MSNBC host Touré issued an apology on Twitter late Tuesday, saying he intended to comment on racism in postwar America, but the brevity of the social media platform caused his remarks to be misconstrued.
“Late last week, I foolishly got involved in a twitter exchange regarding an article about reparations,” Touré wrote. “It was a dumb idea by me to debate serious and nuanced topics in 140 characters or less. In an attempt to comment on racism in post World War II America, I used a shorthand that was insensitive and wrong. I am very sorry and will make sure this doesn’t happen again.”
Earlier in the day, Touré had come under fire by a Jewish organization for the tweet he sent likening a Holocaust survival story to white privilege.
The power of whiteness: RT @hope_and_chains: My family survived a concentration camp, came to the US w/ nothing, LEGALLY, and made it work.
— Touré (@Toure) May 23, 2014
“It’s obviously absurd and smacks of intense and disgusting anti-Semitism,” Efraim Zuroff of the Simon Wiesenthal Center said in a statement to TheBlaze. “It’s reverse-racism basically.”
Touré’s tweet drew immediate backlash from followers on Twitter, who posted graphic images of the Holocaust and asked if the host thought those were examples of people benefitting from white privilege as well.
In a column for the right-leaning National Review Online, Tom Rogan blasted the comment as being dismissive of the struggle of Holocaust survivors in service of Touré’s own agenda.
“With four words and an abundance of flippant pride, in one moment, Touré decided that his education project — making America understand that white supremacy still reigns — was more important than the Holocaust,” Rogan wrote.
“In four words, we see the trivialization of 6 million Jews killed for being Jewish. It’s the brushing away of industrial murder,” he added.
The co-host of MSNBC’s “The Cycle” was responding to a follower who had disagreed with him over stories he had posted about slave reparations and white privilege. The user, who runs a blog that discusses race and politics, added the hashtag “#SORRYFORBEINGWHITETHOUGHYOUGUYS” to his original tweet, which Touré deleted in his response.