Don Lemon: ‘The President Of The United States Is Racist’

On Thursday, CNN’s Don Lemon called President Trump a "racist" over reported remarks in which he allegedly referred to several countries as "s***holes."

The President of the United States is racist. A lot of us already knew that. Today, President Trump, talking with lawmakers in the Oval Office about immigrants from Haiti, from El Salvador and Africa, said, and I quote: "Why are we having all these people from s***hole countries come here?" But you know who he did say he would welcome here? He said the U.S. should bring in more people from countries like Norway – and CNN is told that he went on to say: "Why do we need more Haitians? Take them out."

Those comments are frankly disgusting. There's other language I'd like to use, but we are on television. But you know what, they're not shocking – not even really surprising because this is who Donald Trump is. This is what he thinks. Apparently, we have to go through this repertoire every time he says something like this or exhibits some racist behavior. This is a man who, in the Oval Office meeting last year, said Nigerian immigrants should, in his words: "Go back to their huts"; who, in that same meeting, said all Haitian immigrants have AIDS; the man who based his entire political career – for years – on the racist birther lie that President Barack Obama was born in Africa; the man who reportedly still believes that to this day; the man who started his campaign trashing Mexicans, and then made the Muslim ban a centerpiece of his bid; the man who responded to white supremacists who killed a young woman in Charlottesville by claiming there were, in his words, "very fine people on both sides"; the man who responded to protests by black NFL players by calling them "sons of b*****s" – do I need to go on with all this? I get tired of saying [it].

This is the man who today complained about immigrants who "are from s***hole countries." Tonight, a White House official told CNN that they're not worried; they think this is good for them, and the president's comments will actually resonate with his base. J***s. Admitting that for all their talk about making America great, the president is playing to a base that welcomes his racism and will enjoy it – and that is disgraceful.

With that sad, here's what's worse, and probably the most important point, so gather around the television everyone. And this is for anyone who may be taken aback by my comments. I wanna be very clear here, I don't really care if you are, I hope you are. For years now – it has been two and a half years since he officially entered the political arena – for years, I and others have been trying to tell you, the American people, that this man was exhibiting bigoted behavior. I asked him about it a number of times, and he denied it, but kept up the racist rhetoric and behavior throughout the campaign and now while he's in the White House.

His supporters made excuses – continue to make excuses for him. Some of them people I personally know. Some of them are his friends, as a matter of fact, and I can hear them now telling me: "Oh Don, Donald didn't mean that. Donald isn't a racist." Or just people who don't know him: "I don't think – I think it was taken out of context. I'm not sure." How many examples do you need of this? But he is a racist.

And for all of you who over the last few years have uttered that tired, lazy, uninformed, uneducated, ignorant response of calling me and others who point out racist behavior "racists," you know what you can go do? [Long pause] I can't say that, but you can go read a book – a history book because you might learn that people from those s***hole countries were slaves who were brought here by force to help build this country, and then start your learning process from there. You also might want to do some self-examination. What does it say about you that no matter what – no matter what – you continue to make excuses for this man, for his vile behavior, this sort of vile behavior. Doesn't that make you just as bad, if not worse, than him?

And I have to be honest. I was not shocked that Donald Trump reportedly called the majority of black and Hispanic countries or continents s***holes. I wasn't shocked – I'm not. I'm really not outraged by it. I'm not outraged. I'm tired of being outraged, as a matter of fact. I've been outraged too many times. It's more important to be strategic than to be outraged. Some people can be outraged, but it's more important for level-headed people to be strategic rather than outraged. Otherwise, it becomes a sky-is-falling situation every time he says something dumb or stupid or racist. Here's why I'm not outraged – people of color warned you. You called us racists or race-baiters. I'm not mad that you called me those things because I'm not one of them. So why are you mad if someone calls you a racist if you know you are not one? Think about that. If you know you are not a racist, then why are you mad about it when someone calls out racism? What does that say about you? You know what those black and brown folks who you called "racists" are saying now? They're saying: "You bought it; you own it." And as we say in the South – you know this means – bless your heart.

It should be noted that President Trump denies having used the "derogatory" language reported by the media regarding Haiti and other nations.

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