While there’s legitimate reason to suspect that Kanye West broke Don Lemon, given the racist tirade the CNN anchor directed at the popular rapper after his Oval Office visit, you can’t say that Lemon wasn’t made aware of how his actions came across.
Former Trump campaign operative Steve Cortez appeared Wednesday on Lemon’s show and squeezed him hard for calling West’s visit with President Donald Trump a “minstrel show,” and for saying the rapper’s dead mother is “rolling in her grave.”
“You know, Don, you said this meeting was embarrassing,” Cortes said, tearing into the anchor. “I think quite frankly what’s embarrassing is the condescension you’ve shown to Kanye West, someone who I think is a brave, independent thinker, a creative genius.”
“Does he speak in a different vernacular?” he asked. “Of course he does like a lot of artists — it’s one I don’t always understand but I do understand he’s a great thinker.”
Citing an earlier show this week that saw West being called “the token negro of the Trump administration,” Cortes also called Lemon out for questioning West’s mental fitness.
“And for you and a lot of guests to dismiss him as a ‘token negro’ and question his mental stability when you’re not doctors, you haven’t examined him, I think is really unfortunate,” he said. “It’s an example unfortunately that’s all too common on the left which is liberals, when a minority doesn’t tow the party line, they are vilified and dismissed.”
Lemon felt the need to clarify that the guest who called West a “token negro,” CNN commentator Tara Setmayer, was a “conservative,” not that Cortes agreed with that assessment.
Cortes would later reference Lemon’s “minstrel show” remark to ask, “Could you be any more condescending to this man?”
Lemon did not back down from playing the “step and fetch” card, which shows how threatening West is as an example to black Americans that they are not confined to the Democratic Party.
“I’m just telling the truth. I’m not being condescending to him, I’m telling the truth,” Lemon insisted, as he proceeded to speak for all black Americans.
“And if you ask African Americans around the country, they will tell you the exact same thing,” he continued. “That’s what it looked like today, sadly. And I’m saying this… not out of animus for Kanye West but because I feel sorry for him. And I think he needs to take care of himself.”
“He doesn’t need your pity, Don,” Cortes fired back.
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