‘I Need You To Stop’! Velshi Gets Mad When Historian Debunks Him

News & Politics

MSNBC’s Ali Velshi broke with network tradition on his Saturday show and welcomed an actual historian on to discuss current events. It did not go well for Velshi as repeatedly told Roberts “I need you to stop” because Roberts debunked his reductive view of the history of the British monarchy.

The conversation started out more innocently, with Velshi asking, about the future of the monarchy now that the Queen has died, “we just had a historian say that there are many people who are Queen-ists, they’re not monarchists. They liked her, they’re either bored with the institution or think that it needs to change or aren’t going to be that into the next king. Give us your evaluation of that?”

Roberts declared that such opinions are “wildly overstated, frankly” at that 80-85 percent of Britons support the monarchy. A few minutes earlier, Velshi had claimed that the monarchy was represented a country that got rich through “violence, theft, and slavery” and it was this talking point that Roberts then took aim at.

Roberts wanted to know if the what the monarchy represents is so evil, why do former colonies still admire it, “if we’ve given so much pains people throughout history, why was Charles chosen by every single Commonwealth country, many of which are former imperial countries, as the head of the Commonwealth. We abolished slavery–.”

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A very unhappy Velshi interrupted, “Andrew, hold on a second. Andrew, are you really denying what I just said about British colonialism? Are you really doing that, Andrew? Are you really doing that?”

As Roberts tried to explain himself, Velshi continued, “Andrew, hold on a second. Andrew, are you really denying what I just said about British colonialism? Are you really doing that, Andrew? Are you really doing that?”

When Velshi finally let him speak, Roberts explained, “I’m certainly taking issue with your remarks about slavery which we abolished 32 years before you did and we didn’t have to kill 600,000 people in a civil war over it.”

He also could’ve mentioned the Royal Navy’s West Africa Squadron role in fighting the slave trade. Still, Velshi was unwilling to admit that history may be a little more complicated, “So, you think that that’s fine, that there are people all over the world who were born in colonial countries, because, when I was born the British Empire still existed. And, that’s okay for everybody?”

Roberts then asked Velshi which country he was born in and after Velshi answered Kenya, Roberts returned to his earlier point that Velshi also ignored, “Right, and yet the Kenyans not only supported the appointment of Prince Charles, now King Charles, as the head of the Commonwealth.”

To tie a segment about British history back to American politics, Velshi’s politicized vision of history is why things like The 1619 Project don’t belong anywhere near schools. 

This segment was sponsored by AT&T

Here is a transcript for the September 10 show:

MSNBC Velshi

10:05 AM ET

9/10/2022

ALI VELSHI: Joining our conversation now is Dr. Andrew Robers, he’s an MSNBC British historian, the author of many books about the Royal Family including The Royal House of Windsor and George III: The Life and Reign of Britain’s Most Misunderstood Monarch. Andrew, good to see you. Thank you for being with us this morning or this afternoon in London. Let’s discuss this. The idea that there are people, we just had a historian say that there are many people who are Queen-ists, they’re not monarchists. They liked her, they’re either bored with the institution or think that it needs to change or aren’t going to be that into the next king. Give us your evaluation of that? 

ANDREW ROBERTS: I think that’s wildly overstated, frankly. I think when you look at all the opinion polls we’re about 80-to-85 percent in favor of having a constitutional monarchy, whoever’s in–in– on the throne. So, I think this is extremely overdone, frankly. Rather, I am afraid to say, as your introduction was, if we’ve given so much pains people throughout history, why was Charles chosen by every single Commonwealth country, many of which are former imperial countries, as the head of the Commonwealth. We abolished slavery [crosstalk]—

VELSHI: Andrew, hold on a second. Andrew, are you really denying what I just said about British colonialism? Are you really doing that, Andrew? Are you really doing that? –

ROBERTS: We abolished slavery 32 years before you did and we also didn’t have to [crosstalk] 600,000 people it was done.

VELSHI: Andrew, Andrew this is not a propaganda show. Andrew, I need you to stop. I need to stop for a second. I need you to stop for a second. Are you really taking issue with the horrors of colonialism, Andrew? 

ROBERTS: I’m certainly taking issue with your remarks about slavery which we abolished 32 years before you did and we didn’t have to kill 600,000 people in a civil war over it. 

VELSHI: So, you think that that’s fine, that there are people all over the world who were born in colonial countries, because, when I was born the British Empire still existed. And, that’s okay for everybody? 

ROBERTS: Yeah, but which country–which country– were you born in?

VELSHI: Kenya. 

ROBERTS: Right, and yet the Kenyans not only supported the appointment of Prince Charles, now King Charles, as the head of the Commonwealth, but we just had a fantastic statement from the president of Kenya saying what a wonderful thing [crosstalk] was. 

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