Don Lemon: Okay to Trash Tim Scott as an ‘Oreo’ in Private?


Appearing as a guest on Friday’s New Day show, CNN Tonight host Don Lemon showed sympathy for liberals who hate Senator Tim Scott and other black conservatives as he suggested that it would be acceptable to call them by racial epithets in private conversations. His comments came as he reacted to a Texas Democratic official who recently derided Senator Scott as an “Oreo.”

Instead of unequivocally condemning the vitriol, he advised against engaging in such name-calling publicly, hinting at political optics, and, as if Senator Scott had done something just as offensive, referred to it as “stooping” to the Republican Senator’s level.

As Lemon appeared as a guest to discuss an upcoming special on singer Marvin Gaye, New Day co-host Brianna Keilar brought up the chairman of the Lamar County Democratic Party, ,Gary O’Connor, deriding Senator Scott as an “Oreo” in a Facebook posting, and then asked him for a response.

 

 

Lemon seemed unhappy with having to be critical of his fellow liberals as he began his response with a sigh:

DON LEMON (after sighing): Oh, God, it’s early for these. I mean, do we —

BRIANNA KEILAR: You think it’s early? (laughs) Come on!

Lemon was initially critical of such name-calling by liberals as he also tried to draw an equivalence with the conservative views of black Republicans:

I think it’s — obviously, you don’t need the name-calling, and anytime you call someone a name — anytime you do that, you don’t want to become them  So you stoop to their level — you give your competitors ammunition, and you give them a talking point, and you become them. So I don’t think — I don’t think it’s helpful to call anyone names. There are ways you hold people to account, and you can call people out by not using names. I do that all the time.

Keilar followed up by observing that “it’s almost as if he’s saying, ‘If you are black, you should be a Democrat.’ Right? He’s sort of saying that…” After Lemon responded by dismissing her observation as a “Republican talking point,” she then asked him to explain what an “Oreo” is.

Lemon sounded like he was defending liberal hostility toward black Republicans as he explained:

Well, I think — “Oreo” is that he’s black on the outside, and he’s white on the inside. So I think that has to do with how you stand on social issues — issues that effect African Americans. If you’re voting against your own interests — if you are upholding a party that has not — trafficking — has been trafficking in racism — an insurrectionist party that’s trying to restrict the voting rights for people who look like you. So African Americans understand what he is saying. I don’t think that they would agree that they should be saying it that way, especially publicly.

Lemon then flipped and started suggesting that it is acceptable for African Americans to use such words to deride black Republicans when speaking privately. He also again suggested that the reason that the word should not be used publicly is not because it is wrong, but because it would hurt the image of liberals:

Now, I’m going to be honest, if you’re sitting around the kitchen table and you’re black and you’re with other black people, they may say the same thing, like, “What is wrong with this you-know-what?” The term that he used. But I don’t think it should be used publicly. I think it is damaging to Democrats if they are trying to do that and give Republicans talking points. Tim Scott should be held accountable for what he’s doing and if he is voting against the interests of his own people. That is something that is valid and should be talked about. The name-calling is different. It should be kept out of the public sphere.

This disgraceful defense of using racial slurs to bully Black conservatives was sponsored in part by USAA. Their contact information is linked.

Transcript follows. Click “expand” to read more. 

CNN

New Day

May 7, 2021

8:23 p.m. Eastern

BRIANNA KEILAR: Don, I want to know what you think about this Democratic party chair in a Texas county who said — and let’s keep in mind he apologized for this, but he called a Republican Senator, Tim Scott — who is black and gave the rebuttal to Joe Biden’s joint address to Congress — he called him an “Oreo.” This is the Democratic party chair. What did you think about that?

DON LEMON (after sighing): Oh, God, it’s early for these. I mean, do we —

KEILAR: You think it’s early? (laughs) Come on!

LEMON (after laughing): No, I think it’s — obviously, you don’t need the name-calling, and anytime you call someone a name — anytime you do that, you don’t want to become them  So you stoop to their level — you give your competitors ammunition, and you give them a talking point, and you become them. So I don’t think — I don’t think it’s helpful to call anyone names. There are ways you hold people to account, and you can call people out by not using names. I do that all the time.

KEILAR: Can I ask you about that, though? This idea, I mean, larger than that is when I see those comments from the Democratic party chair, it’s almost as if he’s saying, “If you are black, you should be a Democrat.” Right? He’s sort of saying that —

LEMON I don’t think that’s what he’s saying.

KEILAR: What do you think he’s saying?

LEMON: I think — I think that is a Republican talking point. People say if you are, you know, “If you are black, you should be a Democrat.”

KEILAR: Well, explain, you know, what “Oreo” means.

LEMON: Well, I think — “Oreo” is that he’s black on the outside, and he’s white on the inside. So I think that has to do with how you stand on social issues — issues that effect African Americans. If you’re voting against your own interests — if you are upholding a party that has not — trafficking — has been trafficking in racism — an insurrectionist party that’s trying to restrict the voting rights for people who look like you. So African Americans understand what he is saying. I don’t think that they would agree that they should be saying it that way, especially publicly.

Now, I’m going to be honest, if you’re sitting around the kitchen table and you’re black and you’re with other black people, they may say the same thing, like, “What is wrong with this you-know-what?” The term that he used. But I don’t think it should be used publicly. I think it is damaging to Democrats if they are trying to do that and give Republicans talking points. Tim Scott should be held accountable for what he’s doing and if he is voting against the interests of his own people. That is something that is valid and should be talked about. The name-calling is different. It should be kept out of the public sphere.



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