CNN’s Don Lemon says he doesn’t know whether the United States views black people as fully human.
Lemon argued black and white people are “living in two different realities,” saying former President Donald Trump was “the necessary wake-up for America to realize just how racist it is.”
“I don’t think America has seen enough people like me. I don’t think America intimately knows enough people like me. I would love America to see black people, especially black gay men as, and I hate this word, normal, and as human beings and as part of the culture. … I don’t know if America sees Black people and especially Black gay men as fully human, and as deserving of the American Dream,” he told the Washington Post.
Lemon said he hoped his position as a primetime anchor on CNN allows him to speak “for the people who don’t have agency, for marginalized people, and especially for black people.”
“So if I’m the only black man on prime-time cable, I’m certainly going to speak for the people who don’t have the privilege of the platform that I have,” he continued. “If I don’t do it, who’s going to do it?”
Lemon recently slammed opponents of critical race theory, which claims “racism is a normal and ordinary part of our society, not an aberration,” telling critics, “Stop making it about you.”
“That’s the whole thing about what privilege is: that people don’t like to have their pleasure interrupted, their peace interrupted. So people think that it should be the way that it should be because they’ve been taught that in this country,” he told CNN’s Chris Cuomo during the handoff from Cuomo Prime Time to Don Lemon Tonight on Thursday.
There was confusion in recent weeks about Lemon’s future at the network after telling viewers last month it would be his “last night” hosting CNN Tonight with Don Lemon.
“So, earlier, I told you I had an announcement. And I do. It’s been really, really great. This is the last night that we’ll be seeing Tonight with Don Lemon. So, I appreciate all the years of CNN Tonight with Don Lemon. But changes are coming. And I will fill you in,” the anchor said at the end of his show on May 14.
Within minutes, the anchor, who has been with CNN since 2006, posted on his Twitter account to address the wave of speculation about his future at the network that followed his sign-off.
“So, I got back down to my office after the show. Everybody, calm down. I didn’t say I was leaving CNN. I just said it was the end of an era for CNN Tonight with Don Lemon. I’m not leaving CNN, so you will have to tune in Monday at 10 o’clock to see. That’s it. So, relax. I’m not leaving,” he added.