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Don Lemon Demeans CRT Opponents: ‘Stop Making It About You’
US-HOUSING-ARCHITECTURE-ENTERTAINMENT-HUDSON YARDS US journalist Don Lemon attends The Shops & Restaurants at Hudson Yards Preview Celebration Event on March 14, 2019 in New York City. (Photo by Angela Weiss / AFP) (Photo credit should read ANGELA WEISS/AFP via Getty Images) ANGELA WEISS / Contributor via Getty Images
ANGELA WEISS/AFP via Getty Images

CNN host Don Lemon spoke out against people who are uneasy about Critical Race Theory being taught to children during an episode of his show “Don Lemon Tonight” on Thursday evening, wildly missing the point as to why so many parents are pushing back against the racial doctrine.

Speaking with fellow CNN anchor Chris Cuomo during the handoff between the two shows, Lemon and Cuomo denounced opponents of Critical Race Theory (CRT).

Lemon said, “If you are the person who happens to be telling the history, you’re going to tell it in your favor. And the best way to correct that, so that some people aren’t over-indexed in the history of the country, is to have all voices, as many voices as possible, included in [the telling of] that history.”

Lemon mischaracterized the critiques of CRT. Many people are in favor of including lots of voices in the telling of history, but CRT does not stop at teaching about historical racism. Instead, it views American history through an ultra-racial lens that could divide today’s children along racial lines.

Cuomo said he spoke to someone who was worried about the teaching of the subject who said, “‘I don’t want people lecturing my kid like, hey, you’re white, you’re bad.’” Cuomo added, “I said, ‘Why do you think that’s what it will be?’”

Cuomo went on to say that the only problem “‘is your perception. Why wouldn’t [you] want your kid to understand the roots of slavery and the legacy of slavery, how it has played out for enslaved people as a culture throughout the years? Why wouldn’t you want that?’”

Cuomo also misinterpreted the reason that people are pushing back against CRT. They aren’t criticizing the teaching of slavery and Jim Crow, but rather the implication that racism is a common part of American life and people are complicit in it based solely on the color of their skin.

“You don’t think that telling people that they were beaten and sold and lynched makes them feel bad?” Lemon asked as he broke out in laughter, once again not acknowledging that most CRT opponents are not against the teaching of racist events that occurred in America’s past.

Cuomo agreed, “That’s exactly right.”

Lemon dismissed concerns and instead invoked the argument that people’s “privilege” is what leads them to be wary of CRT, saying, “That’s the whole thing about what privilege is, is that you — people don’t like to have their pleasure interrupted, their peace interrupted, and so people think that it should be the way that it should be because they have been taught that in this country.”

He went on, “But, you know, telling people, having people come to the realization — especially ancestors of slaves — that they were enslaved, and that they were beaten and that they were sold, that they weren’t able to accrue wealth, that they weren’t able to go to school, they weren’t able to go vote, you think that makes them feel good?”

He added, “So, the folks on the other side, stop making it about you. And be curious instead of judgmental.”

Don Lemon dismissed opponents of CRT while demeaning large numbers of parents who have spoken out against it. The vast majority of people who are critical of CRT are not against its teachings due to a lack of curiosity. Instead, their concern over CRT being taught to young children stems from an understanding of the subject and its main teachings that scholars of the theory openly acknowledge.

According to the Encyclopaedia Britannica, “Critical race theorists hold that the law and legal institutions in the United States are inherently racist insofar as they function to create and maintain social, economic, and political inequalities between whites and nonwhites, especially African Americans.”

Critics of CRT opponents miss the mark when they continue to insist that the criticism lies in an overall disapproval of teaching about historical racism, which is largely inaccurate and misleading. Critical Race Theory goes beyond the teaching of historical racism and insists that racism is commonplace and embedded in America today.

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