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Don Lemon, vilifying rapper Kanye West over the course of 24 hours, managed to engage in racism, questioned his mental state (if not outright mocking it) and put words in the mouth of his dead mother.

Lemon’s outrage against Kanye West for meeting with, and pro-actively supporting, President Trump has led to a series of highly questionable and completely offensive comments. Here are Lemon’s Three Strikes:


On a panel run by Lemon, which included Bakari Sellers, Tara Setmayer and Scott Jennings, Sellers stated that Kanye is what happens, “when Negroes don’t read.” Instead of condemning Sellers comments, Lemon laughed uncontrollably, along with Sellers and Setmayer. Lemon then mocked the reaction of Jennings, saying, “Look at Scott’s face!” (Jennings is white. Lemon, Sellers and Setmayer are black.)

This was followed up by Setmayer saying that Kanye, “He’s the token Negro of the Trump administration.”

Again, no condemnation from Lemon, who clearly supports this king of racial attack against someone he disagrees with.


In a conversation with Wolf Blitzer after Kanye’s meeting with President Trump, Lemon says he – and all African-Americans – were embarrassed by the meeting which, “looked like a minstrel show:”


I’m just going to be honest and I may get in a lot of trouble for it. I actually feel bad for him. What I saw was a minstrel show today. Him in front of all these white people embarrassing himself and embarrassing Americans, but mostly African-Americans because every one of them is sitting either at home or with their phones, watching this, cringing. 

I couldn’t even watch it. I had to turn the television off because it was so hard to watch. Him sitting there, being used by the president of the United States. The president of the United States exploiting him.


In the same rant with Wolf Blitzer, Lemon invoked the memory of Kanye’s dead mother, Donda:


We need to take the cameras away from Kanye and from a lot of this craziness that happens in the White House because it is not normal and we need to stop sitting here pretending that it’s normal. This was an embarrassment. Kanye’s mother is rolling over in her grave.

I spoke to one of her friends today or texted with one of her friends today from Chicago. I used to live there. I know them. She said Donda would be embarrassed by this. She would be terribly disturbed by this. And Kanye has not been the same since his mother died. 


Don Lemon laughed, and agreed that a black man he disagrees with is a “token Negro.” Don Lemon doubled down by claiming Kanye was engaging in a minstrel show, and questioned his mental state by claiming he’s being “used” by President Trump. Don Lemon puts words in Kanye’s dead mother’s mouth to try and shame him.

That’s Three Strikes by any rational standard. Does CNN brass, and do CNN advertisers, approve of this kind of rhetoric? So far, CNN has remained silent on Lemon’s commentary.