It is hard to write about Don Lemon and not insult the man. He is self-righteous, hypocritical, deluded, and the pained look on his face when guests state factual comments … there I go again. I simply cannot write an article referencing Don without getting away from myself. I ask this every time: How can anyone stand to watch him? It’s already on my list of questions I would like to ask God if and when I go to Heaven.
The other night on his primetime cable news show, for which he is paid millions of dollars annually and claims oppression status, Lemon interviewed funnyman and all-around good guy Terry Crews. Crews was given an appearance after rising to viral status for a series of Tweets in which he proclaimed: “If you are a child of God, you are my brother and sister. I have family of every race, creed, and ideology.” In the insane (yes, insane; these comments are inflammatory now?) backlash that ensued, Crews doubled down and asked: “Are all white people bad? No. Are all black people good? No.” He continued: “Knowing this reality – I stand with my decision to unite with good people, no matter the race, creed, or ideology.”
Not exactly harmful or aggressive rhetoric. It wasn’t too long ago when the idea of coming together and uniting over our commonalities for the purpose of building a better America brought goodness and greatness to the land. That notion won women a seat at the table after first and second-wave feminist movements and brought about the Civil Rights victories that ensured the same for blacks and other minority populations.
In an interview a few days back worth watching in its eight-minute entirety, Lemon harangued Crews for daring to speak out against the totalitarian narrative. Crews aren’t speaking in lambast; he tries to agree with Lemon that the message of ‘black lives matter’ is important, but distinguishes the universal concern for black life with the movement of Black Lives Matter (an anti-American, power-hungry, and openly Marxist organization). Crews assert, like many of us have been noticing or expressing, that the movement “really viewed themselves as better…where their lives mattered a lot more than mine.” That can be evidenced here. What he also doesn’t like is the idea that because he’s black, he had better get in line, except that message doesn’t mean “you’re treated with love; you’re actually being controlled.” The new Larry Elder documentary Uncle Tom features this exact theme.
For speaking with a critically-observant mind and mentioning the obvious, Lemon responded to Crews with a typical deflection by pivoting to the trite argument that people always label things they don’t like as extreme. In Lemon’s world, the extreme measures taken by Dr. King in the 1960s are analogous to the extreme measures adopted by BLM. Boycotts and marches are now on the same moral plane as looting and torching cities.
It is clear that Lemon did not invite Crews on his show to have his mind changed. Moreover, he didn’t expect to change the perspective of Crews. Instead, it seems obvious that Lemon wanted to make Crews look like a fool. Someone needs to tell this sanctimonious blowhard that he looks foolish every night on air.
The back-and-forth culminated in an enlightening exchange of definitions. Heretofore, my own, admittedly limited, understanding of the Black Lives Matter movement was that it was about the worth of all black lives. The ‘What We Believe’ page on their website certainly supports that notion. It states that the group is “guided by the fact that all black lives matter, regardless of actual or perceived sexual identity, gender identity, gender expression, economic status, ability, disability, religious beliefs or disbeliefs, immigration status, or location.” Am I missing something?
Now, maybe they are getting away from the “all black lives” thing. It wouldn’t be the first time they vacated a sentence in their mission statement; the concluding sentence on the same page affirms that the movement exists to “embody and practice justice, liberation, and peace in our engagements with one another.” Pictures of Minneapolis in the aftermath of rioting, burning, and looting certainly don’t corroborate that. And pictures of CHAZ/CHOP definitely don’t support that.
Anyways, Lemon had to correct Crews had one point when the latter pointed out little black kids were being shot at alarming rates in places like Chicago and Atlanta (to which Lemon immediately railed gun ownership without the least bit of remorse for the loss of life). Here is the specific purpose of Black Lives Matter, according to Lemon:
“The Black Lives Matter movement is about police brutality and injustice in that manner, not about what’s happening in Black neighborhoods … Black Lives Matter is about police brutality and about criminal justice.”
There you have it. Black lives do not matter to Black Lives Matter if they are gunned down by a gangbanger or deadbeat of their own. They only matter when a white police officer does it, which is statistically rare, although you wouldn’t think that based on the incessant chanting and marching and screaming taking place across the country. Twice as many whites as blacks are killed by police – if everyone got this worked up, it would be nonstop protesting all the time.
But there is more to this statement. As Lemon surely knows from the wealth of research and statistics at his disposal, blacks are not the only people being killed by police. In fact, fully 75% of all fatal police encounters end with a victim that is not black. According to a Washington Post database, of the roughly 1,000 fatal police encounters in 2019, 235 of the victims were black. Each loss of life is tragic, but comparatively 370 victims were white. How can we get upset about one and not the other?
Therefore, according to the logic of Don Lemon, it ought to be okay to say “white lives matter” or “all lives matter,” because they are also killed by police, and at a higher output than blacks to boot. Forget about everything else going on, he says, because the movement is specifically about police brutality. Well, if police brutality means 235 blacks were killed in 2019, then what is the correct word for the 370 white victims specifically or 750 total non-black victims? If brutality encompasses 235 deaths, what is the correct word for 370 white deaths or 750 non-black deaths?
It is fun to imagine the cognitive dissonance that Lemon would have to work through when faced with an “All Lives Matter” organizer saying that 1,000 victims died at the hands of police and that the slogan is meant only to combat police brutality against everyone. He would really get knotted up if you reminded him again that most of the fatalities occurred because prior to their encounter, the victims were engaged in criminal, sometimes dangerous, acts, and usually resisted officer requests. Then again, cognitive dissonance stems from cognition. It doesn’t take much to parrot whatever the party line is.
At any rate, thanks, Don Lemon, for making it acceptable to now say “All Lives Matter.” Because they do.