On Friday's PoliticsNation, MSNBC's Karen Finney accused Republicans of practicing their own form of "apartheid" by "separating people and dividing people" as she and host Al Sharpton discussed comments some right-leaning public figures have made in the aftermath of Nelson Mandela's passing.
Referring to former Senator Rick Santorum comparing Mandela fighting against the oppresssion of apartheid to conservatives fighting against ObamaCare, Finney asserted: "I think about it this way and going back to the Santorum comment, if you think about what the word 'apartheid' means. Apartness. It was all about separating people and dividing people. That's what this Republican Party has been about for the last several years."
Sharpton injected: "And castigating and denigrating and demonizing people."
Below is a transcript of the relevant portion of the Friday, December 6, PoliticsNation on MSNBC:
AL SHARPTON: Now, it isn't only in history. Last night, Rick Santorum comparing the fight against apartheid with the fight against ObamaCare. And when you see things like this and you look at what Nelson Mandela stood for and how they just try to use Mandela now on analogies that are nowhere remotely alike. And then look at what Mandela's political views were. You mentioned Iraq, but he opposed economic inequality, opposed Iraq war, criticized war on terror, supported labor unions, supported anti-poverty programs. These aren't exactly views that are in line with the current Republican Party.
KAREN FINNEY: No, they are not. And he also was a supporter if you look at the constitution that was enacted with him, women's rights, gay rights. I mean, they definitely were not in line with him. But, you know, we have to remember our history here as well, Rev, that there was in 1995 an expose about groups that were founded specifically to undermine the ANC and to try to, you know, boost the image of South Africa here in the West. So, in terms of history when they, you know, you've got Bill O'Reilly saying he was a communist.
SHARPTON: Yes, last night. Let me show that. He said, about Nelson Mandela last night on Fox.
BILL O'REILLY, FNC: Ninety-five years old, Nelson Mandela, I spent some time in South Africa. He was a communist, this man. He was a communist. All right?
FINNEY: But don't you wonder where it was in South Africa? It wasn't like he was hanging out in Soweto, that Bill O'Reilly, I'm quite certain. I mean, you know, and of course he doesn't understand the complexity of what the communist party in South Africa at the time was versus the ANC. Two very different groups, but they had a short-term similar goal.
SHARPTON: Well, let me show you what the head of the Republican Party, Rush Limbaugh, had to say.
FINNEY: Oh, yes.
SHARPTON: Or let me let you hear it.
RUSH LIMBAUGH, TALK RADIO HOST, CLIP #1: Nelson Mandela has more in common or had more in common with Clarence Thomas than he does with Barack Obama.
LIMBAUGH CLIP #2: Mandela had much more in common with Clarence Thomas and a lot of conservatives.
SHARPTON: I'm not too good on Limbaugh lingo, so could you interpret?
FINNEY: Well, remember this is the same guy who was attacking the Pope, right? This is the same guy who thinks he understands Christianity better than the head of the Catholic Church, but, no, he's, you know, Limbaugh, obviously, this is part of the great effort to take down some of our greatest heroes. And, you know, Rev, I think about it this way and going back to the Santorum comment, if you think about what the word "apartheid" means.
FINNEY: Apartness. It was all about separating people and dividing people. That's what this Republican Party has been about for the last several years.
SHARPTON: And castigating and denigrating and demonizing people.
FINNEY: That's right.
SHARPTON: Because on the very same station, the very same day that O'Reilly was calling Mr. Mandela a communist last night, another Fox News personality said about President Obama, on the same network, now, just hours earlier, listen to this.
MONICA CROWLEY, FNC: More class warfare, more radical wealth redistribution because this is who he is. He is essentially a statist. He's a leftist and essentially a socialist.
SHARPTON: Socialist, communist. So, I mean, this is almost like talking points and soundbites that are being thrown around purposefully.