Dr. Boyce: Why is CNN Allowing Don Lemon to Go Into Angry Tirades Against Black People?

weopewopewposby Dr. Boyce Watkins

I don’t dislike Don Lemon, but I’ll admit that he’s never made me comfortable.  The only time he’s ever interviewed me was during a segment about Tiger Woods a few years ago, and I picked up a peculiar arrogance in his voice and gestures that, quite frankly, threw me off.   I originally wrote it off as the overconfidence of a young kid who was proud and excited to have a national platform, but you can imagine my shock when I found out that Don is nearly 50 years old.

Don Lemon analyzing race is like the school mascot coaching the football team.  You watch enough action from the sidelines, and you begin to believe that you’re a player.  The armchair quarterback is the one who thinks that the running back should have been able to play with a broken leg or that the team keeps losing because they won’t implement the offensive schemes that give him success on his Xbox360 console.

In response to the firestorm of criticism Don received for his explanation for why racial inequality exists in America, Don kept right at it, encouraging others to attack the problem instead of attacking him.  But Don, the problem is that you are the problem.  Those in positions of power who possess antiquated and misguided attitudes about people of color are the ones who (perhaps inadvertently) keep racial discrimination alive and well in America.  Secondly, for Don to ask others to simply attack the problem would be hypocritical, because Don himself has not chosen to attack the problem of structural racism, and has instead dedicated valuable CNN airtime to attacking black people.

This is not to question Don Lemon’s “black card,” but it is to say that his “analysis” on race is one of the most embarrassing television debacles since the release of the movie “Soul Plane.”   Here are some things that Don needs to stop doing right now:

1) Stop talking about race on CNN without providing proper context:  Is Don a journalist or a talking head?  I can’t imagine Anderson Cooper going into tirades against the gay community or a female CNN personality explaining to women why they deserve to be raped and abused.   If that’s the case, then why does CNN make an exception and allow Don Lemon to go into his verbal assaults against black people?  Even worse is that these third-grader conversations are rarely balanced, as Don appears to have become so emotionally invested that he won’t let the argument go until he finally wins.  This is hardly the kind of professionalism one might expect from an allegedly objective journalist.  Don should save his rants for conversations at Starbucks.

2) Stop using Martin Luther King and Malcolm X to bolster your argument:  I can’t speak for Dr. King and Malcolm X, but as Don uses select quotes of prominent black leaders to support his point of view, he’d be wise to also mention that these men were incredibly critical of the white American establishment in the creation and perpetuation of systematic obstacles which serve to maintain white supremacy.   You can’t talk about the reactions of black people without discussing the actions of white people.

An example for Don might be the song “Hood Mentality” by the rapper Ice Cube.  In this song, Ice Cube uses his credibility among young black men to help them understand the importance of averting counter-productive thinking.  At the same time, Ice Cube has marginalized himself from certain mainstream opportunities by standing up against major media outlets or institutional forces that serve to oppress black men.  The point here Don is that he barks at white people just as much as he barks at the brothers.  He doesn’t run and hide behind the “personal responsibility” label when its time to stand up like a man and fight for the liberation of his people.

Dr. King and Malcolm X were able to say many of the things that Lemon himself might say, but they would never be pandering to a predominantly white audience with an imbalanced, self-serving argument.   If you also stand up and fight for the people you criticize, then you get credit for administering tough love.  But criticizing black people without fighting for them puts you in alignment with every other bigot who thinks we’re inferior.

By being perched up in a predominantly white media outlet with the sole purpose of denigrating black people, Don is effectively attacking 10 percent of his audience, while the other 90 percent enjoys the show.  That’s why Bill O’Reilly is in the background clapping for you, and not Harry Belafonte.

3) Stop letting white people off the hook:  When you start strong-armed critique of black people by basically saying that “this has nothing to do with what white people have done,” then you’ve pretty much murdered your argument before it even begins.  Black people don’t shape the laws in this country.  They didn’t create the 100-t0-1 crack-to-powder disparity, leading to an incarceration crisis of epic proportions.  They didn’t decide that inner city schools won’t have enough money to buy books.  They didn’t decide to implement the stop-and-frisk policies, leading to decade-long prison sentences for young black men who haven’t broken as many laws as I’ve seen broken by white kids at Syracuse University on Friday nights.  Black men didn’t manufacture the guns that are being allowed to enter urban centers where kids are killing each other.   They don’t own companies like Clear Channel, which earn billions by distorting hip-hop music into a message of ignorance and self-destruction.  I find it odd that Don can readily attack those who are affected by these structural issues, but won’t address the structural issues themselves.

To talk about racial inequality without holding white America accountable is like talking about the actions of  Madea without mentioning Tyler Perry.   When you start such a conversation by saying, “Look, I’m not here to talk about what Tyler is doing, I am here to talk about Madea,” you’re Stevie Wonder-blind on the dynamics of the process that you’re claiming to analyze.  So, this goes back to my original point:  Don Lemon should not be speaking on racial dynamics at all, since he appears to be unable to even grasp simple societal cause-and-effect.

4) Stop pretending you know everything:  Humility is the key to growth and the development of honest, open dialog.  Even as a professor with far more formal education than Don Lemon will ever have in his life (sorry, but this is a fact, I was teaching college students at the age of 22), I learned a long time ago that in order to be a good teacher, I need to be a good student. This is doubly true if I disagree with you.  I have several Republicans in my family who constantly tell me that I’m wrong about nearly everything, but I spend my time at the dinner table listening rather than telling them that they are dumb and misguided.

Don seems to feel that he suddenly has all the answers that the rest of the “ignorant negroes” are simply unable to grasp.    He has somehow confused white media validation with true success, and has become determined to use his CNN platform as a billboard promoting black assimilation as the solution to all that ails our community.  All of this points right back to white supremacy, since it effectively says that black people fail because they don’t choose to conduct themselves in ways that white people find acceptable.  Therefore, we can only blame ourselves when the white guy fires us, the white officer chooses to arrest us or if George Zimmerman stalks us, chases us down and murders us in cold blood.

But here’s a newsflash for the journalists on CNN:  Black people are just as rational as anyone else.  This means that we respond to our environment, to stimuli, to oppression and to opportunity in a manner that is not much different from the way whites would respond if they were in the same situation.  In other words, we are human. 

So, this odd notion that black men are the only group of people on earth who WANT to die, who WANT to be unemployed, who WANT their children to suffer, or who WANT to go to prison is as ridiculous as saying that gay children are choosing to be bullied on the way to school because they refuse to stop being gay.  Perhaps by approaching the conversation with balance, and getting rid of the arrogance, Don might be able to actually get somewhere with this.  Right now, he’s making himself and his network look silly, racist and insulting.  I’m very disappointed with CNN and I hope they get back to real journalism.

Dr. Boyce Watkins is the author of the lecture series, “The 8 Principles of Black Male Empowerment.”  To have Dr. Boyce commentary delivered to your email, please click here.

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  5. He’s just a tool, a very annoying one at that. Once they are done with him, he will be discarded like a piece of trash. I thought he was rude and a bit condescending to Tim Wise, who actually knows what he is talking about. I have a lot of respect for Tim Wise but none for Don Lemon.

  6. Fact is that Don is mad at the black community who (historically) never supported him being gay like so many black gay men. Don is a white washed negro-pean who dates white men, who in turn run these networks CNN, etc. Don is the new black face of news television. Every mention of bring black social change isn’t worth mentioning unless you step outside yourself, what you currently perpetuate negatively about being black. Spade calling a spade, a spade.

  7. The Zimmerman verdict spawned a discussion, a discussion about how the criminalization, and undue killing of a young man was justified and rationalized by way of judicial proceedings, it was also about how this could potentially inspire more George Zimmerman types. A lot of people were really trying to wrap their heads around the situation. In comes Bill O’Reilly and Dom Lemon talking about crime, single parenthood, and sagging pants, and the whole conversation shifted. Bill O’Reilly and Don Lemon focused on a particular demographic within the Black community, and used it as bait to get people away from talking about the Zimmerman verdict, and it’s implications. Simultaneously, it was a very underhanded way to get people to think that Trayvon Martin was responsible for his own death, because statistically, he’s a part of that demographic that O’Reilly and Lemon are putting on blast. A clever distraction is all it was.

  8. Don was right about everything that is WRONG with the black community. This is one of the many reasons why as a race we are always at the bottom rung of the ladder of dismal failure. A white predicted the fate of black people…Daniel Patrick Moynihan and damn if he didnt call it…communities full of women “leading” families with no strong, capable black men to lead and teach their sons to be men, is doomed to fail. We have failed. And then you all have the audacity to be angry at the few black people who work hard, save their money, and leave the inner city to have a home and enjoy some peace. Why would anyone in their right minds with families, continue to live and raise their kids in war zones?

    • I have been enjoying reading the comments. I am not the biggest Don Lemon fan but I do appreciate having the discussion we are having. Reminded of all the backlash Mr. Bill Cosby faced for raising some of the same issues. The truth is, is that we have to get our house in order. I live in Chicago and it is an absolute war zone for young black men. At the same time I made “all the right choices” did the college and graduate school thing. I have a nice job etc but yes I face prejudice because of my color which has led to my white peers being paid and promoted over me when they have not been qualified. Race is still an issue for minorities in this country. However, there are things we can do to better or own situation. I had to do the work in college. I had to do the work in grad school to position myself for the opportunities. We can’t just drop out of high school, make babies like rabbits that we do not care for and then blame someone else for the beds we make. WE have to make better decisions. We have to own the fact that we are shooting ourselves in the foot.

      I don’t want to come across as blaming the victim but I could have very easily been the victim. Where does personal responsibility enter this debate.

      Don Lemon is not completely wrong. Do I agree with everything he said? Not at all but if we are being genuine we are at least a part of the problem.

  9. Samuel. G. Bailey

    The brilliant Dr. Boyce Watkins is the only Black American to earn a PhD in Finance. The gentleman knows how to superbly analyze the sociopolitical and economic perplexities of our society. I wish Mr. Lemon did, too.

  10. It is called “Historical Institutionalize Media Propaganda”. It is the media that has always ran the frontal assault of the Negro in America as a means to “Justify” the actions of Racist existence and behavior.

    Always painting a picture that create false fear among the dominant race so when punishment is administered to the non-dominants, the dominant sees no wrong in it because they insist on the “illusion” of false security and sole status preservation.

  11. It called “Historical Institutionalize Media Propaganda”. It is the media that has always ran the frontal assault of the Negro in America as a means to Justify the actions of Racist existence and behavior.

    Always painting a picture that create false fear among the dominant race so when punishment is administered to the non-dominants, the dominant sees no wrong in it because they insist on the “illusion” of false security and sole status preservation.

  12. I wholeheartedly agree with Dr. Boyce’s comments on this. Don Lemon is way out of his depth with his immature and inappropriate screed directed toward Black America. The biggest problem with his validation of O’Reilly’s twisted views is that Don Lemon is supposed to be a credible journalist who should hold himself to a higher standard than Bill-O, who is employed solely as a pundit with a supremacist agenda. The first thing a credible journalist would have done is fact-check O’Reilly’s cherry-picked statistics and call him out on his bs. A five minute Google search of DOJ statistics would have shown Don a more accurate picture of crime in the US and this rookie mistake on Don’s part is unforgiveable.

    Lest we forget, Roland Martin was given a month long suspension for making a comment on his personal twitter account in his own home on his own time that SOME people interpreted as homophobic. Similarly, we need to petition CNN to demand Lemon’s suspension along with an apology for his reckless on air rant.

    Secondly, Don has allowed Bill-O to punk him, (no pun intended) by permitting him to successfully deflect the conversation away from the context of the original discussion, which is the Trayvon Martin killing, the guilt of Zimmerman and the social dynamic that historically gives rise to the profiling and lynching of black males. If we followed Don’s five points in that context, then Trayvon would still be dead because he was not engaging in any of the five behaviors that Don lists when he was gunned down. So please remind me again how his or O’Reilly’s talking points are relevant to the issue that generated the conversation in the first place? The subliminal message is that dysfunction in certain segments of the community somehow justifies the wanton vigilante murder of our young men.

