“Morning Joe” co-hosts Mika Brzezinski and Joe Scarborough defended remarks they made Wednesday morning that linked a racist Sigma Alpha Epsilon chant caught on video to rap lyrics on this morning’s broadcast. Brzezinski explained that the discussion “got real” and said there was “no moral equivalency” but there was a “news connection.”
They brought on MSNBC host Al Sharpton and Urban League President and CEO Marc Morial to discuss the the connection they made yesterday, in which they discussed rapper Waka Flocka’s decision not to return to the University of Oklahoma campus to perform for SAE over the chant.
“If you look at every single song, I guess you call these, that [Waka Flocka’s] written, it’s a bunch of garbage,” Brzezinski said yesterday. “It’s full of n-words, it’s full of f-words. It’s wrong. And he shouldn’t be disgusted with them, he should be disgusted with himself.”
Guest Bill Kristol agreed, “Popular culture becomes a cesspool, a lot corporations profit off of it, and then people are surprised that some drunk 19-year-old kids repeat what they’ve been hearing.”
Scarborough weighed in: “The kids that are buying hip hop or gangster rap, it’s a white audience, and they hear this over and over again. So do they hear this at home? Well, chances are good, no, they heard a lot of this from guys like this who are now acting shocked.”
Flocka himself responded to the remarks on MSNBC later that day, “This isn’t about rap. This is about what happened on that bus. This isn’t about my rap music. I feel like they’re running away from what we’re talking about.”
On Thursday, Scarborough noted that as someone raised in the south, he was simply trying to figure out where the kind of words included in the rant come from.
Brzezinski tried explain the remarks, saying, “We’re all trying our best here to figure out our way through this and yesterday the conversation got real and I think some people conflated it with other things, but there’s no moral equivalency between something like rap lyrics and what happened on that bus. Those kids made that decision, they made that choice and it was disgraceful, disgusting and chilling what they were saying. That separate conversation is only related in these stories because there was someone who was going to perform — who performed on that campus who cancelled, and is not going back to that campus, because he’s disgusted by what he saw happened. And he happens to be someone who has lyrics that are questionable, and that is a separate conversation. There’s no moral equivalency, but there’s a news connection.”