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A couple of weeks ago CNN weekend anchor Don Lemon got the attention of a lot of folks when he went all in with Fox News’ Bill O’Reilly assessment on the black community. The attention he got was decidedly mixed from black folks, but basically it wasn’t received too well.  Notably, hip hop mogul Russell Simmons responded with several scathing tweets, and an open letter to Lemon.

Well, one thing about the CNN host that we’ll give him credit for, he’s not scared to mix it up. Saturday night he responded to Simmons and others by re-framing his remarks within the context of black leaders like Martin Luther King, Malcolm X, President and Mrs. Obama, and even Bill Cosby, rather than as agreement with Bill O’Reilly.

After showing several lengthy clips of the afore-mentioned, speaking about black empowerment and personal responsibility, Lemon had this to say about Simmons’ open letter.

“I’m glad you wrote the letter,” Lemon said, the first of several such assurances, but said he almost didn’t respond, “not because I think you completely missed the point, not because, like many of the other critics, I thought you were just using the occasion as a promotion for one of your businesses, your website, but I wasn’t going to address it because, quite honestly, it was hard to take you, and it, seriously after you called me derogatory names like slave on Twitter.”

Lemon then pointed out that he had invited Simmons to appear on the program several times, including Saturday night, but had been declined.

“Don’t throw stones, and then hide your hand,” Lemon jabbed.

Lemon then delivered a point-by-point rebuttal to Simmons’ letter, which ended with another clip of President Obama, saying “Nobody cares how tough your upbringing was. Nobody cares if you suffered some discrimination. and, moreover, you have to remember that whatever you’ve gone through, it pales in comparison to the hardships previous generations endured, and they overcame them, and if they overcame them, you can overcome them, too.”

“Thank you, Mr. President,” Lemon concluded. “That’s tonight’s ‘No Talking Points.’”

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20 thoughts on “Don Lemon Responds to Russell Simmons’ Open Letter (Watch)

  1. Rayar Johnson on said:

    August 12,2013

    Please, Please Help us! In the February 14,2013 Wayne County Newspaper,( Front Page) It tells of the school violations and bullying and harassment my children have suffered in the WCSD,Mississippi. But, it did not mention that the latest of those threats were from the school KKK note. Now, this same girl where two knifes were found on her is back at school and sitting behind my child on their bus.
    This is not the first racial discrimination . My kids have a right to a safe school environment.
    The WCSD said they would handle it and they would prosecute and she would not be back on that campus. They would not tell me one court date no notification, just it’s been handled. 911 did not even send an officer at my request the day of.
    The children are shocked and scared. I beg for justice. I do not know why help for justice is so hard. They are not going back to school until they are represented. This is sad that anyone would think we are okay with this.

  2. the master manipulator sits in the chair of plenty ,manipulates so as to divert attention from poverty and all the isms that erodes . he laughs all the way to the bank while planning his next manipulation.

  3. We will not be given anything, but hatred. We have to get it for ourselves by not having babies we can’t afford, getting an education, starting businesses, working hard, and raising our children to do right. I believe the majority of us are doing so. It’s the few that make it hard on the majority.

  4. This whole episode is so SAD! And some of these comments are so off the mark. Did you people read the entire chain of events before posting your comments

  5. Excellent Don Lemon, He is a very intelligent man and he has been doing his job for a long time.
    and I’m glad he finally told that Ignorant Russell simmons off in a very nice and nasty way
    he was the ONe WHO SAID HIP HOP WIll become a lifestyle. but see Russell is apart of an Elite group. he does not care about these young black children Dying in these streets all he does is GET PAID!,,

  6. Why on Gods Green Real Estate are these brothers sparing in public. Neither is 10 percent wrong or right. This type banter only promotes division, which by the way is on of the reasons that we find ourselves in this present condition. the issues are challenging and complex. it will take all of us of every opinion and persuasion to fix. UNITED WE STAND DIVIDED…

    • Attention Avc, these two aren’t sparing, Don Lemon is, only responding to the remarks Russell made on twitter concerning the piece he did on the show he host. Why shouldn’t he respond to him with-in the same manner Russell Simmons down grade him. If Russell had something to say to Don, he should have talk to him, face to face. Don made a lot of true statement. Some of those singers do not care about those young people, as long as they are buying there music. Don, continue to educate the people using whatever means necessary.

      • Alert to you Mary, I am not taking sides one way or the other. And yes they are sparing in public.if not we would not be commenting on the event. Furthermore the tendency to take sides will only create and fortify a divisive atmosphere that will continue to destroy us as a nation and most importantly, as a community. As I stated neither of them is 100% right or wrong. You are correct that Don should continue to educate others, but so should Russell and not at all cost. I say this because, there are some people that one or the other will NOT be able to reach. Again I say the issues we face are challenging, complex and require more than one voice or idea. These two gentlemen have a platform that is rare and precious, however if they meaning (BOTH) continue using quality airtime and that platform of influence to set the record straight, they (BOTH) will reduced the influence given them and be constrained to preaching to the choir. This unfortunate consequence is sad, counterproductive, and ineffective. Would you agree?

      • @mary I totally agree, if Russell wanted to speak to don, why did he decline to talk to him face to face, yes this goes to show you that we still have a lot of work to do when it comes to each other.

        Its enough that white folks dis-like us and call us thugs and hoodlums, but we cannot even communicate with each other. in a mature way.

  7. As a black man that was imprisoned for black on black crime in the past, I agree 100% with Don. For any black person to not see the importance in overcoming those five points that Don gave, shows that we as the black race have a long way to go to have a strong argument for our outcry for equal justice!

  8. Marshall wiliams on said:

    Great piece of reporting on self respect, Russell is a modern day pimp and uneducated fool with a few dollars, Russell works with satin and helped destroy the Black community, Don keep speaking the truth. Yes, Russell was trying to cash in on one of his clown business ventures…The only hope for our Black community is not be slaved to government welfare, our fore parents worked and learn freedom is making it on your own, an not being a “GP” GOVERNMENT PROPERTY…Christian Community Network.

  9. Well said Don , straight to the point but black americans need to leave these dumb, uneducated fools behind if thats how they want to ruin there own lives, just dont bring it over this way. Russel go find you a little girl u seem to like them dumb ones.

    • lynnette on said:

      How can Russel defend ignorance? Sagging pants, uneducated African Americans in 2013, and fatherless children. Don made excellent points. Come on black American lets come up and stop staying stagnant.

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