CNN’s Victor Blackwell got emotional on Saturday while talking about Donald Trump’s description of his hometown in Maryland. The New Day Weekend host got teary as he challenged the president’s use of the term “infested” to denigrate Representative Elijah Cummings’ district, according to Deadline.
Blackwell opened the segment by calling out the president’s language, saying that Trump has repeatedly used the term “infested” when he is talking about people of color and the places that they come from. Most notably, Trump said that U.S. Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Rep. Ilhan Omar, Rep. Ayanna Pressley, and Rep. Rashida Tlaib should return to the “infested” places they came from.
Blackwell noted that Trump has tweeted over 43,000 times and has insulted many people, but the adjective is reserved for his attacks on people of color. He then went on to defend his hometown, which is predominantly inhabited by black or African American populations.
“The president says about Congressman Cummings’ district that ‘no human’ would want to live there,” Blackwell said. “You know who did, Mr. President? I did. From the day I was brought home from the hospital to the day I left for college. And a lot of people I care about still do.”
He went on, defending the district and the people who lived there, with a passionate conclusion.
“There are challenges, no doubt. But people are proud of their community. I don’t want to sound self-righteous, but people get up and go to work there, they care for their families there, they love their children who pledge allegiance to the flag just like people who live in districts of Congress who support you, sir. They are Americans, too,” he added.
Blackwell’s defense comes hours after Trump took to Twitter to criticize the Baltimore district, calling Cummings a “brutal bully” and his district “dangerous,” “disgusting,” and “rat and rodent infested.”
Rep, Elijah Cummings has been a brutal bully, shouting and screaming at the great men & women of Border Patrol about conditions at the Southern Border, when actually his Baltimore district is FAR WORSE and more dangerous. His district is considered the Worst in the USA……
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 27, 2019
Trump’s ire comes after Cummings questioned border patrol officials at a committee hearing over the southern border detention facilities. Passionate himself, Cummings asked how border patrol agents could treat children being held at the centers in such a poor way, with children reportedly being held in dirty and unsafe conditions, and accused the immigration department of an “empathy deficit.”
Cummings called for an investigation into how the money being sent to run the facilities was being used and called the situation a “corrupt mess.”
Social media users were quick to celebrate Blackwell’s impassioned response, sharing their own family photos and experiences in Baltimore.
Thank you for proudly representing, along with @RepCummings , my community — Maryland's 7th. Here's a pic of my son and his family after graduating from UMBC with his Master's degree in Applied Molecular Biology. Next stop, medical school. We are achievers in Penn-North! pic.twitter.com/d3OJYfbTrT
— Annis (@best_emptynest) July 27, 2019
Fellow journalists, commentators, and progressive leaders also weighed in on the discussion with their support.
Drop everything you're doing and watch this….
— Yashar Ali ???? (@yashar) July 27, 2019
I salute you @VictorBlackwell! This @POTUS is an embarrassment to us all and DOES NOT represent the best of America. You DO Victor! Please continue to speak truth and facts! #FactsMatter #WordsMatter https://t.co/ypzsamD4Oo
— Maria Cardona (@MariaTCardona) July 27, 2019