Asked by C-Span host Brian Lamb why he didn’t enforce a no-applause rule for his PBS-sponsored debate like other debate formats, moderator Tavis Smiley explained: “Because black people are an emotional people. I know it wouldn’t have worked.”
Smiley says the black audience attending the 90-minute session at Howard University would not have listened or complied with such a request for silence, suggesting African-Americans are unable to control themselves.
He made the remarks on Friday morning’s Washington Journal program aired on C-Span.
Smiley, a black talk show host and liberal political activist, made the observation in the wake of widespread violence during Juneteenth celebrations across the nation.