LeBron James got most of the attention, but don’t forget, it was CNN’s Don Lemon whom President Donald Trump called “the dumbest man on television” in his Friday night tweet.
In Lemon’s first show back since the president insulted him on Twitter, he offered up a sober response Monday night. “As a journalist, I don’t really like being the story,” the CNN host began. But because he believes in standing up for what is “right” and “decent,” he decided to tell viewers “exactly” how he felt about Trump’s “nasty, hateful swipe” at both him and the NBA star who dared to criticize the president.
“Unlike this president, who lashes out wildly at anyone who criticizes him, I have pretty thick skin,” Lemon said. “And LeBron James, in addition to being a brilliant black man, a superstar in his sport, and a hero to his community, is taking the high road, which is exactly where he belongs.”
Meanwhile, everyone from Michael Jordan to Ohio Gov. John Kasich to first lady Melania Trump has publicly sided with James over the past couple of days.
Lemon went on to note that Trump has “called a lot of people stupid” and while “some of them are white,” it does seem that more often than not he uses that particular insult against black people. “Referring to African-Americans as dumb is one of the oldest canards of America’s racist past and present, that black people are of inferior intelligence,” Lemon said.
“This president constantly denigrates people of color, and women too,” he added, noting that Trump regularly uses the descriptor “low IQ” when attacking Rep. Maxine Waters (D-CA). He brought up Trump’s “birther” crusade against President Barack Obama and his obsession with black athletes who kneeled for the national anthem as additional examples.
“Let me not mince words here,” Lemon said. “This president traffics in racism. And is fueled by bullying.” All over the country, he said, people of color are being “attacked by their fellow citizens who feel emboldened to be publicly racist, because the president is.”