Don Lemon Told the Truth and It Hurts
Above is the original broadcast of Don Lemon on CNN. At the end of the post, you’ll find the video of the response Don Lemon had to the current controversy.
Am I the only black person that agreed with Don Lemon’s comments?
Do you, like me, also hate to admit so because Don was on the bandwagon with Bill O’Reilly when he spoke?
And are you, like me, reluctantly shaking the feeling off because the truth in Don’s statements outweigh the medium by which it was conveyed?
I imagine that if black folks were left to the fate of Bill, we’d probably all be extinct. There are too many white “experts” telling the black community what’s wrong with it, yet not offering to be apart of what can help, nor showing empathy to the very real, oft unfair setbacks we may face. That’s not just incredibly patronizing, it’s an oversimplification of what’s wrong in our communities, coming from the biased view of the privileged majority.
Put simply: It’s damn easy to tell somebody how to do something when you’re not subject to the disadvantages they are. If you constantly disparage someone, any validity in your statement is going to be lost. No use championing the tip when we know the rest of the arrow is dipped in poison.
Unfortunately, Don Lemon’s words, combined with peoples distaste for the hate mongering on Fox News, created the perfect poison arrow. Despite knowing he was right, did you really feel comfortable clapping for Don knowing that, indirectly, you were also clapping for Bill O’Reilly’s smug ass? Probably not. And that’s too bad, because Don Lemon kept it real!
Black people need to do better. And that starts in the home. In our communities, too many children are raising children and too many adults are raising children before they’ve even matured. There is a rampant cycle of disrespect for ourselves, others, our communities and a disregard for education and accountability. We are far too busy glamorizing drugs, crime and ratchetness. Parents are not breaking the destructive cycle of their own childhoods, they are preserving them. Even worse? On top of that, we’re still black in America.
Institutional racism is real and it’s not going anywhere. It’s never going to be easy for blacks. Lets put that out there. So now, how do we handle that? Do we give up? Do we sag our pants and say “fuck the police” or do we move forward? My vote is forward movement. If racism isn’t going away, you might as well live your best life and spite it’s existence.
It’s imperative we wake up and realize the cavalier attitude that has replaced, what was once a very prideful community, is a failing business model. Our children’s role models have become Jay-Z, Kobe Bryant and Joseline Hernandez of Love & Hip Hop Atlanta. Somewhere along the line, many have decided that you’re “acting white” if you attend college, attempt to better your life and improve your vernacular. Then, you’re an Uncle Tom, hater or racist if you speak honestly on the issues in our community. That’s just ridiculous. Don Lemon is not Clarence Thomas. Don Lemon just stated some hard truths.
However, as a friend pointed out to me, you cannot empower people by pointing the finger or shaming them into doing the right thing. We have to uplift one another, offer guidance and support in order to help people become their best. And if you look at Don Lemon’s words from this perspective, perhaps inflammatory speech (especially in the face of Bill O’Reilly) didn’t do a damn bit of good for black folks.
But you know what? I believe that unless we can have an honest dialogue about the destructive attitudes and behavior that plague our communities (instead of trying to save face in front of white folks) we’re destined to remain a weak minority. Do we need the praise? Absolutely, but you have to be willing to take the tough talk as well. It would have been nice if Don also had something positive to say, given that his very presence was proof that we’re not all “throwing trash on the ground.” However, I have no interest in dismissing his comments.
Fixating on our inequalities will never seem like anything more than a bunch of whining, to white folks, when there are so many blacks neglecting to take advantage of the opportunities our elders won for us. So does it suck that Don Lemon said his comments in agreeance with Bill O’Reilly? Definitely. But at the same time, did the man tell a lie? Well, no he did not.
The truth may hurt, but it’s definitely necessary.
Don Lemon’s Response to the controversy: