On CNN Friday, anchor Don Lemon said he didn’t think it was particularly possible to grow up in the racist, rotten soil of the United States and not become a racist adult.
“Every year, I have hydrangeas in my yard and they come back a different color, or a tulip or an orchid. And it’s not because they’re different, it’s because the soil is different, right?” Lemon said. “It depends on the nutrients in the soil. So if you grew up in America, you came out of American soil. Considering the history of this country … how can you not be racist? How can you not have racial blindspots, how can you not see that the factory reset in America is whiteness?”
This was apparently Lemon’s bizarre way to reach out to white people and calm their fears about speaking out during a moment of national racial unrest. Lemon seemed to suggest that whites had nothing to worry about when joining their voices in protest, because their fellow black citizens understood that they are not only racist, but basically can’t help being that way. At least, not until they are led out of their blind, hateful ways by their African-American brethren.
“Listen, white people are so scared right now to do anything, to talk about anything, to broach these conversations. They’re sort of frozen because who wants to be called a racist, right? Who wants people to think that they have a racial blindspot?” he said.
This was the second day in a row that Lemon found himself enamored with this line of thought. The night before on his own show, he played a clip from White House adviser Larry Kudlow in which the economist said that systemic racism against black people no longer exists in America.
“I call it white mansplaining. This is white mansplaining the injustices they have no idea about,” Lemon said. “The factory reset in America is two cars, the American dream, which was built on what? On whiteness. And so, once you think about it like that, if you are any other ethnicity, the factory reset is not you; which means the norm is set to your standard and [white] people who look like you, which means it favors you. Everything favors you.”
Before you spend the rest of the day lamenting whatever “privilege” you might have, consider the fact that Don Lemon makes approximately $4 million a year at CNN. Then consider his on-air performances and ask yourself if everything favors white people in America, after all.