Fox News host Laura Ingraham sparked outrage after she accused CNN analyst Bakari Sellers of faking his accent while speaking about a recent police shooting on live TV.
Sellers was addressing the press on television in his capacity as the attorney for the family of Andrew Brown Jr., the unarmed Black man who was killed by police in Elizabeth City, North Carolina last week.
In her comments, Ingraham claimed Sellers was "sporting an accent" he doesn't regularly use.
Laura Ingraham says Bakari Sellers was “sporting an accent” she never heard him use on TV before https://t.co/3yzDGWSryI— Acyn (@Acyn)1619489593.0
In his comments to the press, Sellers criticized Michael Cox, the County Attorney in Pasquotank County where the shooting occurred, for his refusal to release body camera footage of Brown Jr.'s killing.
He also detailed how Cox spoke disrespectfully to Brown's family and to Sellers himself.
"I will say that Mr. Cox told me, a grown Black man, that he was not f*cking going to be bullied."
The disrespectful comments seemed not to bother Ingraham, however.
Instead, she was outraged Sellers was criticizing the police for killing an unarmed Black man and for supposedly using a fake accent to do so.
Ingraham told her viewers:
"Bakari Sellers suddenly showed up in North Carolina today to condemn the police in another case, pouring on the dramatic affect, as if you needed it."
"And sporting an accent that—maybe I missed something, but I never heard him use on TV before."
It's unclear what "accent" Ingraham was referencing.
But Sellers, who was born, raised and attended law school in South Carolina, has spoken in a Southern accent like the one featured in Ingraham's clip numerous times on television. Videos of him doing so are readily available online.
On Twitter, people pushed back at Ingraham's comments—which many called a racist dog whistle.
Sounded to me exactly like every single time I’ve heard @Bakari_Sellers speak in person and on air for years. No ch… https://t.co/XIUvugziu2— Jake Tapper (@Jake Tapper)1619524132.0
@Acyn They did the same thing with Obama when he spoke in front of church crowds. Said he had a preachers accent whatever that is.— Vince Lewis (@Vince Lewis)1619554930.0
@Acyn Redirecting the audience’s attention to Sellers’ “accent” so they don’t follow the story of what’s actually g… https://t.co/DK0JxEmYtk— Asha Rangappa (@Asha Rangappa)1619524608.0
@Acyn Laura Ingraham proves that repugnant white fascism isn't the province of men alone. https://t.co/w9eFgAMWaP— Monty 🇺🇸Lincoln's Speeches🇺🇸 Boa (@Monty 🇺🇸Lincoln's Speeches🇺🇸 Boa)1619495580.0
@dvillella @Acyn Apparently, in addition to always already missing everything, she’s never heard Bakari speak. He s… https://t.co/ZkTJUl19ts— Monica Day (@Monica Day)1619493152.0
@Acyn Never heard it before? This was in May, 2020. Laura should just say what she really means (we all know what t… https://t.co/LUdzbMAtgk— D Villella ❄️ (@D Villella ❄️)1619519896.0
@Acyn WHY would Bakari Sellers speak with a southern accent when he was... ✅Born in the south ✅Raised in the south… https://t.co/VzYaPECYA7— PolitLaureate, M.A. (@PolitLaureate, M.A.)1619490446.0
@Acyn It sounds a lot like a standard Bakari Sellers accent to me. Then again, I’m not a white supremacist. Nor am… https://t.co/vnLa08FIE4— FullOfVax (she / her) (@FullOfVax (she / her))1619489832.0
For his part, Sellers responded to Ingraham's comments by echoing a lesson he said his father taught him:
"Never argue with a fool."