Legal correspondent doubles down on claim US Constitution is ‘actually trash’

'The veneration that this country has for the Constitution is simply weird. It's crazy.'

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The Nation magazine correspondent Elie Mystal is doubling down on his claim that the U.S. Constitution is "not good" and "actually trash." 

During a Wednesday appearance on a talk show for Salon, Mystal argued that the Constitution was drafted by "a bunch of rich, white politicians making deals with each other," who owned slaves, and didn't allow any non-White people into the room to have their voices heard, leading to his view that the nation's founding document has been "given too much deference."

The Nation correspondent Elie Mystal appears on MSNBC in 2019. (Screenshot/MSNBC)

The Nation correspondent Elie Mystal appears on MSNBC in 2019. (Screenshot/MSNBC) (Screenshot/MSNBC)

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Mystal previously made these claims in his book, released on Mar. 1, "Allow Me to Retort: A Black Guy's Guide to the Constitution." The first chapter begins with the statement, "Our Constitution is not good," and goes on to blast conservatives for their reverence of the document.

"Our Constitution is not good. It is a document designed to create a society of enduring white male dominance, hastily edited in the margins to allow for what basic political rights white men could be convinced to share. The Constitution is an imperfect work that urgently and consistently needs to be modified and reimagined to make good on its unrealized promises of justice and equality for all," Mystal wrote in the book.

"And yet you rarely see liberals make the point that the Constitution is actually trash. Conservatives are out here acting like the Constitution was etched by divine flame upon stone tablets, when in reality it was scrawled out over a sweaty summer by people making deals with actual monsters who were trying to protect their rights to rape the humans they held in bondage," he added. 

Signing of the Constitution by the Founding Fathers.

Signing of the Constitution by the Founding Fathers. (Library of Congress)

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Host of the "Salon Talks" show Dean Obeidallah asked Mystal about his controversial comments, noting that he repeated them during an appearance on ABC's "The View" earlier in March. 

"The veneration that this country has for the Constitution is simply weird. It's crazy. It's not what other countries do for their written documents," Mystal said. "We act like this thing was etched in stone by the finger of God, when actually it was hotly contested and debated, scrawled out over a couple of weeks in the summer in Philadelphia in 1787, with a bunch of rich, white politicians making deals with each other." 

Mystal argued against the Constitution because the founding fathers were "white slavers, white colonizers and white abolitionists," and no people of color, women, or poor White people were allowed to have a voice or vote on its drafting and ratification.

Facimile of The Constitution For The United States Of America Dated September 17, 1787. (Photo by Fotosearch/Getty Images). 

Facimile of The Constitution For The United States Of America Dated September 17, 1787. (Photo by Fotosearch/Getty Images). 

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"The thought that this document, made by one class of people, represents the best we can do in America is just ludicrous," Mystal claimed. "Of course it's not very good. You only let one kind of person write it."

"The second aspect of this, and how we go from ‘not good’ to ‘trash,’ is that structurally there are a lot of stupid things in the document. There are a lot of things that you just wouldn't think we should do if you were starting again from first principles. Like the idea that we don't elect our own president; that's pretty dumb," he added. 

Mystal, a frequent guest on MSNBC, often gives controversial takes on race and U.S. history. During his appearance on "The View" earlier in March, he blasted President Biden for rejecting the "defund the police" movement during the State of the Union address, claiming the president was "trying to be nice," and suggested cops on the streets would still be just as likely to kill African-Americans for no reason, regardless of funding.

Fox News' David Rutz contributed to this report.