The ongoing feud between former Sanders campaign co-chair Nina Turner and Debra Messing took a nasty turn on Wednesday with Turner calling the TV actress “racist.”
The clash began on Sunday after Turner slammed Messing’s tweet decrying Kanye West’s potential 2020 bid after the actress suggested such a presidential run would “take Black voters” from Joe Biden.
“You just can’t stop dipping can you @DebraMessing? Your connotation is racist,” Turner scolded the “Will & Grace” star. “1. Black voters are not owned by anyone. Our vote should be earned every election cycle. 2. We can think for ourselves & don’t need your help. 3. Sometimes it’s best to stay out of family business.”
On Monday, the actress fired back, insisting that West’s tweet is a ploy to aid the president.
“Oh PLEASE, Nina. Kanye is an avowed Trump supporter. Trump’s numbers have plummeted, Trump doubles down on his racist platform at Mt Rushmore, and 100 days before election Kanye is going to announce NOW? I thought you were smarter than [that] Nina. Clearly it is an attempt to help Trump,” Messing wrote. “Biden swept the AA vote in the South. Kanye has millions of young AA fans. It’s not racist to say that Kanye can take Biden leaning voters from him. It’s NUMBERS. STATISTICS. If you want to use this to grab your spotlight, by all means. If you really care about the AA Community having their vote counted, I’ll have Stacey Abrams call [you] when I speak with her this week.”
On Tuesday, the former Bernie Sanders surrogate fired back.
“Debra, Debra, @DebraMessing so you go from bad to worse. The leader of the Karen coalition strikes again!” Turner wrote. “Although it is customary for the Karens to call the manager on Black folks, how dare you attempt to create public conflict between two Black women leaders in the public space. Not only is it disrespectful to @staceyabrams and me, it is disrespectful to our Black foremothers who sacrificed so we could have a voice in the first damn place.”
“Karen” is a pejorative term that has emerged to label a demanding, middle-aged white woman who displays a sense of overbearing entitlement in various societal confrontations.
“Your attempt to use Stacey (as if Black women have not been used enough over the last 400 years) as the “Black manager friend card” proves my original point, which is Black people are not a monolith. 3. You questioning my intellect is one of the oldest smears in the book. Black people have faced this stereotype since the inception of this country.”
Turner reiterated that it is “RACIST” to claim that Black people would vote for West, pointing out that the rapper “has white & Black fans yet you continue to insult Black voters.” She then cited a stat that showed 40 percent of young Black voters “prefer progressive policies over popularity.”
“Lastly, Don’t You Ever Fix Your Mouth to Question My Love for My People. I have been a Black Woman All My Life!” Turner exclaimed.
Early on Wednesday morning, Messing accused Turner of having “historical bitterness” over Sen. Bernie Sanders’ defeat in the Democratic primary against Biden and doubled down on her assertion that a Kanye West candidacy would hurt the former VP.
“I am incensed that you would suggest that I am trying to divide 2 black women. You accused me of having no respect for black voters. It is laughable,” Messing told Turner. “I referenced Stacey— who is inspired Leader whose governorship was stolen through voter suppression and is spearheading an effort to ensure AA ppl aren’t disenfranchised. Would I be following/supporting/led by Stacey if I was this racist minimizer you slanderously paint me to be? The answer is obviously NO. It’s laughable. Nina, there are much more important things going on that I am going to now focus on.”
Hours later, Turner retaliated.
“Now I’m a bitter Black woman who can’t comprehend, @DebraMessing you are well out of your depth baby. You need to read this moment, but you can’t even do that. Stop using other people to cover for your ineptness,” Turner tweeted. “Repeat after me: I @DebraMessing am a racist and I need help. I use my white privilege and stereotypes as attributes for Black women I don’t agree with. For Black women I like, I use the ‘Black friend card’ and demand that they go check another Black woman. Moreover, I don’t respect the agency of Black people which is why I am very comfortable ascribing my beliefs onto Black people especially if they do not ‘act accordingly.’ I am that white liberal that Congresswoman Shirley Chisholm, Min. Malcolm X and Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King warned about.”
She went on to accuse Messing of being a “neoliberal” who is content with the “status quo” and believing that “suffering in the world started in 2016.”
“You lack the courage to deal with the fact that Black people, poor people, working-class people and other marginalized groups were catching hell well before 2016,” Turner explained. “You prefer conformity & illusion over righteous critique & substance. You are dazzled by a type of politics that celebrates being ‘better than Trump’ without understanding how critically dangerous & low that bar is.”
Turner concluded by describing Messing as someone among those “who profess to favor freedom, and yet depreciate agitation, are men who want crops without plowing up the ground,” quoting abolitionist Frederick Douglass.
Kanye West has repeatedly floated a presidential bid in the past but has also expressed his support for President Trump, sharing an image of himself wearing a “Make America Great Again” hat and causing a media circus with his visit to the White House in 2018.