CNN's Don Lemon: Bill O'Reilly 'Right About' Problems in Black Community - 'Doesn't Go Far Enough'

Fox News's Bill O'Reilly has taken a lot of heat from the liberal media for comments he made this week about problems in the African-American community.

On CNN Saturday, O'Reilly received support from an unlikely source when Don Lemon actually said of the Fox News host's comments, "He is right...But in my estimation, he doesn't go far enough" (video follows with transcript and commentary):

DON LEMON, HOST: We're going to take a break from the headlines to talk about something I've had on my mind for quite some time now. So much so that I felt compelled to bring back our segment where we hold politicians, leaders, and pundits accountable for what comes out of their mouths. It's time now, again, for “No Talking Points."

The Trayvon Martin murder case got just about everybody talking about race, and not just specifically how it related to the case. It got some, many on the political right, wondering why the so-called liberal media wasn't talking about other problems in the black community.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIPS)

JUDITH MILLER, FOX NEWS CHANNEL: Let's talk about race. Let's talk about black-on-black violence.

DAVID WEBB, TALK RADIO HOST: The outrage that I have is in the lack of really the national attention to what is an epidemic of crime in the black community committed largely by blacks.

(END VIDEO CLIPS)

LEMON: Why aren't we talking about it? Good question. Actually, that's not a good question. We talked about it many times on this show and on CNN. It's actually a good deflection as I've said a number of times to a number of guests here on CNN and also on the radio.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

LEMON: David, do not that false equivalent. That is not…

WEBB: No, I'm not trying to equivocate

LEMON: But, listen, crime happens all the time and because a crime happens, it does not mean that you should shift the focus from what happened here. Let's stick to this particular point so continue and let's talk about this case.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

LEMON: So, that's the reason I didn't want to discuss at length crime in the African-American community or how to fix other ills that seem to be plaguing the community in general. But now that the jury has reached its verdict, one that everyone must accept, it's time now for some tough love on the subject. Someone on another network got the chance to go first because I couldn't go during the week. I'm only here on the weekend, so listen to this.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

BILL O’REILLY, FOX NEWS: The reason there is so much violence and chaos in the black precincts is the disintegration of the African-American family.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

LEMON: He's got a point. In fact, he's got more than a point. Bill?

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

O’REILLY: Raised without much structure, young black men often reject education and gravitate towards the street culture, drugs, hustling, gangs. Nobody forces them to do that, again, it is a personal decision.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

LEMON: He is right about that, too. But in my estimation, he doesn't go far enough. Because black people, if you really want to fix the problem, here's just five things that you should think about doing. Here's number five, and if this doesn't apply to you, if you're not doing this, then it doesn't apply to you, I'm not talking to you. Here's number five. Pull up your pants. Some people, a lot of them black, gave me flak for saying that recently on the “Wendy Williams Show."

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

LEMON: If you're sagging, it means I think your self-esteem is sagging and who you are as a person it's sagging. Young people need to be taught respect and there are rules.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

LEMON: Sagging pants, whether it's Justin Bieber or no-name Derek around the way, walking around with your ass and your underwear showing is not okay. In fact, it comes from prison when they take away belts from the prisoners so that they can't make a weapon. And then it evolved into which role a prisoner would have during male-on-male prison sex. The one with the really low pants is the submissive one. You get my point?

Number four now is the N-word.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIPS)

RAPPER JAY Z: For our generation, what we did was we took the word and we took the power out of that word.

ACTOR/COMEDIAN CHRIS ROCK: We took this word, and we made it into poetry.

(END VIDEO CLIP)


LEMON: I understand poetic license, but consider this: I hosted a special on the N-word, suggesting that black people stop using it and that entertainers stop deluding yourselves or themselves and others that you're somehow taking the word back.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

LEMON: By promoting the use of that word when it's not germane to the conversation, have you ever considered that you may be just perpetuating the stereotype the massa intended acting like a nigger?

(END VIDEO CLIP)

LEMON: A lot of African-Americans took offense to that, too. And I wondered if I gave the right advice, I really did. But confirmation came the very next day on my way home when I exited the subway on 125th Street in Harlem. This little kid in a school uniform, no older than 7 years old, he was crying his eyes out as he walked down the sidewalk with his mother. I'm going to be honest here, she turned to him and she said, “I'm sick of you. You act like an old ass man. Stop all that crying, nigger.” Is that taking the word back? Think about that.

Now number three: respect where you live. Start small by not dropping trash, littering in your own communities. I've lived in several predominantly white neighborhoods in my life. I rarely, if ever, witnessed people littering. I live in Harlem now, it's an historically black neighborhood. Every single day I see adults and children dropping their trash on the ground when a garbage can is just feet away. Just being honest here.

Number two: finish school. You want to break the cycle of poverty? Stop telling kids they're acting white because they go to school or they speak proper English. A high school dropout makes on average $19,000 a year. A high school graduate makes $28,000 a year. A college graduate makes $51,000 a year. Over the course of a career, a college grad will make nearly $1 million more than a high school graduate. That's a lot of money.

And number one, and probably the most important: just because you can have a baby, it doesn't mean you should. Especially without planning for one or getting married first. More than 72 percent pf children in the African-American community are born out of wedlock. That means absent fathers. And the studies show that lack of a male role model is an express train right to prison and the cycle continues.

So, please, black folks, as I said if this doesn't apply to you, I'm not talking to you. Pay attention to and think about what has been presented in recent history as acceptable behavior. Pay close attention to the hip-hop and rap culture that many of you embrace, a culture that glorifies everything I just mentioned, thug and reprehensible behavior. A culture that is making a lot of people rich, just not you. And it's not going to. That said, though, the political right is not off the hook.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

KIRSTEN POWERS, FOX NEWS: If conservatives are so concerned about black-on-black crime, it's a little concerning the only time I hear them talking about it is when they want to stick it to the black community.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

LEMON: And that's today's "No Talking Points."


I'm not sure why Lemon felt the need to add Powers' comments at the end, for they diminished from the fabulous points he made in this lengthy segment.

Regardless, he's to be commended for having the guts as a left-leaning black anchor to come out and not only make some very inconvenient remarks that he's guaranteed to take heat for, but also to agree with a Fox News anchor likely reviled by most of his viewers.

Yet interestingly enough, much of the feedback Lemon's received on Twitter has been positive.

But not everyone was supportive.

Here's MSNBC commentator Goldie Taylor:

She was responding to the following:

This being Saturday, it will be very interesting to see how others in the liberal media respond to Lemon's points, especially Al Sharpton who has been harshly critical of O'Reilly.

Stay tuned.

(HT Mediaite)

Noel Sheppard
Noel Sheppard
Noel Sheppard, Associate Editor of NewsBusters, passed away in March of 2014.