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CNN’s Lemon Blames Trump for Death of George Floyd in Minneapolis

Posted on 27 May 2020

It started out as reasonable venting during Wednesday’s handoff between Cuomo PrimeTime and CNN Tonight about how the police treat African Americans and how white people should be more receptive. But it all went too far when the latter’s host, Don Lemon, blamed the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis on President Trump. On top of that, he and Chris Cuomo asserted that people on the right would be all-in for gun control if it were African Americans protesting like those demanding Michigan reopen. The handoff began benign enough, with Lemon urging viewers to imagine if it were their friend who had been killed by a police officer that way, to have more empathy, and to speak out. But it took a decidedly political turn when he accused the President of being an influence in the situation (click “expand”): How many more excuses do you need to make before you examine yourself and say, okay, maybe I need to wake up a little bit and take a good long look at what I've been doing. Maybe I need to understand or realize that the environment that this President has trafficked in can help to lead to these sorts of situations, where people think that that sort of behavior, meaning the people who are doing these things, the people who are calling the cops on people falsely in Central Park. The people who are chasing people down the street in Georgia and killing them. That you may begin to think that your actions are normal. That you may begin to think that you as the preeminent voice can do things that are inhumane to other people and it will be accepted. He then also appeared to link Trump to the resent situation in New York City’s Central Park in which a white woman falsely accused a black man of chasing her, and blatantly saying the cops would believe her over him. Although, he did speak out against those causing chaos in the streets. “I'm not condoning people protesting...So, they are frustrated and they are angry and they are out there. And they're upset. You shouldn't be taking televisions, but I can't tell people how to react to this,” he said. And interestingly, in the previous hour, Cuomo actually called the violence and thieving what it was: a riot.     But things went back to being grossly political when they tried to argue that Republicans would give up their commitment to the Second Amendment, if African Americans were protesting with legally acquired and owned firearms. “That’s the meme that’s going around right now with the cops with the black kid on the ground saying hello to the white guy in camo with the AK-47 and the mask who is protesting in Michigan,” chided Cuomo. “That when it's white people with guns and they're out and they're angry and their faces with cops.” Lemon was appalled that the peaceful protesting in Michigan didn’t solicit a violent response from police, and implied that legally exercising their Second Amendment right should have been enough. “Yelling at police officers armed! Armed with heavy weaponry! Didn't see any of that. Did you any anybody with their foot on anybody's neck,” he decried. Cuomo responded by suggesting, without evidence: “If you started to have African-Americans buying up AR-15s” and they were “going out and protesting legally with legal weapons, you'd see a change in the laws, and that's sad.” But back in reality, the Democratic Party’s push for gun control began as a way to take guns from newly freed slaves and oppress blacks during the Jim Crow era. And on a side note, at one point, Lemon claimed that he currently lived in the New York City neighborhood of Harlem. But according to a Modern Luxury: Hamptons' article from August 2019 (pictured included), he lived in the ritzy East Hampton town of Sag Harbor. He and Cuomo had made a point to let viewers know that they live relatively close to each other. Editor's Note: Want to comment on this post? Since NewsBusters no longer has a comments section, feel free to hop on Twitter and join the conversation there by engaging with the tweet below. [email protected]’s @donlemon blames President Trump for the death of George Floyd by police in Minneapolis https://t.co/kus4S7eOJR — Nicholas Fondacaro (@NickFondacaro) May 28, 2020   The transcript is below, click "expand" to read: CNN Tonight May 27, 2020 10:00:36 p.m. Eastern (…) DON LEMON: Imagine if that was me on the ground how you would feel as a friend, as someone I spend a lot of time with. Imagine how people around this country feel when their friends like you, both of us are a different background. When their friends say nothing. When they do nothing. Except send out a tweet or say, “Oh, man, that's terrible. I can't believe that happens.” Then when they see everyday racism, they don't stand up for it. Imagine how that feels to people of color in this country. It feels terrible. Is that really being a friend? I'm not saying you specifically, you understand what I'm saying. You know what I'm saying. (…) 10:03:34 p.m. Eastern LEMON: How many more excuses do you need to make before you examine yourself and say, okay, maybe I need to wake up a little bit and take a good long look at what I've been doing. Maybe I need to understand or realize that the environment that this President has trafficked in can help to lead to these sorts of situations, where people think that that sort of behavior, meaning the people who are doing these things, the people who are calling the cops on people falsely in central park. The people who are chasing people down the street in Georgia and killing them. That you may begin to think that your actions are normal. That you may begin to think that you as the preeminent voice can do things that are inhumane to other people and it will be accepted. The game is giving it away. The woman in Central Park called the cops and I'm going to say this scary black man did something to me knowing that the cops would come there and probably be on her side and not his. The police officer, according to your witness, he looked him in the eye, he told the police officer, “Hey, stop it, you're going to kill the man.” The cop said nothing; “maybe shouldn't be on drugs.” Gave the game away. That is the game. (…) That is what has been happening in this country for years, a that's why the Black Lives Matter folks are out there and that's why people are protesting, Chris. I'm not condoning people protesting, but let me tell you, people are tired of living in an occupied country, a free country -- a country that's supposed to be free, yet they are occupied. So, they are frustrated and they are angry and they are out there. And they're upset. You shouldn't be taking televisions, but I can't tell people how to react to this. I don't know how it is to live under those circumstances in those neighborhoods. I do live in Harlem, but I am lucky enough that I have this job that keeps me protected from many of those things. Other people don't have that. I'm sorry to keep going on and on, but this is how you and I talk, and this is how we continue to talk, and I think that every person out there, listen, if you are black and you don't have a white friend, get one and tell them what's on your mind. And if you are white and you don't have a black friend then get one and let him tell you -- or her what is on their mind. Because that is the only way we are going to solve this. It is not -- it is not incumbent upon black people to stop racism. To stop this. It is incumbent upon people who hold the power in this society to help to do that, to do the heavy lifting. And guess who that is? Who is that, Chris? CHRIS CUOMO: White people. (…) LEMON: Now, imagine if that was an 18, 19, 20-year-old white kid on the ground. CUOMO: Mm-hmm. LEMON: Do you think those officers would be doing the same thing and reacting the same way? CUOMO: That's the troubling question. That’s the meme that’s going around right now with the cops with the black kid on the ground saying hello to the white guy in camo with the AK-47 and the mask who is protesting in Michigan. That when it's white people with guns and they're out and they're angry and their faces with cops. LEMON: Didn't see any of that. CUOMO: Everybody's civil. LEMON: Didn't see any of that. The flag-burning, spitting in police officers' faces. Yelling at police officers armed! Armed with heavy weaponry. Didn't see any of that. Did you any anybody with their foot on anybody's neck. CUOMO: No. I mean, you know, you’ve heard it. People make it a joke. But it’s funny cause it's tragic and sad, if black people said, “Let's all go out and get guns and start the protest,” that would be the fastest change of gun law culture in this country. LEMON: Yeah. CUOMO: If you started to have African-Americans buying up AR-15s or whatever you want to call them and going out and protesting legally with legal weapons, you'd see a change in the laws, and that's sad. LEMON: Yeah. (…)