Blackface Mammy in the house: Don Lemon’s cookie jar inspires hypocrisy check

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Left-wing CNN political commentator and host Don Lemon was caught with a blackface Mammy cookie jar, and this has inspired a debate over whether it’s inappropriate and potentially racist for him to own such a divisive object.

Lemon was caught with the Mammy cookie jar while broadcasting from his home on New Year’s Eve alongside fellow left-wing CNN commentator Brooke Baldwin.

A screenshot from the broadcast was posted by a random Twitter user named “Dom” and quickly went viral, attracting even the attention of Fox News’ Todd Starnes.

Look:

In case the photo has been removed, an archived copy remains here.

What “this” is, is a mammy cookie jar, and according to the rules of contemporary PC culture, mammy cookies jars are a giant no-no.

“The mammy stereotype portrays black women as obedient maids to white families. Like blackface, racist objects such as mammy jars perpetuate deep-rooted stereotypes about African-Americans by portraying them as docile, dumb and animated,” The New York Times notes.

“More than a century after the heyday of minstrel shows and the peak production of racist objects, some Americans are still learning about how these cultural products — viewed as forms of entertainment and decorations during the Jim Crow era — dehumanize black people.”

It’s why Aunt Jemima chose to rid itself of Aunt Jemima — because the beloved character (based on a real woman) bore too much resemblance to the mammy stereotype.

It’s also why, when Grace Coddington, the former creative director at Vogue magazine, was caught last year with a Mammy cookie jar of her own — also in her kitchen, at that — critics pounced:

The question now is whether Lemon deserves the same scrutiny and criticism. It seems “Dom” believes so, and he’s not alone.

Look:

Lemon has spent years ranting and raving about race. Take for instance the rant that ensued in 2018 after Megyn Kelly argued that children dressing up in blackface is OK.

“When I was a kid, that was OK, so long as you were dressing up in character,” she said on her since-cancelled NBC talk show, “The Megyn Kelly Today Show.”

Lemon responded by accusing her of boasting so-called “privilege.”

“There were all white people on that panel. There were no African- Americans, no people of color there to say, hey, Megyn, not cool. I wonder how much diversity she has on her staff, I don’t know, I’m not there. But I would imagine there’s not a lot because people would have informed her,”  he said.

“This is what people of the larger culture don’t understand about racism and about privilege. I don’t know of many black people who are trying to be white people for Halloween or dressing up as white people but I know a lot of people who do it for black people.”

Listen:

Despite his anger over the notion of children wearing a blackface-containing costume for Halloween, he apparently sees nothing wrong with owning a Mammy cookie jar.

Nor do his supporters.

Look:

Is Lemon practicing hypocrisy and double standards, or just embracing his history?

Vivek Saxena

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