(CNN)CNN political commentator Bakari Sellers shot back Wednesday at Fox News host Bill O’Reilly’s argument that race is the “hidden reason” behind a desire to abolish the Electoral College.
Sellers, who served in the South Carolina legislature, told CNN’s Don Lemon that, “if you close your eyes, you believe that you are listening to a clip from 1968 or apartheid South Africa.”
O’Reilly argued Tuesday on his nightly program, “The O’Reilly Factor,” that — if the Electoral College was abolished — candidates would secure a majority by campaigning in coastal cities, ignoring the Midwest and Southern states.
He added that those calling for the Electoral College to be dismantled were attempting to take power from the “white establishment.”
“The left wants power taken away from the white establishment,” O’Reilly said.
“They want a profound change in the way America is run. Taking voting power away from the white precincts is the quickest way to do that.”
The conservative host’s remarks sparked a flurry of online comments, prompting his name to become a trending topic on on Twitter.
Sellers said that there’s a larger conversation to be had about white supremacy.
“I do not want to reduce this conversation to one about the Electoral College,” Sellers said.
“We have to talk about the simple fact that, African-Americans, we don’t want anything from white people. It’s not as if we want to take something from white nationalists, or take something from white supremacists.
“All we really want are the things that are our inalienable rights. We don’t want you to give us anything. Just basic human dignity and equity is all we’re asking.”