Michael Eric Dyson: We Have a 'Moral Obligation' to Protest Trump at GOP Convention

June 20th, 2016 8:09 PM

With all this year's preliminary political events concluded and the Republican National Convention set for July 18-21 in Cleveland, Georgetown University professor and former MSNBC analyst and guest host Michael Eric Dyson declared last Wednesday that Americans have a “moral obligation” to protest presumptive GOP candidate Donald Trump as a “racist demagogue for president.”

The tumult began when Dyson wrote an article for the New Republic's website entitled “We Must March on Cleveland,” where “we must begin to take our stand against Trump and the malignancy he represents” since the candidate is “the worst of the American political mind and soul.”

Dyson, who has also been described as “an author and activist,” continued:

There’s no question that Donald Trump has “uuuuge” charisma, a brutally appealing magnetism that amplifies the most virulent rumblings of racism, misogyny and xenophobia this country has reckoned with in quite some time.

Now that Trump has vanquished his primary foes, his final combat with the Democrats is fast approaching. But first comes the spectacle of his official coronation at the Republican National Convention in Cleveland.

“The question is no longer whether Republicans will come to their senses,” the liberal Democrat noted. “The question is what those of us who care about America must do, given that they will not.”

Dyson also claimed that “to resist the sweep of malevolence signified by Trump’s prominence is a tragic counterpoint to a vote for Obama in 2008. It is the only way to find the right side of history again.”

Just two days later, Dyson was interviewed by ABC News Political Director Rick Klein and Congressional Correspondent Mary Bruce, and he told them that “only massive protests next month can confront what he called the 'monster' that is Donald Trump.”

Dyson said on the podcast that his call to action reflects his belief that this year's presidential race is “a watershed moment in American politics.”

“The way in which the Republicans have gone about their business has led to a lapse in engagement with more ennobling and uplifting American ideals of disagreement and debate,” he noted.

Dyson's article also caught the attention of Josh Feldman, a contributing editor for the Mediaite website, who quoted the activist on Sunday as stating the pushback would “make it clear people are not happy that a major political party has chosen a 'racist demagogue for president.'”

“We protest,” the activist said, “to proclaim the man’s moral repugnance and political illegitimacy. It is an opportunity, with the whole world watching,” to reject Donald Trump and his policies despite the possibility of demonstrations that could lead to violence in the streets.

Feldman then quoted Dyson as stating:

What injury may come seems meager in comparison to the social violence that Trump’s election portends. No more compelling is the belief that street protest at the convention could cause even greater divides throughout the country.

The racism, misogyny, and nativism that would be unleashed during a Trump administration would be far worse than any conflict that could arise from legitimate protest.

On the following Sunday, Michel Martin -- the weekend host of National Public Radio's All Things Considered program -- stated that “Trump has made himself the center of political conversation this year” and then brought Dyson on as a guest.

Martin asked: “Why do you think that people have a moral imperative to protest in July?”

“I think that what Donald Trump is doing,” Dyson replied, “the way in which racism, xenophobia, anti-Muslim belief and the like are being expressed through the campaign of Donald Trump, calls for, I think, a very vigorous and aggressive response to what he's saying.”

“I'm not trying to say stop him from being elected as his party's nominee,” he continued. “I'm saying that we have a responsibility to raise our voices, to say what he does as an American citizen is pretty destructive to the practice of goodhearted and conscientious politics.”

Martin then asked: “Well, some would argue the most effective thing you can do if you want to stop Donald Trump is to get people registered to vote and get them to the polls to vote for Hillary Clinton. What do you say to that?”

“That's all good, but it's not an either/or,” he replied. “It's the very tenor and tone, morally speaking, of what this country is about,” Dyson added.

“And so the unleashing of these fierce and ferocious beliefs have a potential impact that is quite deleterious, quite negative, quite destructive,” he continued. “And I think we have to say something.”

Apparently, Dyson simply dismisses how Republicans voted during the party's primaries and caucuses, and he wants to “trump” those results with anger and violence in Cleveland. The sad part is that he will probably then blame the GOP for something he was instrumental in pulling together.