Frisky Rant: Yes, Don Lemon, The N-Word And Your Sign Are Offensive

Both the liberal left and conservative right agree on one thing this morning: Don Lemon is a complete idiot.

Last night, in the middle of a CNN broadcast, the anchor held up a sign that read “NIGGER” and questioned, “Does this offend you?” America’s short answer: Absolutely.

Twitter unleashed a fury like none other, with many creating memes mocking the notoriously dense Lemon. I agree with @wonder_womanist. This most certainly is the best meme so far:


And then there are these runner ups:


The introduction was supposedly Lemon’s attempt at opening the heated discussion on the President’s use of the n-word during an interview with Marc Maron on his “WTF” podcast. Here is the President’s full quote, which the mainstream media has managed to take completely out of context:

“Racism, we are not cured of it. And it’s not just a matter of it not being polite to say nigger in public. That’s not the measure of whether racism still exists or not. It’s not just a matter of overt discrimination. Societies don’t, overnight, completely erase everything that happened 200 to 300 years prior.”

Now, there is a vast difference between Obama’s use of the n-word and Don Lemon’s display of it on a placard. Obama used the word, without censoring it, in order to highlight the more sinister nature of structural, systemic racism. And then there’s the fact that the word has been hurled at him by racist conservatives ever since he was elected into the White House. As journalist Marc Lamont Hill put it:


Don Lemon’s stunt, however, was a cheap ploy for attention, a sensationalistic display which showed a lack of integrity and a disregard for the responsibilities and duties of a good journalist. Given the vast number of negative responses from the conservative right over the President’s use of the word (albeit a contextually relevant one), Lemon certainly knew he was merely stoking the flames. To make matters worse, Lemon did not actually provide any new interesting insights or attempt to further the conversation on inequality – not that anyone would expect him to, since he is Don Lemon, after all. To a large extent, his action undermined the importance of Obama’s message by drawing more attention to the use of the word n-word, as if that was the point of the discussion in the first place.

No wonder this is how black people feel about him: