Thursday, April 19, 2018

Why is CNN Allowing Anchor Don Lemon to Go Into Angry Tirades Against Black People?

August 11, 2013 by  
Filed under Ent., News, Opinion, Politics, Weekly Columns

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( I don’t dislike Don Lemon, but I’ll admit that he’s never made me comfortable.  The only time he’s ever interviewed me was during a segment about Tiger Woods a few years ago, and I picked up a peculiar arrogance in his voice and gestures that, quite frankly, threw me off.   I originally wrote it off as the overconfidence of a young kid who was proud and excited to have a national platform, but you can imagine my shock when I found out that Don is nearly 50 years old.

Don Lemon analyzing race is like the school mascot coaching the football team.  You watch enough action from the sidelines, and you begin to believe that you’re a player.  The armchair quarterback is the one who thinks that the running back should have been able to play with a broken leg or that the team keeps losing because they won’t implement the offensive schemes that give him success on his Xbox360 console.

This is not to question Don Lemon’s “black card,” but it is to say that his “analysis” on race is one of the most embarrassing television debacles since the release of the movie “Soul Plane.”   Here are some things that Don needs to stop doing right now:

1) Stop talking about race on CNN without providing proper context:  Is Don a journalist or a talking head?  I can’t imagine Anderson Cooper going into tirades against the gay community or a female CNN personality explaining to women why they deserve to be raped and abused.   If that’s the case, then why does CNN make an exception and allow Don Lemon to go into his verbal assaults against black people?  Even worse is that these third grader conversations are rarely balanced, as Don appears to havedon-lemon-headshot-full become so emotionally invested that he won’t let the argument go until he finally wins.  This is hardly the kind of professionalism one might expect from an allegedly objective journalist.  Don should save his rants for conversations at Starbucks.

2) Stop using Martin Luther King and Malcolm X to bolster your argument:  I can’t speak for Dr. King and Malcolm X, but as Don uses select quotes of prominent black leaders to support his point of view, he’d be wise to also mention that these men were incredibly critical of the white American establishment in the creation and perpetuation of systematic obstacles which serve to maintain white supremacy.   You can’t talk about the reactions of black people without discussing the actions of white people.

Dr. King and Malcolm were able to say many of the things that Don Lemon himself might say, but they would never be pandering to a predominantly white audience with an imbalanced argument in order to say them.   By being perched up in a predominantly white media outlet with the sole purpose of denigrating black people, Don Lemon  is effectively attacking 10 percent of his audience, while the other 90 percent enjoy the show.

3) Stop letting white people off the hook:  When you start a tirade against black people by basically saying that “this has nothing to do with what white people do,” then you’ve pretty much murdered your argument before it even begins.  Black people don’t shape the laws in this country.  They didn’t create the 100-t0-1 crack-to-powder disparity, leading to an incarceration crisis of epic proportions.  They didn’t decide that inner city schools won’t have enough money to buy books.  They didn’t decide to implement the stop-and-frisk policies, leading to decade-long prison sentences for young black men who haven’t broken as many laws as I’ve seen broken by white kids at Syracuse University on Friday nights.  They didn’t manufacture the guns that are being allowed to enter urban centers where kids are killing each other.   They don’t own companies like Clear Channel, which earn billions by distorting hip-hop music into a message of self-destruction.  I find it odd that Don can readily attack those who are affected by these structural issues, but won’t address the structural issues themselves.

To talk about racial inequality without holding white America accountable is like talking about the actions of  Madea without mentioning Tyler Perry.   To start such a conversation by saying, “Look, I’m not here to talk about what Tyler is doing,” would mean that you’re Stevie Wonder-blind on the dynamics of the process that you’re claiming to analyze.  So, this goes back to my original point:  Don Lemon should not be speaking on racial dynamics at all, since he appears to be unable to even grasp simple societal cause-and-effect.

4) Stop pretending you know everything:  Humility is the key to growth and the development of honest, open dialog.  Even as a professor with far more education than Don Lemon will ever have in his life (sorry, but this is a fact), I learned a long time ago that in order to be a good teacher, I need to be a good student. This is doubly true if I disagree with you.  I have several Republicans in my family who constantly tell me that I’m wrong about nearly everything, but I spend my time at the dinner table listening rather than telling them that they are dumb and misguided.

Don seems to feel that he suddenly has all the answers that the rest of the “ignorant negroes” are simply unable to grasp.    He has somehow confused white media validation with true success, and has become determined to use his CNN platform as a billboard promoting black assimilation as the solution to all that ails our community.  All of this points right back to white supremacy, since it effectively says that black people fail because they don’t choose to conduct themselves in ways that white people find acceptable.  Therefore, we can only blame ourselves when the white guy fires us, the white officer chooses to arrest us or if George Zimmerman stalks us, chases us down and murders us in cold blood.

But here’s a newsflash for the journalists on CNN:  Black people are just as rational as anyone else.  This means that we respond to our environment, to stimuli, to oppression and to opportunity in a manner that is not much different from the way whites would respond if they were in the same situation.

