Mara Gay of the New York Times editorial board on Thursday compared Republicans’s behavior during the impeachment trial of President Trump to twentieth century politicians’ defense of the Jim Crow South, saying the nation is in a “very scary moment.”
“I have to say, as somebody who grew up with a father who grew up in the Jim Crow South and in Jim Crow Detroit, a lot of what this has looked like from the Republican side, the kind of imagining and the farcical nature of this, the lack of good faith argument sounds very familiar to me, and it’s actually quite scary,” Gay said during an MSNBC panel. “I think we’re in a very scary moment.”
“I think you just spoke for metric tons of our viewers watching tonight after the day we’ve been through,” host Brian Williams responded.
Video: New York Times editorial board member Mara Gay says tonight is "very scary" and attacks Republicans voting against witnesses as akin to supporter of "Jim Crow" laws. She adds that tonight is "a capstone in a just total collapse of faith in American institutions" pic.twitter.com/S5wuby1Ahp
— Curtis Houck (@CurtisHouck) January 31, 2020
Earlier in the segment, Gay said that Republicans’ reflexive defense of the president in the face of Democrats’ abuse of power allegation represented the culmination of a years-long devolution in the credibility of American institutions.
“For the majority of Americans who have watched this process unfold and are living in reality … what we’re witnessing tonight is really a capstone and a just total collapse of faith in American institutions,” Gay remarked . “I think if you are an American who believes the evidence that the House managers laid out, you have to be thinking to yourself tonight, ‘I need to get myself and everybody on my block and everybody in my family to a poll very quickly’ because otherwise this president is not going to be held accountable.
The Senate trial of the two articles of impeachment against Trump, abuse of power and obstruction of Congress, is currently underway, with senators voting Friday on whether to call more witnesses to testify. Republicans appear to have the votes to prevent additional witness testimony.
Gay has previously defended a comparison of New York City’s school system to the Jim Crow era in 2018, when a New York Times editorial remarked that “the spirit of Jim Crow” remains “stubborn” within New York’s school system.
“The phrase in the editorial was ‘spirit of’ Jim Crow. Also, the rampant residential segregation in northern cities came to be through the deliberate use of law and policy,” Gay wrote on Twitter at the time.
Gay did not respond to a request for comment by press time.