There is no doubt that political commentator Angela Rye is a woman of intelligence, tact, and passion. During a recent CNN Tonight panel (July 11), the latter came to a head when discussing a matter close to her chest: racism.
Rye, Former U.S. Representative David Jolly, Republican political commentator Alice Stewart and CNN's Don Lemon weighed in on racism within the Republican party. Jolly, also a Republican, was very vocal about his party's inability to call it out and condemn foul behavior from its leader.
"I hate these conversations because it forces Republicans to confront a reality that I believe, that the president is racist," he said, responding to Stewart's pledge to support any Republican candidate in office, regardless of his or her despicable behavior or whether or not she voted for them to be there. "Whether that is a result of some type of financial elitism, whether it is because of being born on third base due to white privilege or whether it is a part of Steve Bannon's nationalism. This is why traditional Republicans struggle with his leadership. We can't forgive it. We can't normalize it. We can't suggest that he can be the figure of a party that we subscribe to. It's heartbreaking. It's not an easy conversation. It sucks. But this is the president and he is the leader of the Republican party and he continues to peddle what is very clearly racist tendencies."
As he spoke, Rye, moved by his honesty, can be seen holding back tears. When it was her turn to speak, she let the cry come out, thanking Jolly for not only holding his party accountable but also finally acknowledging that there is much work to be down regarding racism on their end.
"I just want to say, Congressman, I wish that the new members, folks that have followed in your footsteps, could at least acknowledge that. That's all so many of us are saying. And at this point I'm emotional because it's like being constantly gaslit," she said. "I'm being constantly told every day I'm on air that I'm racist because I call out racism. That is maddening to me, and I'm crying about it because it's crazy ... So I want to say, I commend you for saying what you said. It means the world to me."
On Instagram, Rye further explained her emotions. "Former Congressman Jolly was a hero to me tonight," she wrote.
"I cried tears of frustration, but also hope. Hope that there are more Congressman Jollys who will speak truth to power and help us become a better country."
Watch the segment below.