In a rather stunning segment of CNN Tonight this week, CNN host Don Lemon and analyst Marc Lamont Hill openly mocked white people who believe there is discrimination against whites in the U.S.
The segment revolved around a new NPR poll published on Monday which asked respondents, “Generally speaking, do you believe there is or is not discrimination against (Respondent’s own group identity) in America today?”
The survey found that 92% of the African-American respondents said they believe there is generally discrimination against blacks and that 55% of whites felt there is generally discrimination against white people.
Lemon invited Hill and Ben Ferguson on the show to discuss the poll, specifically the results from white respondents. Hill and Lemon could not get through even the introduction of the poll without laughing at the notion that white people believe there is discrimination against them.
“A new poll shows that the majority of white Americans believe there’s discrimination against their race,” said Lemon, already beginning to smile, while Hill shook his head. Both Lemon and Hill then began to laugh, Lemon attempting to blame Hill for starting it.
“Mark, Mark, don’t start already!” said Lemon. “Let me tell about the poll first–“
“White people are amazing,” interjected Hill. “White people are amazing,” he repeated, demonstrating exactly what he would go on to argue doesn’t exist.
After reflexively stereotyping all white people, Hill then let Lemon go on with the survey results, which he and the host would spend the next few minutes mocking. (Video of the segment here.)
“We can’t get nothing? We can’t even get discrimination to ourselves?” said Hill, as Lemon laughed some more. “Look, the problem is often times when you are in a position of privilege and power, when that privilege and power is taken away — even a little bit — what is actually equality feels like oppression to you, it feels like discrimination to you.”
Instead of dealing with the actual language of the poll and the follow-up questions, Hill and Lemon twisted the result to mean that 55% of white people believe they personally are systemically discriminated against. The follow-up questions of the NPR poll, however, show that only 26% of whites believe that anti-white discrimination is “based on laws and government policies,” while 61% said they believe the discrimination is “based in the prejudice of individual people.”
“White people are not oppressed for being white,” said Hill. “White people are not systematically or systemically disenfranchised for being white.” Hill went on to acknowledge that white people do have various personal challenges, but quickly turned the question back into one of systemic oppression rather than general discrimination.
While Ferguson tried to point to affirmative action as a legitimate instance of policy-based racism, Hill dismissed the notion. Again twisting the poll question into something it did not ask, Hill called it “wildly irrational” that “55% of white people in America [think] that they are being discriminated against because they are white.”
Lemon would later add more of his opinion, which clearly aligned with Hill. The host eventually waved off Ferguson’s attempts to defend the legitimacy of whites who feel there are discriminatory attitudes about them.
Lemon made headlines earlier this week when he got emotional on air reading his open letter to President Trump condemning him for having “essentially” called Gold Star widow Myeshia Johnson a “liar” and suggesting that Trump’s response to her appears to be in part racially motivated.