CNN’s Don Lemon once found himself agreeing with former Fox News host Bill O’Reilly, who attributed the “violence and chaos” in black precincts to the “disintegration of the African American family,” prompting the CNN host to offer the black community five tips of his own to “fix the problem,” in a clip resurfaced by Fox News Channel’s Tucker Carlson this week.
“Now if you’re running a channel like CNN, you want dumb people on TV because they’re compliant. They’ll say what they’re told. They’ll tell the audience what the moment demands. They will never stray from the script, and that’s exactly what Mr. Lemon is doing,” Carlson observed this week.
“But just seven years ago, it was a different country and people were kind of allowed to say what they thought was true. So at the time, here’s what Don Lemon was saying about black communities,” he continued, introducing the clip of Lemon from 2013:
Tucker ends Don 🍋 pic.twitter.com/g6YoDamEZq
— Benny (@bennyjohnson) July 9, 2020
“It’s time now for some tough love on the subject,” Lemon said in the 2013 segment, suggesting that the problems in the black community stemmed primarily from cultural issues.
He appealed to a clip of O’Reilly who said, “The reason there is so much violence in chaos in the black precincts is the disintegration of the African American family.”
“He’s got a point. In fact, he’s got more than a point,” the CNN host remarked, pointing to O’Reilly again.
“Raised without much structure, young black men often reject education and gravitate towards the street culture — drugs, hustling, gangs. “Nobody forces them to do that. Again, it is a personal decision,” O’Reilly said.
Lemon then offered his own assessment, contending that the Fox News host “doesn’t go far enough” and offering five tips to the black community to “fix the problem.”
“Because black people, if you really want to fix the problem, here’s just five things that you should think about doing. Here’s number five: Pull up your pants,” he began, establishing the “n-word” as number four.
“Now number three: Respect where you live,” Lemon continued, urging them to “start small by not dropping trash [and] littering in your own communities” and pulling from his own experience:
I’ve lived in several predominantly white neighborhoods in my life I rarely, if ever, witnessed people littering. I live in Harlem now. It’s a historically black neighborhood. Every single day I see adults and children dropping their trash on the ground when a garbage can is just feet away just being honest here.
Lemon also listed finishing school as a primary way to “break the cycle of poverty.”
“Stop telling kids are acting white because they go to school or they speak proper English,” he said. “Over the course of a career, a college grad will make nearly a million dollars more than a high school graduate. That’s a lot of money.”
“And number one and probably the most important — just because you can have a baby it doesn’t mean you should, especially without planning for one or getting married first,” Lemon said in his final point.
“More than 72 percent of children in the African American community are born out of wedlock. That means absent fathers, and the studies show that lack of a male role model is an express train right to prison, and the cycle continues,” he continued, begging the black community to “pay close attention to the hip-hop and rap culture that glorifies everything I just mentioned — thug and reprehensible behavior.”
“A culture that is making a lot of people rich, just not you,” he concluded.
Lemon’s assessment later prompted former MSNBC personality Touré to deem Lemon, a black leftist, a “white leader.”
Lemon has, in recent months, appeared to forget his prior position, accusing President Trump of promoting a message of fear in the midst of civil and racial unrest.
“It’s easy to fall back on stereotypes. It’s easy to make the black man the boogeyman, right? Fear. He is using fear to scare people, ‘Oh my gosh, these scary black people want to take away the world that you know, the America that you created. which is not true,” Lemon said.
Lemon also emphasized, during a heated debate with Terry Crews this week, that the Black Lives Matter movement is “not about what happens in communities when it comes to crime, black-on-black crime”:
Black lives matter is about police brutality and about criminal justice. It’s not about what happens in communities when it comes to crime, black-on-black crime. People who live near each other, black people, kill each other. Same as whites. Eighty-some percent of white people are killed by white people because of proximity. Same thing with black people. It happens in every single neighborhood. But again, I’m not saying it’s not important that those kids died, but it’s a different movement.
While he previously urged members of the black community to refrain from being influenced by hip-hop and rap culture that glorifies “thug and reprehensible behavior,” the CNN host recently mused that the violent riots dominating cities across the country could be used a “mechanism for a restructure in our country.”
“This is quite actually sad to watch,” he said. “And it is an indication indicative of the pain and the sadness in this country — of people who feel they have no other alternative but to exhibit this behavior in our country, no other option.”
“When you have nothing to lose, you have nothing to lose,” he added.