The uproar over a racist CNN segment has reached a fevered pitch, with even relatively nonpartisan individuals like Herschel Walker now feeling compelled to chime in.
In a tweet posted Thursday morning, the retired NFL legend called on CNN to fire the three contributors who had the night before referred to rapper Kanye West with derogatory terms such as “token negro.”
Went to bed appalled over @donlemon despicable behavior laughing at @TaraSetmayer and @Bakari_Sellers awful remarks about Kanye West’s visit with @realDonaldTrump!! Woke up wondering why @CNN doesn’t take all three off the air?#SHAMEFUL #CNN https://t.co/MwGWIfh8so
— Herschel Walker (@HerschelWalker) October 11, 2018
During Wednesday’s broadcast of “CNN Tonight,” host Don Lemon had sat back and laughed in glee as analyst Bakari Sellers and political commentator Tara Setmayer had disrespected West with some of the most “full blown racist” rhetoric seen on TV in recent decades.
Responding to news that West had scheduled a meeting with President Donald Trump to discuss criminal justice reform, Sellers had said, “Kanye West is what happens when Negroes don’t read.”
Setmayer had concurred, saying, “Now all of a sudden Kanye, because he’s put on a MAGA hat and he’s an attention whore like the president, he’s all of a sudden now the model spokesperson. He’s the token negro of the Trump Administration?”
“This is ridiculous. And no one should be taking Kanye West seriously. He clearly has issues. He’s already been hospitalized. You know, not to trivialize mental health issues, but obviously Kanye has taken a turn in a very strange way.”
This rhetoric earned massive backlash in part because, one, it was patently racist, and two, West is not some mentally incompetent nincompoop and so-called “token.” Thanks to efforts by the rapper and his wife, socialite Kim Kardashian, a 62-year-old black great-grandmother who was serving a life sentence for nonviolent drug-related offenses has been released from prison.
Chances are that more blacks who’ve been hit with unfair sentences will soon be released as well thanks to their efforts. It’s unclear who in the black community, if anyone, that Lemon, Sellers and Setmayer have helped in a similar manner.
What is clear is that none of three CNN contributors seem to be even slightly bothered by the criticism that’s been lodged their way. Particularly Setmayer, who responded to Walker’s tweet by accusing him of wanting to silence her.
Walker replied by noting that he had merely been noting the obvious — that she and her cohorts are shameless bullies:
Bless your heart.
You want to silence me because I expressed a different opinion than yours? Because I called out Kanye for what he is? Uninformed!I’m an actual conservative, who’s worked on policy advancing those principles for 20+yrs.
I’ll never be a shill for Trump. https://t.co/MmrDFdmEBv
— Tara Setmayer (@TaraSetmayer) October 11, 2018
No …@TaraSetmayer, anyone that is African American with an opinion different than yours, you want to call them out by using the N-word and @donlemon is laughing?? To me that’s bullying and shameful!! https://t.co/pbdFMQZIeE
— Herschel Walker (@HerschelWalker) October 11, 2018
As of Saturday morning, Setmayer’s post had only 1,200 likes, whereas Walker’s had over 16,000. And whereas the replies to the NFL legend’s reply were mostly supportive of him, the replies to the commentator’s post were surely not:
No! May God bless ur heart & take out the hate that consumes it so much that you hate your own race if they defend Donald Trump. You will turn on your own people to defend liberalism. I am in complete shock!! There really is no limit on how low u will go.
— DixieChic11_11 (@DixieChic11_11) October 11, 2018
Now you play the victim. You tried to silence Kanye for his opinion, everyone saw it, and now you’re claiming the same symptoms–trying to flip it by saying people are trying to silence you for a difference in opinion. Projection much?
— Click Refresh (@James6feetabove) October 11, 2018
LOL…no ma’am bless your heart. I’m no Kanye fan in particular, but you words and actions do not support people of color who have a differing opinion from the mainstream. You may not be a shill for Trump, but you certainly are for @CNN
— Big Gov’t Sucks (@ru4realdoe) October 12, 2018
Bless your heart, if it can be found.
— Maribeth Price (@mbprice5) October 12, 2018
The only uninformed person is you.
— Sgt3 (@sgtrolls3) October 12, 2018
You’re racism and intolerance was on display for all to see on National TV. It was truly sad to watch.
— Jolene Doty (@JoleneDoty) October 12, 2018
You didn’t “just” express a different opinion. It was a disgusting display of adults laughing at him, belittling him, calling him names on a major news network. My 10 year old knows better than all of you. It was truly sickening.
— Kristy🇺🇸🇺🇸💕 (@kmbeen) October 13, 2018
Lemon has not yet responded to the controversy, though he did double down on his apparent hatred for Trump by invoking West’s mother to shame him for having met with the president Thursday. Nor has CNN responded, which isn’t surprising since, well, this is CNN.
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