson said. "There is a black mouth moving but a white idea running on the runway of the tongue of a figure who justifies and legitimates the white supremacist practices. We know that we can internalize in our own minds, in our own subconscious, in our own bodies the very principles that are undoing us."
"So to have a black face speaking in behalf of a white supremacist legacy is nothing new," he continued. "And it is to the chagrin of those of us who study race that the white folk on the other side and the right-wingers the other side don't understand this is politics 101 and this is pace — not even 101, what's beneath 101? — it's the pre-K of race. You should understand the fact that, if you tell black people, 'Look, I support a negro. Look! There is a person of color that I am in favor of,' and that person of color happens to undermine and undercut and subvert the very principles about which we are concerned, you do yourself no service by pointing to them as an example of your racial progressivism."
Dyson has made the same argument about other black leaders and politicians who do not tow the Democratic Party's line.