I’m not sure if it was the countless killings of unarmed Black men, women and children by police or the coronavirus restrictions, but something changed in Don Lemon.
The CNN host has gone from a passive, middle-of-the-road, “We’ve got to see both sides” kind of a guy to a baby Malcolm X, and I joked with coworkers that Lemon is becoming more militant the higher his afro grows.
But Lemon snapped on Monday night, and rightfully so. Chris Cuomo and the brass at CNN thought it was a good idea to continue to prop up Rick Santorum–a Ziploc bag filled with conservative white man tropes–by having him on Cuomo’s show.
Santorum is a regular on the network but Monday’s appearance was extremely controversial considering Santorum was fresh off a racist tirade in which he told a right-wing youth group that when colonists arrived in America, there was “nothing here.”
Oh, Santorum wasn’t finished. He also claimed, racistly, that there “isn’t much Native American culture in American culture” and colonists “birthed a nation from nothing,” the Wrap reports. Video of the moment went viral, and people including Don Lemon were pissed.
From the Wrap:
Santorum’s remarks drew heavy condemnation after they became public, and widespread calls for CNN to fire him as a political analyst. The network has not publicly commented on the uproar, but it appears it will take no action, as Santorum appeared as a commentator on Chris Cuomo’s CNN show.
Santorum was there alongside a different Republican to speak on unrelated matters, but before that conversation began Cuomo brought up the comments under the guise of giving Santorum “a chance to explain yourself.” We won’t transcribe his comments, which largely indulge in deflection and whataboutism.
Lemon’s show runs after Cuomo’s and the two usually exchange pleasantries as Cuomo goes off the air. But not on this Monday, especially after we all learned that Blue Ivy is almost as tall as her mother!
“I was furious watching that interview in my office. I cannot believe the first words out of his mouth weren’t ‘I’m sorry, I said something ignorant, I need to learn about the history of this country. No contrition! Didn’t talk about the suffering that Native Americans have had to deal with in this country. I mean, Rick Santorum, really?” Lemon said.
“Did he actually think it was a good idea for him to come on television and try to whitewash the whitewash that he whitewashed? It was horrible and insulting! And I apologize to the viewers who were insulted by it. I was sitting in my office furious because he’s done it so many times! So many times!” Lemon continued. “It was just—I’m sorry, it was so egregious and insulting, and everything that we talk about, about the founding of this country.”
Lemon added that it was a bad look for CNN to continue to give this malfunctioning Republican bucket of conservative spittle a venue. Lemon also noted that his feelings about Santorum were comparable to Black Lives Matter, calling it a “Native American lives matter moment for me,” the Wrap reports.
Cuomo tried to whitesplain to Lemon that he needed to move past his outrage and see that having Santorum on was “because I want people to see what this is. There is no mystery for you guys.”
“People know what it is,” Lemon replied.
Cuomo claimed that Lemon wanted to censor Santorum, which is rich considering the last time a white man has been censored was when they shut up Detroit legend, Richard “White Boy Rick” Wershe.
“I agree because I know where you are coming from and I love you, Don Lemon. We agree on the problem. What’s the solution? We’ve got to figure it out,” Cuomo said.
“Oh, I’ve got a solution, but anyways, not my decision,” Lemon replied.
Watch it all below: