CNN’s Don Lemon on Saturday addressed critics of his five suggestions for the African-American community, which created a firestorm of controversy when he presented them two weeks ago. The points, which align closely with Fox News host Bill O’Reilly’s assessment of the black community, prompted hip-hop mogul Russell Simmons to write several blistering tweets and an open letter to Lemon.
But the intense scrutiny has not caused Lemon to back down. He revisited the issue on Saturday, reframing his comments in the context of black leaders, including President Barack Obama, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and Malcolm X, instead of highlighting his agreement with O’Reilly, according to Mediaite.
Following several lengthy clips of these leaders speaking about black empowerment and personal responsibility, Lemon responded directly to Simmons’ open letter.
“I’m glad you wrote the letter,” Lemon said, the first of several such assurances, but said he almost didn’t respond, “not because I think you completely missed the point, not because, like many of the other critics, I thought you were just using the occasion as a promotion for one of your businesses, your website, but I wasn’t going to address it because, quite honestly, it was hard to take you, and it, seriously after you called me derogatory names like slave on Twitter.”
Read more at Mediaite.