    We absolutely must stop allowing ourselves to be defined and mischaracterized by people who don’t have our best interest at heart. FACT, the majority of blacks are hard working, tax paying, responsible, law abiding and peace loving people, even in the “hood”. That in itself is a testament to our strength and resilience given what most of us have to contend with over and above life’s ordinary challenges. I am appalled at how many of us are buying into other people’s judgements of who we are. Our people are still making significant contributions in this society to this day, just as we have been doing since we were brought here…that’s the truth. I’m not just talking atheletes and entertainers either. We need to stop believing what the O’Reillys and Lemons of the world and their corporate masters tell us about ourselves.

    Moreover, Lemon claims to be a resident of Harlem. If he has an issue with his neighbors I’m sure that he would have been welcome at just about any venue in the community to address his concerns directly with the people he claims to care about. It would have provided him an excellent opportunity to bring his CNN cameras into the area to showcase the many un-sung, non-celebrity individuals and organizations who regularly engage in positive initiatives to improve life for themselves and their neighbors, often with meager resources. They could certainly use the exposure and support because it seems like the cameras seldom show up except to emphasize and document dysfunction in minority communities. It would be a perfect opportunity to expose another O’Reilly lie that Black Americans aren’t addressing the issues within their families and communities. If we weren’t addressing these issues on an ongoing basis, we’d be damn near extinct by now.

    Don could have chosen to be a friend and mentor in the community instead of being a Buster for O’Reilly and for his mostly white, middle aged, affluent CNN audience. He could have chosen to roll up his sleeves and help rather than scold and scorn, which only breeds resentment. One has to wonder why he chose to lash out? He is well over 40 and certainly old enough to realize that the way he chose to express his thoughts will not produce a positive outcome, because it seldom does when people like Don decide to talk at, about and down to people rather than reach out to speak and work with them.

    @HereWeGoAgain, thanks for your valuable insights. Reading them could possibly awaken Mr. Lemon from the delusions he seems to prefer at the moment.

    • This is the best comment I’ve read. Bet no one else took the time to read this and shame on them. I agree with everything you had to say.

  13. I dont listen to men who have been known to have a penis in their mouth

  14. I do not disagree with your point of view, but I do not think this what Don Lemon is discussing. This is not about letting white people “off the hook” nor about the presumed aggression you felt when being interviewed by Don Lemon. This is about taking responsibility for our actions, not looking for scapegoats are excuse, or emulating Ice-T (what a poor example you chose). Why is it that if an African American does not agree with you then he less than black or selling out. I am not proud of the images I see, and I want a better future for African American children and this needs to come from within the community!

  15. Mr. Lemon has not had his quote unquote, Ni@#er wake up call

  16. Don is being a bit much… However, you have to bit the bullet and ask yourself “Is this man correct”??? I agree with Don …

  17. CNN is just the plantation…and Fools like “The Lemon”…are a dime a dozen in all sizes.

  18. They allow him to say it, because IT NEEDS TO BE SAID. Until we own up to our misdeeds, fess up to our shortcomings, and take responsibility for our own actions, then nothing will be solved in the black community. Ever. We try our hardest to mask the problem, blame everybody else, and cover up the stink when people dare to air our dirty laundry.

    Items like what Don Lemon says, need to be discussed. We act like hoarders and try to prevent everyone from seeing the mess that we created and dare not let insiders in or report on us. It’s time to open those doors and CLEAN OUR HOUSE. It’s time to stand up and do something about it instead of blaming other people.

    Don’t like the 100-to-1 crack-to-powder disparity? Don’t do crack. Those are choices that OUR people make willingly. Drugs sell themselves. If you want them, you seek them out. If you don’t, then you don’t buy.

    We can’t say that we want tougher laws and more police on our streets to curb the violence and drugs in our neighborhoods, and then turn around and complain when we get what we want with tougher laws and more police.

    Blacks doing crack is a choice. There is no secret CIA helicopter flying over our neighborhoods with crates of crack and drug paraphernalia dropping them in our neighborhoods. And even if that were true, there is nothing that helicopter is doing to go make us ask like zombies and open those crates, smoke what’s in it, and then sell it to our people.

    • You obviously missed the entire point of the article; Yes, there’s an epidemic of mass ignorance and misguided priorities among our black youth. Sadly, though, that’s always been the case. What you fail to understand, though, is that when these kids are born they are immersed in an environment of inequality that teaches them to value things fast money over an honest living, a pair of sneakers over a rent payment, swag over respectability. You can’t eradicate the ignorance without first eradicating the system that fosters it. You ever see one of those zombie movies where the main characters have to find and kill the original zombie in order to get rid of all the others? They can kill all the newer zombies they want but the threat will still loom if they don’t attack the source of the problem. Social inequity, low socio-economic status and the demonization of black masculinity and femininity in popular media is the direct cause of the delinquency of our black youth, and if you don’t see that then you’re utterly doomed.


  20. I with Don on this issue. I feel the need to point out the shortcomings of our race like Don. So I am asking Don ‘s help in ridding our community of a character whose image really degenerate that or a positive black man. Ru Paul you got to go.

  21. I just don’t know anymore! When I listen to African American reporters talk about problems within the African American community, I pay particular attention to how they present the topic. Don has not pissed me off yet. HOwever he does need to be mindful of who it is he is actually representing.

  22. Just to Add to my rant. I see more truth in the ways of Malcom X than those of Martin Luther simply because Luthers plan meant people will die until they get their right. Put your hands back demand your right. Well you can see it on Occupy Wallstreet how police brutalize protesters.

    X on the other hand gathered a lot of inspiration from Africa during the end of colonialism. Demand of rights by force. He found inspiration and talked about such events that were happening in the late 50s and early 60s.