So, this odd notion that black men are the only group of people on earth who WANT to die, who WANT their children to suffer, or who WANT to go to prison is as ridiculous as saying that gay children are choosing to be bullied on the way to school because they refuse to stop being gay.  Perhaps by approaching the conversation with balance, and getting rid of the arrogance, Don might be able to actually get somewhere with this.  Right now, he’s making himself and his network look silly, racist and insulting.  I’m very disappointed with CNN and I hope they get back to journalism.

Staff Writer; Dr. Boyce Watkins 

Dr. Boyce Watkins is the founder of the Your Black World Coalition.  For more information, please visit



13 Responses to “Why is CNN Allowing Anchor Don Lemon to Go Into Angry Tirades Against Black People?”
  1. toomanygrandkids says:

    Haven’t YOU noticed? I am by no means referring to black MEN. How many times an I gonna have to say that there’s a hugh difference between men and niggers? Niggers know that they are out of control and know they belong behind bars b/c they repeatedly break the law. Oh thats right, its b/c of racism and slavery.

  2. toomanygrandkids says:

    nor do they care how many children they have in different area codes. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again. I don’t know who’s the worst unfit female or unfit males so I’m gonna keep it neutral and call it a tie. Most likely Don stated some other things but I wanna turn my attention to the author of this article. Lord have mercy. I’m sensing some hateration mixed in Don’s Kool-Aid.
    1.) Don is nearly 50 years old. And, your point is? A lot of us are approaching 50. You have a problem with someone’s age? Moving right along….
    2.) Don can discuss race anywhere, anytime he wants. Some blacks only want to discuss race when its just about blacks and whites or to say that white people avoid the race issue. THERE ARE DIFFERENCES/PROBLEMS AMONG PEOPLE OF THE SAME RACE.
    3.) Stop letting white people off the hook? Okay, this is about racism and/or slavery, right? How about if some blacks stop making slavery and racism 150-year old excuses for their unruly and shameless actions and behavior? That’d be a miracle in itself.
    4.) If Don thinks he knows everything, he’s not the only one. The least intelligent and more ignorant assume they not only know everything but rhink they’re right about everything. Everybody can not be right about everything. That only means they don’t see the wrong they do. Don doesn’t have to think he knows whats going on in the black community when he sees and hears it for himself.
    5.) The notion that black men want to die, want their children, and want to go to prison. The answer is…YES! Black males/niggers/niggas have been taught thru religion that a better life awaits them once they die. Pastors still teach it today. Black males want their children to suffer. Of course they do. Since they suffered as children, you best believe they are gonna make their children suffer. There’s plenty of proof of that. Black males wanna go to prison…YEP. They are unruly and out of control. No one in society is safe around them

  3. toomanygrandkids says:

    Fortunately, I read online some of what Don has stated on CNN about black people. He’s not saying EVERY BLACK PERSON IS THE PROBLEM. From what I read Don stated that:
    1.) Black males should pull up their pants. Don’s right. There are older males and tom-boyish females who also wear sagging pants and shorts. They don’t even know that this trend began in prison. Gay inmates wore their pants like this to signify they were ready to have sex or they wanted to impress an inmate and show off his goodies. Similar to a ho. I agree w/ Don. It looks ridiculous.
    2.) Stop using the n-word. This should’ve been stated DURING AND AFTER SLAVERY. Intelligent black men, and not necessarily black leaders, should’ve disapproved the usage of the n-word back then. Maybe some blacks did. But its nobody’s fault that some blacks have shrined that word into gold. Its used as a greeting and in anger. But it also defines an ignorant, stupid person who is black. Even though there are indeed blacks who fit the description, I know that there’s a difference between black men and niggers. Always has been, always will be.
    3.) Stop having children out of wedlock. He’s correct about this also. Just b/c being unmarried and having children out of wedlock is considered tradition, doesn’t mean that its the okay thing to do. Especially when unfit males and females are having plenty of unprotected sex at random. Females complain about having so many kids that they can’t enjoy their own life. Well if they would crazy-glue their legs shut and/or take some birth control, they wouldn’t’ve had all of those children. And what gets me is when females have so much hatred towards the daddies that they’ll take it out on her own children, especially if the resemble the father(s). How much did she hate him/them while they were having sex? Did she also hate him when they she agreed to a repeat performance? (Insert n-word here) don’t give a damn about how many females he has sex with

  4. jdgwisd says:

    CD, all I have to say is HAHAHAHHAHAHAHAHA!!!!!!!!!!!! Can’t say anything else articulate to your truth. Eric, it’s not easy trying to elevate ourselves when we have so many academic and political pests we have to keep trying to keep in check.

