On his show July 30, CNN’s Don Lemon lectured the right and Trump supporters for ignoring racism in this country, calling the claims that he creates and adds to the problems, “bullshit.” This of course coming from the same network who attacks the right and the president for pointing out the problem of media bias.
Lemon’s remarks came after he aired a one-on-one interview with NBA star LeBron James. During the interview, James brought up Trump, saying that he was trying to divide the country:
LEBRON JAMES: We're in a position right now in America more importantly where this whole -- this race thing is taking over. And because one because I believe our president is kind of trying to divide us. But I think --
LEMON: Kind of?
JAMES: Yeah. Is. Is. Not kind of. He's dividing us, and what I noticed over the last few months that he's kind of using sports to kind of divide us, and that's something that I can't relate to. I know that sport was the first time I ever was around someone white. You know? And I got an opportunity to see them and learn about them, and they got an opportunity to learn about me, and we became very good friends, and I was like oh, wow, this is all because of sports. And sports has never been something that divide people. It's always been something that brings people together.
Lemon kept provoking the athlete to attack Trump, from his border policy to his comments on the NFL anthem protests. At one point, the journalist even eagerly asked James to run for political office, in a hypothetical scenario, to defeat Trump in 2020.
Afterwards, Lemon brought on his panel to discuss James’ politics and his beef with Fox News’ host Laura Ingraham who scolded that he should stick to basketball, back in February. Replaying the clip from Ingraham’s show, Lemon scoffed, “Who the….I almost said a bad word. Who does she think she is to talk to someone like that?!”
Lemon and his panelists then raged against the right for claiming that journalists or any public figure had to be “one-dimensional” and not comment on anything unrelated to their field of work. Lemon and Chris Cillizza blasted the Fox News’ host’s “tone” saying that it had clear racist overtones. Fellow panelist, CNN analyst Nina Turner claimed the insults from Ingraham and Trump were akin to how blacks were treated during slavery and the Civil Rights period:
It just reminds me of how African Americans were treated in the 20th century, 19th century, 18th century. Just shut up and do what we tell you to do. She really showed her bigotry and her racism to think that the only thing that Lebron James or any other athlete can do is to shut up and dribble a ball. Just absolutely insulting. Call it what it is. Flat out.
After the break, Lemon ranted against conservative critics who say that he race-baits, shaming them as willfully ignorant. “It is that bad. Stop saying that,” he lectured.
“That’s all really bullshit,” he added:
I know people watch and they say ‘why are you guys talking about, you're race baiting.’ It's not that bad. It is that bad. And stop saying that. Start examining yourself. Why don't you want to talk about it? Maybe I should be more open to talk about it. Maybe I should learn more about my neighbors of color or people who are not like me. What is it that I don't know? What is it that I'm not exposed to? What am I not learning rather than every single time saying ‘there is no racism. It's all behind us. Slavery was a long time ago.’ That's all really bullshit if you're watching at home and saying that.