Rapper Nick Cannon is facing criticism for his recent interview with American neo-Nazi and white nationalist Richard Spencer on his podcast Cannon's Class. The comedian posted a clip of the interview on Twitter and Instagram in which the pair discussed the relevance of Christopher Columbus.
"A very intense and intriguing debate with the controversial @RichardBSpencer about today's holiday," the rapper wrote Monday on both Twitter and Instagram. "Why does Christopher Columbus have a holiday again???"
Cannon received pushback for his decision to speak to Spencer and his characterization of the figure as "controversial."
"Dannng. Everyone hates you," one user wrote.
"Haaaaahaha so this is the direction you decided to go after the antisemitism thing huh?" another wrote, referring to Cannon's recent comments that were criticized as being anti-Semitic.
Others were more open to the rapper's conversation.
"You have lots of reserve. Sitting down with this guy. I'll give you that," one user remarked.
Cannon argued that the tales of Columbus are a "bedtime story" and pointed to the violence the Italian explorer wrought during the colonization of the Americas. In response, Spencer brought up the Haitian Revolution, during which slaves rebelled and fought the French colonial rule in Saint-Domingue, which is now Haiti — a sovereign state, per the U.S. Office of the Historian. Cannon noted different dynamics between the two violent events and pointed to the fact that the explorer was not leading an insurrection as the Haitians were.
According to The Guardian, Spencer — who is credited for popularizing the term "alt-right" — was caught on tape using racist slurs against Jewish and African American people. The audio allegedly stems from the aftermath of the deadly Unite the Right rally that took place in Charlottesville, Virginia, in 2017, which lead to killing of anti-Nazi protester Heather Heyer by white supremacist and neo-Nazi James Alex Fields Jr.
"Little f*cking k*kes," Spencer allegedly said, referring to the citizens of Charlottesville. "They get ruled by people like me. Little f*cking octaroons. My ancestors f*cking enslaved those little pieces of f*cking sh*t."
"Those pieces of sh*t get ruled by people like me," he added.
Cannon used a previous episode of his podcast to reveal his controversial beliefs on melanin, the natural skin pigment he believes is linked to the human soul. The rapper claimed the lack of melanin in white and Jewish individuals is linked to their purported savagery and likened them to animals. Research has reportedly debunked the notion that melanin is related to intellectual abilities.