    What people need to realize is that when you cannot beat your enemy, you need to lay low and get powerful enough to beat him. Might not be physically but any means possible! Strong communities can have progress but strong communities that are disintegrated by drugs…are just that..disintegrated

  23. The first thing Black people need to do is to go to Africa and find out where they came from. Learn something personal about where your ancestors came from. Gain some of your own roots and understanding of the world.
    In general travel more when you can not buying stupid materialistic things and complaining that you are oppressed. That is one thing.
    The second thing is I speak as an African. There are a lot of immigrants in America who are either equally troubled, some are refugees or whatever. They come here from problems…and find more problems just like those shared with Black people and they seem to keeping very peaceful progress. Whereas on the other side, all I see on the news is Black people robbed banks, black people high and begging for money for more highness or just rich black people selling drugs and killing each other. So the elephant in the room is clear. Now that you have identified your problem so well…what you gonna do about it? Are you gonna make it better or worse? Are you forming communities to mentor the young ones? Are you helping them while they are in school to come up into the right careers that they can actually get jobs? Whatever it is. There are many people making a peaceful humble living and also just as oppressed or discriminated even without a good education but making a strong community to support each other. Look at the Chinese in San Francisco are they white? Do you think white people consider Asians white?

    • Black/African Americans didn’t have to go to Africa to lead a human and civil rights movement in America; which set the foundation for the fair process of immigration.
      As ignorant as I am of the Brothers and Sisters who have made their way over to America from Mother Africa’ have they set up any type of vehicles that promotes investing in the rebuilding of Mother Africa, that has had her share of devastating exploitation by the hands of the intruders of worldwide natural resource thieves. Not to mention the psychological impact it has left on those who were victims of such violence and disregard for human life on the Continent of Africa.
      SamAfrican, can you safely say that there’s an attempt on the behalf of the Brothers and Sisters coming to America from Africa- to join hands with the Blacks/African Americans and do something as one, other than give some advice as though you have the answers to the Blk/AA problems. Be as critical of yourself and your inability to see the forest from the trees.
      We all need to grow– I share with you this– I happen to like a good pair of shoes preferably a fine pair of gators, crocs, or snakes, I Googled Africa for a shoe outlet found out that one couldn’t import (mail order) shoes from Africa. I Googled exotic shoes, and found outlets in England, and Italy, now for the world of me I fail to connect the dots when it comes to the know it all Brothers and Sisters of mine, who happens to come from a different space on earth yet share my hue and struggle, yet can find space in their mind to be critical in a negative way of Black/African Americans.
      International hate of Black/African Americans– yet- all to many emulates OUR style, OUR swagger, OUR music, OUR soul, because we’re’ Super Bad– even with OUR issues of mental illnesses, white privileges, and lack of understanding of the power of OUR dollars– we still will be there when the smoke clears.

      Peace to my family- who know who and what you are.

      • Thank you for your post! Black people in America and Africa are still mentally enslaved.

        Black people in this country don’t understand racism of black people didn’t start here, it started in Africa. The history of the African people didn’t start with slavery.

        We all need to understand we all have been indoctrinated into Westernized culture and it’s to there benifit.

        We are so thirsty to have what whites have, to be like whites, noting is right unless the white man says so. We are still walking around talking about Jesus, when the first slave ship to the Caribean and America was called Good Ship Jesus. We co signed on Jews being Gods chosen people. Did you ever take the time to read or look at a video of the history of Ethiopia? Just because they told our ancestors a bunch of bull doesnt mean it’s true.

        We are responsible for what has happened to the black community. We allow evil into our communities in the name of money. Some money is evil, some of the things we’ve been taught is spiritually evil. The people in Africa can teach us and Black people in America have something to teach people in Africa. Include the Carribean and Latin America. There is a reason why we are separated. We must unify for one goal, economic freedom!

    • The only reason Africans don’t commit crime in this country is because they will be deported. Also you have your culture in tack your self esteem is higher. Lastly again the Chinese are Buddhist have their culture in tack and are not as oppressed as blacks. And I’m not sure if you were trying to come off as superior but there are rebels in Africa that will kill sometimes three hundred other Africans in the name of a rebel take over. No American gang member has ever killed that many. Also your looking a people destroyed by slavery we have some that are better off then others but we all carry the seed.

      • To kill and steal may it be the behavior of African rebels in Africa, or Black/AA American gang members– the result of both is Black on Black destruction.
        The premise of my comment is based on the bar that is set by Blacks/AA in all venues of American life; especially how we taught (and continue to teach) white america how to be civil and humane towards people of color– yet in to many cases other people of color who finally reach the Northern Shores of America have a tendency of highlighting the underserved populations of Black/AA, and use them as a yardstick to represent all Black/AA; like that Lemon dude did.
        I’m more than sure we Black/AA would rather be recognized for the outstanding contributions our fore parents made in this GREEDY RACIST SOCIETY WHICH WE ARE VICTIMS OF– that is known by the name of AMERICA– INTERNATIONALLY.


  24. Dr.Boyce,after listening to Don Lemon’s talking points, my question for you is this, how can you criticize his talking points without a counter argument? If this is your own contribution to this issue, then,take a vacation and probably you will have a counter argument by the time you return.

  25. Someone once asked me “who is afraid of post-racial?” My knee jerk reaction was that white supremacists were afraid, but upon further reflection I’m adding more names to the list, including Dr. Boyce Watkins.

    How and where in this postmodern epoch can an institution of higher learning award a PHD to someone representing the “cutting edge” of far over a half a century ago? Doctorate programs these days are cut throat, and students regularly get iced out of programs for clinging to outdated discourses.

    Did blogging replace critical scholarly work?

    • I’m always confused when someone brings up the term ‘post-racial.’ When did this country become ‘post-racial?’ What the heck does it even mean?

  26. A little long but worth it.

    First, let me say to all my Black People. Don’t get to emotional over this dolphin swallower. I guarantee he won’t have job after Barack leaves office and by the time Hillary gives her first State of the Union Address. He will be fired and replaced by a nice young white lady with some C-cups. Go Affirmative Action.

    The mind of the American kneegrow is spectacular maze of where’s Waldo fame. Everyone last one of us even though we are connected by our skin have grown up based on the foundation of where we were born, the time period we were born in, our gender, who our parents were, the morals and values they passed on to us.

    Not one of us had a say in any of those factors but sadly most people want to ignore those things that usually make up 50% of who you are and how this world is going to treat you before you ever get even to the basics of keeping a roof over your head, food and clean drinking water to survive.

