CNN anchor Don Lemon, carrying the rancor he feels toward President Trump into the Democratic presidential debate Wednesday night, asked a question of a candidate in which he accused the president of issuing “racist tweets.” Lemon turned to former HUD secretary Julian Castro, intoning, “Secretary Castro, after the president’s racist tweets attacking Baltimore and Congressman Elijah Cummings, the mayor of Baltimore slammed the tweets and said to the president — and I quote here — ‘Help us. Send the resources that we need to rebuild America.’ So what would you do for Baltimore and other cities that need help?”
Lemon calling Trump a racist is nothing new, of course, but to inject his view into the debate as the moderator was definitely a new direction for a presidential debate moderator.
Lemon’s history of calling Trump a racist includes January 2018, when he stated:
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 said, 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.
In August 2018 Lemon doubled down, stating, “The kids separated from their parents at the border or the kids who don’t have the chance to attend LeBron’s school or any half-way decent school? The parents who can’t honestly tell their children to be proud of the President of the United States? The people of color who are attacked by their fellow citizens who feel emboldened to be publicly racist? Because the president is.”