On Black Culture, Don Lemon’s Got It All Wrong

July 31, 2013
Chris Emdin

Earlier this morning, I was sent a video clip of CNN anchor Don Lemon’s usually thoughtful and increasingly controversial news segment “No Talking Points.” I was expecting some interesting commentary but instead watched him dive head first into a self-righteous tirade about the lack of responsibility Blacks have for the ills that plague their community. As I watched the diatribe, I was shocked by Lemon’s endorsement of Bill O’Reilly’s off handed and grossly inaccurate criticism of the black community. O’Reilly stated, “… raised without much structure, young black men often reject education and gravitate towards the street culture, drugs, hustling, gangs.”

Soon I realized that Lemon not only endorses O’Reilly’s words, but uses them as the guiding theme of his tirade. He quickly transformed the segment into an opportunity to talk, point, and critique people of color and hip-hop culture. Lemon’s entire segment was from a standpoint of obscene elitism that “progressive liberals” feel they have a license to spew by virtue of aligning themselves to a particular underserved group. The reality is that Don Lemon’s self-identification as being black, gay or from any other marginalized group does not give him license to speak disparagingly about a group’s culture because he obviously…

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