    If you were born in some ghetto hell hole or a third world country this very day. You cannot sit up and lie saying that your life would be exactly the same as being born in a nice neighborhood or a country like America. You can’t lie and say that the same hell you deal with is the same your parents dealt with during Jim Crow or even that since Barack won both elections that the underlying racist belly of America is on the rise now today. You can’t say if you are a woman born in some Islamic state where they won’t even let you learn how to read and rape is not illegal that your life is the same as being born here today. You can’t tell me that if one or more of your parents was murdered due to gun violence or taken by the drug system and they weren’t there to teach you any knowledge or morals they could have passed on, that your life would be the same.

    My point by all of that is that it is sometimes easy for those of us who won the lottery birth and were given those 5 things whether we want to accept it or not that made it easier for us to become rational, working adults. So, to have a man tell Black people who have been under the most intensive extermination programs in History that your main problem is you and not the system which is designed to only allow a limited amount of you to succeed in the first place. Is a little bit questionable. Especailly when you get a paycheck from a corporation that is one of the number one culprits of promoting the very lifestyle Don is choosing to point out. How do you complain about young men immitating rappers when all the rappers are hired by white men only for the reason that they promote this lifestyle. So, you can say something about the rapper but don’t say anything to the same man that pays you or them.

    “Success” and what does it mean? Does it mean you are a educator and teaching the young Black youth how to be better and smarter. Are you feeding our people. Are you employing our people. Are you on the front lines defending our people from whomever wants to harm them or take something good away from them. Or are you simply getting a fat check from a white man that could end any day now and we are supposed to listen you because he allows you on his airwaves. Listen to Don kids because he has a white male lover and you should grow up to be just like him? Huh.

    Or how about this white man feels he is entitled to shoot you down in the street and kill you because of your fashion choices. Despite everytime you go to Walmart or Kmart and see some 300 pound white man with D-cups walking around in a wife beater t-shirt and his wife looking like Beth ‘Dog’ Chapman with some stretch pants on. Yet somehow fashion crimes marginalize your Black life but not theirs. So you should be more pleasing to the eye for white people so they won’t kill you. Just like they told your parents to take off those tight Levi’s back in the 80’s, Take off those afro’s and dashiki’s back in the 70’s, Take off those black leather jackets and berets back in the 60’s. That’s the reason you are catching hell is because the white man doesn’t like how you dress it has nothing to do with your skin color. o-O

    Back in 1970 there were about 20 million Black people in the United States. Today there are about 40 million. Despite all his tricks of mass incarceration, flooding our neighborhoods with guns and drugs, closing schools while building new prisons at the same time. And how could we forget all his nasty little diseases he made in the lab to slow you down. But, despite all the hatred and the attempts at separation you Ladies have managed not only to keep our race alive but going strong and thank you. Don Lemon is never going to contribute to those numbers. So have more babies ladies.

    The Lemon’s of the world argument doesn’t surprise me because we all know who pays and makes love to him every night. Who is going to argue and spit in their lover’s face, unless they like it. What does shock me is all the other so-called educated Blacks who know the person Don works for and the product they push in our kids heads. But instead of calling them out on it. You blame each other or ‘other’ Black people just because you might have managed to slip out into that 10% amount they allow. Who is the Black Man or Woman that started Welfare. Planned Parenthood. Money for Drugs: Iran Contra. Drug Law Disparity.

    The same people like Don who work at a building where every employee outside cutting the grass can’t speak English or inside at night cleaning up the damn place and they tell you that your problem is you can’t speak English well. They tell you you’re lazy when they throw your application away and won’t hire you if your name has too many vowels in it. They tell you act more responsible and get a good education. While Black kids with Degree’s are lucky to get a job pouring coffee at Starbucks some whiteboy who is a high school drop out gets to work for the NSA and walk out the building with Top Secret information to tell the world. Yet somehow, someway the finger always gets pointed back at you Black folks.

    America is 234 years old. Slavery lasted for 300 years. Jim Crow for another 100 years. Every year, every month, dang near every day. You are reminded of how much you are supposed to worship white folks for all their glory and greatness. Remember the Alamo! Uh oh, it’s President’s Day, Easter, Passover, Veteran’s Day, 4th of July and don’t forget about the Labor Day telethon coming up. Make sure you sit your Black child down to watch the great Cecil B. DeMille’s ‘Ten Commandments’ with the whole Black Family about a bunch of whtie folks in ancient Africa, lol. Were any white people currently alive at any of those events and if you did fight at the Battle of the Bulge that was over 70 years ago, why do you keep bringing it up. Why do you keep putting on granddaddy’s Civil War costume and re-enacting some Battle you never fought in. Pride, remembering your past so you don’t repeat it. Teaching the importance of legacy and History to the youth. But the most important event in the History of this country we are supposed to forget and pretend it has no effect on us to this day. Some 2000 year old story about a Jewish Zombie coming back to life is supposed to guide my entire life but I should never remember slavery is that right white people or you brain washed Don Lemon’s.

    You should get an education to make yourself a better person, not to please someone white with a always moving goal post and a distaste for Black skin. You should learn how to communicate so you can speak to and learn from as many people as possible not just so you can repeat your enemies talking points without him having to fear for his life. You should dress however your environment dictates you should to move from point A to B without getting murdered. But always remember no one has a right to kill you over their opinion of what you look like but you have to exist in a world with people like this. I’m not taking that Dexter bus up at 5 am through some of the worst neighborhoods to try to get to school anymore. So I don’t have to wear my not getting killed at a bustop uniform that might not conform with some old man’s fashion taste for a day at the office. But isn’t it funny that even when you do dress nice like Eric Holder or Obama these white people still don’t like you. Did the goal post just move, lol.

    Black People. It’s not White Supremacy or white privilege that is your problem despite all that History and current events. It’s your lack of personal responsibilty that forced them to close 40 schools in Chicago because they had no money and then turn around the next day and build a 4 million dollar prison. It’s your fault that your Black child dresses like his or her favorite rapper. Not the white man who owns their record company, hired them and tells them which songs they can make, they can’t and they better put the n-word on as many songs as possible if they want to keep making that paper.

