In a piece for the Feminist Wire, Rabi’a Hakima argues that despite Don Lemon’s comments, women raising children alone have value and aren’t the root cause of high rates of incarceration or poverty within the black community. She also says that Lemon’s comments perpetuate Eurocentric racism and come from a place of male privilege.
The intersection between racism and sexism is where a brown-skinned male news anchor can, from his privileged position of maleness, propose to combat racial disparities by talking down to African-American women and girls about their reproductive choices.
CNN’s Don Lemon recently agreed with Bill O’Reilly who blamed “the disintegration of the African American family” for the crime rates in African American communities. Lemon claimed that African Americans need to stop wearing saggy pants, using the N-word, littering, and discouraging education. His final and, according to him, “probably the most important” imperative was directed specifically at African-American women and girls. Said Lemon,
“Just because you can have a baby, it doesn’t mean you should, especially without planning for one or getting married first. More than 72% of children in the African-American community are born out of wedlock. That means absent fathers. And the studies show that lack of a male role model is an express train to prison, and the cycle continues.”
Read Rabi’a Hakima’s entire piece at the Feminist Wire.
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