  5. The African American Black Man: The New Neanderthal?
    Many young Black men seem to be on a mission to ensure our own extinction. While the men of other cultures seem to have no problem in stepping up to the plate to solidify the family unit and ensure their children get a running start in life, we’re abandoning our children, and referring to the very womb of our culture as “bitches and whoes”; and if we’re not killing other Black men over drugs, we’re killing ourselves with drugs – and then struttin’ around braggin’ about it! And even when we aren’t killing ourselves, we’re making dumb decisions that’s causing us to have to spend years at a time locked up in jail like animals. Many of us have embraced a philosophy of manhood that enforces a moral obligation to be stupid. It’s like, you’re not a true Black man unless you take a pledge to remain ignorant.
    Far too often when well-meaning Black people suggest that we need to address this issue, they’re accused of “blaming the victim.” They’re also often accused of aligning themselves with conservative critics of the Black community. That misses the entire point. No one is blaming anyone, and the primary reason that conservative critics are so quick to use this issue to denigrate the Black community is because it’s such a glaring area of dysfunction in our culture. So rather than ignore a dysfunction because our enemies are using it against us, that should give us MORE incentive to address the issue.
    So both of these arguments are nothing more than lame attempts to declare the cancer that’s growing on our culture a harmless mole. That may help to bring us comfort in the short run, but by continuing to ignore the truth, the cancer is going to metastasize, and eventually it’s going to kill us.
    Wake up, Watkins. You sound far more angry than Don Lemon, and you make far less sense. And one other thing – your homophobia is showing. Remember, homophobia stems from the EXACT same root of ignorance as racism, so if you were White you’d probably be running here demanding your country back.

  6. CD Smith says:

    Dr. Watkins is a noted expert in the field of finance. I wish would write about why Asians are financially successful in America in spite of the fact they have no prominent civil rights coalition, no visible community leaders, no media or show business fame among the everyday American, hell they don’t even have a Dr. Boyce Watkins speaking for them.

    This reveals the problem..We have too many educated, angry blacks like Dr. Watkins that are not providing Godly leadership and “wisdom” to help our people move forward. In the meanwhile, black women are buying their hair from Asian stores everyday in droves..

  7. Satchel says:

    It’s about time somebody, with a big microphone offered a solutions to our some of our problems. His solutions are just that, HIS SOLUTIONS, I think they are great starting points of a discussion. If you don’t agree with them, say so, if you can improve upon them say so, if you have a better solution lets hear them, If you agree with them co-sign. What ever you do please remember this. Great minds discuss ideas; average minds discuss events; small minds discuss people.-Eleanor Roosevelt–

  8. get real says:

    Keep up the good work Don…….We’re not all in denial.

  9. Bass Reemer says:

    As a full fledged a#s jacking q#eer Lemon is trying to carve a niche for his future employment on CNN. With the glut of tv programs and ratings wars he wants to ensure that he has a position in the future if CNN ever downsizes- thus his nonsensical agreement with the biggest phoney and creep on air O’Reilly (who btw is a sexual deviant/pervert once paying off a women he raped). I wonder if ‘sweet Donnie’ would accept the advice of straight normal males to him and his homosexual brethen to clean up their vile filthy disgusting abnormal sexual habits?…I love how certain weak a#s black folks looooove to kiss up to white hypocrites with hopes of furthering their own careers…

  10. Latonia says:

    My problem with Don Lemon’s comments are that they don’t address the problem, they address the symptoms of the problem. When you decide to address the deep rooted problems in the black community and offer up some solutions, then maybe we would take you seriously. The reason our community is so upset about your remarks is because, you had the perfect forum to really address issues in our community that make our plight seem so hopeless. I have a nephew that have been earnestly trying to get funding to attend a 4 year university, only to have to accept a 2 year community college. He speaks great English, never sags his pants, doesn’t use the N word, no kids, and on and on, yet that pie in the sky still escapes him. How have you become so far detached from this community that you have bought into the ideology that we are responsible for our own demise. You are a sad sad man, the type that does more harm than good.

  11. Jamie says:

    To be honest Dr. Watkins what youre writing is unfair. The majority of white people are about as responsible for the depletion of black people as Kanye West is responsible for the image of black people. White people today did not enslave anyone. That’s like calling this kidnapper Castro’s daughter a rapist when she did nothing. And as for the manufacture of guns that leads to death in urban areas? Come on, did you jump into a fireplace before someone told you what would happen? Everyone is responsible for themselves. Perhaps inner city schools would get more money if the grades and behavior in those schools were better, I know I attended one. And when I left I got an unbelievable scholarship just because of my race that the white kids who attended my school didnt get a chance to get. We no longer live in 1960. When careers can be demolished over a word from one race and careers can be made from hurtfulness to another because its considered payback now. That is not a world for anyone to prosper in. I worked very hard and just as many white people helped me as my brothers did. And it is because they didnt discredit me when I did not discredit them. You should think about what you write cause you’re no better than Don. An eye for an eye makes the whole world blind and that will lead to the demolition of our black community. Not crack we choose to do and guns we choose to kill each other with and classes we choose not to show up to.

  12. Freefall_nc says:

    Don Lemon didn’t sound angry to me. And frankly, Dr Watkins, twisting the context to camo him out in a certain negative stereotype is something angry white people do.

  13. Daniel says:

    Don Lemon should (re)watch this movie:

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