    If we are in a relay race with 5 people on each team and I shoot the first 3 on your side. Don’t you dare bring up why those last 2 lost. They lost because they were slow. It has nothing to do with not having any legacy to pass down to your children or even dying so you weren’t there to teach them anything about how to win the race. Stop bringing it up. Matter of fact you should be watching Passion of the Christ about to come on. Your kids will love the scourging part. Remember it’s all personal responsibilty. You make the choice to be a drug dealer. Someone white or one of their minions trained not to hire you has nothing to do with your choices. If you aren’t good aka white enough for me to hire you should just die or starve to death to prove you are a good kneegrow. If I hire someone white, that looks white or even someone unqualified before I hire you it’s still your fault because you are “too smart” to work at a job like this. (I put that in there as a quote to all you Black kids who haven’t heard that yet so you don’t laugh on the day a white person says it to your face.)

    See we should all get it by now. There is just something inheritly wrong with Blackness that’s it. White people are innocent just like the great Zimmerman. They have the right to get out of the car for no reason, the right to disobey the Police not to follow you and to get mad at you because you don’t like one of them following you in the middle of the night. How dare that Black teenager not submit to the greatness of the whiteman. Sandusky didn’t have as many problems. But, don’t let me shoot Lindsy Lohan or Robert Downey Jr. the next time I see those drug addicts walking down my streets. Savages.

    Thank you Don Lemon and all the people who agree with your assessment of Black America. Repeat after me 100 times. I blame myself for getting bit by the snake. I will not get mad at the snake for biting me. I will not kill the snake. I will let the snake continue to be a snake. I will not warn anyone else Black about the snake because they deserve it for being Black. And last but not least. If anyone I know has s ex with the snake, I will listen to their every word so I can be just like them. Easy.

    • As to many Black/African Americans use white folk as a yardstick to measure themselves as a human being– the Mexicans/South Americans and all other ethnic groups are allowed to build their families and communities up; as though they fought for human and civil rights for all people in these united states of America. Oh– the burden we carry as a People-for such a feat. To bad the weak are giving a platform to spew such ignorance about a people– who taught Savages how to be humane and civil.

      Thank you Here We Go Again— Peace

    • Well thought -out response!

    • Excellent essay. People seem to forget that the foundation of what white people have is from genocide (crime) stolen lands and resources (crime) as well as a stolen people and labor (crime). Native Americans didn’t wear hoodies. Where are they? Are we so disconnected from our history and our experience that this fundamental truth escapes us? For those of us who allow themselves to be miseducated and defined by this racist society, the answer to that question would be ‘yes’. When we as a people (or enough of us) learn to remember our experience and history, then the colonizer’s criminality will always be in the fore front and we should treat them as criminals with the crime in progress. We need to go for Human Rights at the World Court / United Nations and let the first charge be ‘colonialism’.

    • Bowing down to this well-written piece.

      You forgot Columbus Day. 😉 I’m still trying to figure out how someone could ‘discover’ a country that was already inhabited.

      And Thanksgiving Day. Our poor Native American brothers and sisters. They were being friendly and peaceful helping out the strange pale beings who didn’t know how to take care of themselves. Instead of sincere thanks and offers to return the kindness, they get scalped, shot, smallpox blankets, locked up, put on a forced death march, and their land stolen. :(

  27. jacobs trouble

  28. Excellent Dr Boyce!!!



  31. I find it interesting that almost everybody commenting here is condemning Don Lemon and CNN. He’s gay, he an Uncle Tom, he’s everything but right; in what he said. I don’t like the fact that he injected Bill O’Reilly into his message but his message was true and it needed to be said. We are so blinded by our (perceived} hatred for white people that we can’t see what we are blind too. We are blind to the fact white people own everything in this country, and we own nothing. We are blind to the fact that money and power will always rule and everything else is secondary. We are blind to the fact that as long as we listen to these “educated fools” who have their own agenda’s we will forever remain divided and struggling as a people. This article never should have been written because it has served its purpose. The writer has once again provided a forum to further divide us by criticizing a successful Black man who’s pointed out some things that will make us better as a people.

    • I find it to be quite predictable that you completely ignored the context of this article, and fell back on the same cliched and vague white Republican buzz-words of “divisiveness” and “confusion”. Like people are “that oblivious to the real world.

      All the while acting like no one but mostly whites and a very minute number of blacks know of these issues. Despite all your clever posturing, you’re not as level-headed and insightful as you try to put on.

      Now go ahead and use my “mean ol’ words” as a handy way to avoid the fact that you clearly didn’t really read this article; and needed to be an apologist for the other half of the problem. Which you didn’t mention at all, and by extension don’t think is the other half of the problem. When one simply glances at your rush to defend whites, by only focusing solely on blacks.

  32. DAVE CHAPELL must have been psychic when he did the skit : blind black gay klansmen…. Lemon, KNOWS his “societal” read & butter so-to-speak.. In previous post its become obvious that NONE of the black media is CHALLENGING Lemon or any other black-conservatives on issues of civil rights, voter rights, urban school cloings, stop-n-frisk, no tolerance for black school kids vs caucasian., young blk males handcuffed behind the back while being shot in the head….

    And the reason for such questioning would be aside from their (minstrel) nationally televised critique of the rap culture for caucasian audiences.., Is to find any indications whether these black conservatives would take a stand regarding inequalities or injustices against the African American community….

    LEMON & other conservative BLACKS are not being CHALLENGED,.. And African American community should know if these people have any substance beyond their MINSTREL attacks against the rap culture..

  33. We’re traveling through North America in a difficult
    time in our history,but we must survive and
    not sell our souls to the devil.

  34. He didn’t think his masters children would attack him after he attacked his own people… And now he sitting by the door not knowing to go in or out of his masters burning house.

    Guilt, disappointment, and uncertainty all at the same time; I maybe wrong but this has all the ingredients of self-hatred; you may love yourself but Willie lynch programs you to hate your own people and that’s the ugliest form of self-hate.

    If your gonna play Russian-roulette one should always bet on the black. After-all Don doesn’t look Caucasian or Russian to me.

  35. The reality of black on black crime is indicative of how we feel about each other as a people. The condition of self hatred is deeply imbedded within the core of Black society. In addition, the endless years of injustices, racism, mistreatment,desentization, and so forth, continue to plague our communities. Our communities represent the strength of our men, or the lack thereof.

    We must return to the true and living God. Our men must stand up and take their places as leaders–as fathers– as husbands. We must stand as a people once again; united in love and in power.
    Then, change will come.

