Remove Don Lemon from CNN
I will keep this short.
Over the past few years, America and the rest of the world has experienced the painful consequences of Don Lemons' ignorance. We have also listened to and read the continuous apologies that are followed by more offensive comments.
When interviewing a Bill Cosby rape survivor he did the unspeakable. He told the survivor, "You -- you know, there are ways not to perform oral sex if you didn't want to do it." After the survivor told Lemon that she was “stoned”, he told her that she should've used her teeth. While it has not been confirmed if the woman's story is “true”, still the words of Don Lemon's are an explicit example of victim blaming. His comment is a scary, but common narrative that makes sexual assault and rape survivors not want to report and speak out in the first place. It also perpetuates rape culture. If Don Lemon doesn't know how to conduct interviews professionally and in a manner that is sensitive then he should not be on air.
Don Lemon is guilty of many accounts of attempting to portray Black people in a negative light in times of racially motivated injustice. While in the midst of an intense protest in Ferguson, he made the statement “Obviously, there’s a smell of marijuana in the air.” What was the necessity of this? He replied to the backlash his comments created saying that “it meant nothing” and he was “in the midst of gunfire and tear gassing”. But, Why wouldn’t Lemon focus on the gunfire and the tear-gassing? Why not investigate the smell if it was so important to mention? He was very intentional about criminalizing the protestors by associating them use of an illicit drug with their movement.
During the aftermath of Trayvon Martin, Lemon decided to offer advice to Black people. In order to fix “the problem”, Lemon suggested that Black people “[hike] up their pants, [finish] school, [stop] using the n-word, [take] care of their communities and [stop] having children out of wedlock.” While people of all different backgrounds have done these things, Lemon goes out of his way to use his international platform to shame and stereotype Black people. There is no apology for this comment.
While there are many more examples of Don Lemon’s foolishness, I promised I would keep it short.
Don Lemon is a newscaster on a respected news network. It is a newscaster’s job primarily to report the facts and conduct constructive discourse. However, Don Lemon perpetuates current institutional structures that marginalize women and people of color. When Don Lemon comes on television, I immediately change the channel. His track record has destroyed his trust with viewers across the country and the world. You can check the many hashtags that have been created in response to his many offensive comments. Don Lemon has no place on a news network. Please, spare the American people and the rest of the world by removing him from CNN.
(Editing by Salem Joseph)
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