On “Hannity” tonight, Tavis Smiley was pressed by Sean Hannity to provide any specific evidence that the deaths of Michael Brown and Eric Garner at the hands of police were racially motivated.
Smiley said he was not in Ferguson with Brown or Staten Island with Garner, but in his 50 years as an African American man, he’s seen how black males and law enforcement interact.
“Too many [officers] come at us with an approach that raises the level of tension … it’s the way that we are viewed,” Smiley said.
Hannity and Smiley disagreed over the maneuver that led to Garner’s death, whether it was a chokehold or a headlock.
Smiley said that Hannity didn’t care about Garner’s death, at least not the way he should, and things got heated between the two.
“You need to be educated!” Hannity said, accusing Smiley of not having all the facts.
“I say the cops never should have been there. They never should have arrested this guy,” Hannity said. “You need to listen to what really happened.”
During his appearance, Smiley also took a moment to call out President Obama for appearing on Black Entertainment Television “to lecture black folk.”
“Stop telling black folk that we have to wait and that these things take time. We can’t wait, number one,” Smiley said. “Number two, Mr. President, respectfully, when you say we can’t compare what’s happening now to what was happening 50 years ago, tell that to the parents of these kids who are being gunned down in America’s streets.”