    • Excellent reply Dr.Frazier to Dr.Watkins article.I couldn’t agree more with what you said.

    • And what exactly does white-on-white crime, which represents about 70% of the crime in this country, say Dr. Frazier? Funny how crime that represents such a large majority of total crime is never referenced in this same manner. Have you ever even heard that terminology used? You, like Don Lemon as Dr. Watkins suggested, need to provide an even handed response if you’re going to point fingers.

  36. The media is the enemy… and having ppl like lemon n O’Reilly.. or wht thy want..cause it divides…and every ignorant person comes out the wood work….notice how CNN and the other networks keep stuff like this going….just to keep u blind for the real danger…

  37. I am the only person in the world who agrees with Mr Lemon. He is telling the family’s dirty little secrets, black people should start taking some responsibility for their situation in life,young black boys pull up your pants, stop calling each other nigger, I cringe when I’ve seen it done in the presence of white folks. Stop killing each other and shooting by mistake 6 year old children and 6 months old babies.Stop raping and robbing only in black neighborhoods. Stop having lot’s of babies with lot’s of different females. Get an education.Now I’m not Don Lemon, but tell which one of my statements are untrue.

    • Stop being blind.. and ignorant to the fact tht were all gods children.. and ur undercover comments about ppl of color shows how much you get out..and socialize with other races..and not just at work cause u have to..learn to not judge a book by its cover..and understand all men can be evil..no matter the color of there skin….in so many words……let love live…and stop following ignorance..

    • @ mrs dee Schwartz; no you aren’t. 99% of America agrees with you and Don Lemon; they just aren’t posting comments on this forum. The people criticizing Don Lemon here are blinded by Dr. Boyce Watkins’s need to keep confusion, division and controversy alive among his diminishing audience.

      • The people who disagree with Don Lemon also agree with his general sentiment. Just not his “white people apologist” route. Which you seem to be a fan of. Which you try to mask as “showing tough love”, towards black people.

      • Maybe 99% of the people in your world, which I can only imagine consists totally of the Republican Party or the KKK.

      • The biggest problem is that Lemmon was in fact speaking to “99% of Americans.” That means mostly white Americans. Why did he have a need to tell white America about the problems of Black America? Because they are his audience. What did he hope to achieve? Certainly not to “wake up” black America to solve our problems because most of us don’t watch CNN.

        He was clearly pandering to White America to say YAZA, boss, I agree with you about those trifeling black people who don’t know how to get you to like them like I know how to do!”

        Lemon wasn’t trying to help solve the problems in the black community that we all acknowledge. If he was, he would have taken his commentary to where more of our people could hear it and look for solutions and not just broadcast it for his 85% white audience to use to affirm their racist behavior toward black Americans.

  38. Don was very rational and fairand very correct with his response !

  39. CNN, Fox News…it’s all the same thinly-veiled garbage. Personally, I think it’s long past time black folks in this country became more mindful of our consuming patterns. Let’s put our money where it will benefit us, not other races of people.

  40. The ignorant to whom Don is talking at do not even watch CNN. I think he knows that. So why regularly call them out? Why not hold a televised townhall on BET or TV One or go to the communities directly and talk like that? It’s too easy to sit behind the camera. You scared Don.

    The truth is the truth. Right is Right. But even Martin Luther King Jr. once said you could be right at the wrong time. Context is everything. As a mentor I know and understand there is a big difference between me lecturing young black men about responsibility while speaking at neighborhood community center vs. the National Republican Convention.

    Don as African American male is out of context when he speaks this way on CNN, complaining about a problematic so-called black culture that in reality is NOT black culture at all. Here is some true African culture many don’t even know of. Mbongi is a word in the Kikongo language which means “learning place.” (In Kiswahili, it is Baraza; in Tswana, Kgotla.) When people come together to resolve community problems in a Congolese village, that problem-solving meeting is an Mbongi. And the issues that they address will be as varied as the care of seniors and orphans, the cost of education, fixing potholes in the road, availability and safety of the local water supply, or matters of national interest. The Mbongi is the place where one looks for and finds solutions to problems. In the Mbongi, everyone has the right and the responsibility to speak up. CNN and broadcast TV has nothing to do with Mbongi.

  41. GOOGLE the “Willie Lynch Theory”. If this document is authentic then the theory is thriving to this very day.

  42. @ Yvonne Hinton…Dialogue? Impossible and meaningless. Why? Name the last time a group of testosterone and estrogen filled room of black folk accomplished anything but huffing and puffing like they had the sole answer to the negro plight, thereby offending the ego of his neighbor.There is absolutely nothing we can do about our situation because of the complexity of the systems that work against us…PERIOD.Yea we can make a little progress but a system pops up to quell any progress.”We” were the gatekeepers of natural balance and prosperity on this earth. We forfeited and now we cant rebound. Only an act of God Almighty Himself can bring back the natural order. As Christ said,”he is a liar and the father of it”. If you are Bible-believing, it was written.

    • If I read it correctly, God “created” the natural order, then realized something he already should have know (since he knows everything) that he made a big mistake, found out man was sinful and the women’s fault, ends up killing damn near everybody on earth except a 500 year old man and his family, then started over again, only to figure out he again made a big mistake (he should have known before hand but hell, who questions “GOD”) and had his own son killed. Is that the “natural order” God is suppose to return us to? Amazing story people believe in. If my teacher made errors like that, I would fire him and throw away the books he wrote. And one wonders what is wrong with the world and Black people in particular. How about start thinking straight. Then we may have a chance at solving problems based on a foundation of reality instead of the fantastic stories you all have been feared into believing in. If you believe in things that are so contradictory and ridiculous then you have to expect that those who follow that are easily misled and deceived. The effects are playing themselves out in the lack of common sense that keeps us enslaved. WOW!!

  43. I find it interesting that a gay blackman who thinks that he is white is lecturing straight blackmen and women on how to act in front of white people so that they can accept us

    • I take issue with your comments! Ignorance does not discriminate whether you gay straight or whatever. Since when are straight people smarter than gay and visa versa??? I agree with Dr. Boyce’s editorial but I implore you to stop your hatful rants against people base on their sexuality!!!

