CNN’s “Tonight” host Don Lemon has a habit of saying dumb things in front of millions of people.
However, what he said on Thursday just might take the cake — he compared the display of Robert E. Lee statues to schools being named after Osama Bin Laden.
Partial transcript as follows:
ALICE STEWART: I saw you raise the Confederate flag at the beginning of the show. I’ve been through South Carolina hundreds of times in my life. Now we understand how that is harmful to people and hurtful to people and we need to take that into consideration. But at the same time, this is not something for the president to do a full swoop across the board. This is a local issue that needs to be decided —
LEMON: Let me give you — let me give you — let me give you — this is a stark example and pardons me for my clumsiness here. Just imagine if someone wanted the erect – have a school called the Osama Bin Laden Middle School for Learning — whatever and someone wants to put that up—
STEWART: That’s not in part of American history.
LEMON: But for African-Americans that Robert E. Lee, Robert E. Lee represented — that was our holocaust, right? This is what happened to us. We would rather not go to schools — we’re not saying people shouldn’t learn about Robert E. Lee. We’re not saying that Robert E. Lee — Robert E. Lee statues should not exist in some form somewhere, but it should not be part of a public building, a building — especially something that is paid for with federal tax dollars. If you want to have it in the privacy of your home, have as many Robert E. Lee statues as you want. If you —
SHAPIRO: Is the implication here that everyone who opposes taking down the statues is a racist or a bigot? Is that —
LEMON: No, that’s not what I’m saying at all. That’s not what I’m not saying. I’m saying we should have a conversation just like we have now and I don’t think that at all. I’m trying to get you and others to understand how people of color feel about those statues, especially as a son of the South.
Watch the entire exchange:
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