CNN's Bernard Shaw Blames Racism for Illegal Immigration Debate

During an August 6 interview, posted online, with Television Week, former CNN anchor Bernard Shaw blamed racism for the debate over whether illegal immigrants should be in the country as he referred to "some people who still believe that people of color are not needed in this country." In response to a question about diversity in the newsroom, Shaw contended that "each generation fights the same battle, only it becomes more subtle, more sophisticated, but it's still a war" before tying in the illegal immigration debate. (Transcript follows)

Without using the word "illegal" in referring to illegal immigrants, he seemed surprised that some would want to enforce immigration laws. Shaw: "Look at the immigration battle right now. We have about 13 million people who have been living in this country for years, raising their children, educating them, and there's actually an argument about whether they should be here. They are here, and they are a vital part of the American fabric."

Below is a transcript of the relevant portion of Television Week's interview with Shaw, as posted on their Web site, from August 6:

TELEVISION WEEK question: "What is the state of diversity in the newsroom today?"

BERNARD SHAW: "Proponents of diversity should never be pleased with the level of staffing, be it African Americans, Latinos, Asian Americans ... proponents should never be pleased. There is an ingrained resistance in the minds of people who control to people who are different. That is natural because of the way this country evolved historically.

"The battle is never won. We taught our children, our son and daughter, that the battle is never won. Each generation fights the same battle, only it becomes more subtle, more sophisticated, but it's still a war. The battle is to help this great nation achieve the promise, that's all.

"Look at the immigration battle right now. We have about 13 million people who have been living in this country for years, raising their children, educating them, and there's actually an argument about whether they should be here. They are here, and they are a vital part of the American fabric.

"The battle is never won. There are some people who still believe that people of color are not needed in this country. And yet people of color have been the essence of this country since its beginning. So there's a great education requirement, and all of us are educators and we're going to make this country work."