    • I agree with Cheche, gay or straight doesn’t have anything to do with it, and it’s not about about lecturing on how to act to be accepted by white people, it’s lecturing on how we need to stop acting like fools with no-sense and education. The behavior and appearance of todays Black youth is deplorable and it’s not just white people that’s offended by it, most Black people with any common-sense is too.

      • Sometimes I wonder if you will stop talking foolishly about something you are blind at seeing. Behavior and appearance has nothing to do with anything except an excuse to bash Blacks. White kids wanna dress like Black kids too lol. I know White kids and people who act worse in public then even your ” Gangster Negroes ” do. Everyone has that be better speech to Blacks and let the past go talk for Blacks but for everybody else you are the victims spiel. Even Obama does it and he sounds like a fool when he does. Don’t tell me how to live my life or how to be Black because that is offensive period even from another Black person it is.

      • Sometimes I wonder if you will stop talking foolishly about something you are blind at seeing. Behavior and appearance has nothing to do with anything except an excuse to bash Blacks. White kids wanna dress like Black kids too lol. I know White kids and people who act worse in public then even your ” Gangster Negroes ” do. Everyone has that be better speech to Blacks and let the past go talk for Blacks but for everybody else you are the victims spiel. Even Obama does it and he sounds like a fool when he does. Don’t tell me how to live my life or how to be Black because that is offensive period even from another Black person it is offensive. To the rest of you who reads this, America will fall from grace due to our deadly race problems we cannot solve as a nation. Think it’s not look at Detroit, Michigan and Stockton, California. Too broke for schools but got money for wars and prisons. We have bigger issues than skin color and behavioral or appearance.

      • Charlene A. Howell

        While I agree with your “acting foolish” comment, I completely disagree with the rest. This society’s ENTIRE foundation is based on assimilation of the “white culture,” which is an oxymoron in & of itself because it is a hybrid of stolen indigenous cultures all rolled into one and the “cherry on top” is greed and a barbaric mentality. Remember slavery and the civil rights era? I can honestly & unfortunately say that SOME people of color have learned those last 2 lessons VERY well. They aren’t completely absolved of their personal responsibility for their individual & collective decisions & behaviors BUT, you can’t examine & hope to change a problem if you’re only willing to look at it from one side and blaming the victim IS NOT the way to go about it. Instead of pointing constantly critical fingers at these young men & women of color, like Don Lemon does oh so well, why don’t you come up with some viable solutions that would last longer than a week or 2. I would encourage you to visit your city’s suburban areas and examine your brown-faced brothers & sisters who were/are eagerly willing to turn over their Black card for that of an assimilationist’s “safe Negro” card where they talk, act & dress like caucasians and can no longer identify with their own people until they’re treated like the nigger (ignorant person) that they are or believed to be by the white (wo)man. These clueless brown-faced people fail to realize that they will NEVER be the white people that they so expertly imitate and the caucasian’s society will frequently remind them of that. It’s time that we rise up & push back against this system of oppression. Caucasians are more than content with us remaining in this state of bondage because they know that, when united, we’re a threat to their system. Look at how long we’ve survived under the above conditions..

        • Ms. Howell– those play it safe negros who you happen to point out so clearly, are of the same mind set as those who looked at Martin and Malcom as though they were the enemy. The KKK are more honest then they’ll ever be. Unfortunately they subscribe to the belief that theres an American way of life that’s geared towards those who happen to be cordial on the surface to one and other, and in the case of the negro- he or she must not participate in any type of pro Black/AA issues that may not be acceptable in the company of their white neighbors. Such as, the disparity of sentencing of a Black/AA versus a white person who have committed a crime of possessing drugs of the same quantity.
          Sister Howell– keep it real; because those transparent negros who have not the pride of the Jews, nor any other ethnic group on the face of Gods earth– ought to be prayed for, and delivered from darkness; into the light of self LOVE.


  44. I agree with you, Dr. Boyce because I have said, repeatedly, since I saw the video of Don’s “tirade,” that it is way too easy to list the problems of the young Black Man, it is an entirely different thing to see the “big picture” (including the environment of which the Black Community had to endure for years as established by the White majority).

    I wondered why Don took his cues from Bill O’Reilly, who may have very little experience with the Black Community (I heard some story that someone took O’Reilly was taken to lunch at a restaurant in Harlem and he commented that he was “surprised” that Black people could be “so civilized!” I never found it otherwise whenever I go to a Black-owned restaurant or business!

    My more recent comments about Don’s original commentary included suggesting that the “Stakeholders” would get together (I would suggest people like yourself, Bill Cosby, Dr. Alvin Poussaint, Dr. Jeffrey Gardere and representatives of the Black Community) to discuss the issues of the Young Black Men in our Society. I hope that this would not be a “long, drawn-out” process, since we know the problems and the longer we discuss it, the more lives of Young Black Men would be lost! Maybe identifying the root-causes and possible solutions and plans of action to make this negative turn into a positive. I ended with this: This can be a GROWTH OPPORTUNITY FOR THE BLACK COMMUNITY!


  46. Glad you got this off your chest. Stop watching Don Lemon and get us back to talking about uplifting our community. Who cares what Don Lemon thinks?

  47. Don Lemon is an updated version of an Uncle Tom. He is just a house n**** that always ask “masah”, Is we sick masah”?
    A generation comes and a generation goes. In my lifetime I’ve noticed that racism is systematically reintroduced through a barrage of film (roots then django) in my life time…and always a few Uncle Toms that apologize to white folk by denigrating black folk. One thing’s for sure, every now and again white folk need to show the upcoming generation of blacks that “you came from slaves”

  48. Its time with stopped watching cnn or supporting their sponsors. They have a agenda now that’s more in line with fox news.

  49. I don’t view/support people or organizations who don’t support me. Which is why I have never given Don Lemon the time of day. CNN use to be the only news station I watched because they seem to be unbias when it came to reporting news. Currently my news station has changed. AA people need to put there money elsewhere. Stop supporting folks who only wants to dominate or humiliate you. Don Lemon commentary on AA will do nothing or me. I don’t care what he says. AA have a spending rate in the Billions. Hit them in the pockets. Concentrate on educating youth to build not beg.