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Clarence Thomas says society is overly sensitive about race.

I knew it was going to be controversial the moment I opened the email sent to me by my producers proposing a segment on CNN.

And so it was after they secured radio host Mo Ivory and conservative blogger Crystal Wright to participate. writes that while speaking to students at Palm Beach Atlantic University Justice Thomas said he is concerned about what he considers a society that is more “conscious” of racial differences than it was when he grew up in segregated Georgia before and during the civil rights era.

Thomas says, “My sadness is that we are probably today more race and difference-conscious than I was in the 1960s when I went to school. To my knowledge, I was the first black kid in Savannah, Georgia, to go to a white school. Rarely did the issue of race come up.”

On CNN, Crystal Wright weighed in first.

Crystal Wright:  “Now we’re in a situation where we have people actively looking, hunting Don for racism and to call people homophobes and to talk about sexism so they can make a living off of it and they are.  They’re shaking down corporate America. And now you have a hyper-sensitivity where many white people are afraid not to even engage in an honest dialogue on race.”

Don Lemon:  “Mo what do you think?  Are we too sensitive?”

Mo Ivory:  “Wow, I would have to disagree with partially what she said. But no I don’t think we’re too sensitive about it all.  I just think we have a more open forum to talk about it to bring it out.”

And from there the conversation took an ugly turn with the commentators talking over each other, and the conservative commentator Crystal Wright lamenting being called vile names like Uncle Tom and Thomasina by people who disagree with her, mostly black people.

Don Lemon: “Ok Crystal, listen Crystal.’

Crystal Wright: “Wait, I want to finish this.

Don Lemon:  “Ok quickly.”

Crystal Wright:  “Because at the end of the day the only way any of us are going to have an honest discussion is if Mo you stop attacking me for my opinion. And we allow white, black, brown

Mo Ivory: “And you stop attacking me for mine.”

Crystal Wright:  “I haven’t attacked you.”

Don Lemon:  “We should all stop attacking each other and stop calling people names.”


All of that came about from my one simple question, “Are we too sensitive about race?” I think that conversation proves that we are; at least when talking about race.

But the difference is that talking about  race when Justice Thomas grew up might have gotten you killed. Talking about it now might make people call you names.

I don’t know about you, but of the two choices, I’ll take the name calling.​

58 thoughts on “Don Lemon: Are We Too Sensitive About Race? + WATCH the Heated Race Debate on CNN

  1. Are you anti-Semitic. I love the African American Middle Class. Their approach to race is an affirmation of white supremacy. They took their wealth and their education, won on the backs of their people, and moved to white sugar. Claiming that violence was to predominant in the African American Community, but every available stat. proves that premises wrong. No culture has ever risen without a Middle C lass establishing themselves amongst their ranks. Leading the charge towards economic, political and entrepreneurial growth in their community. The Harlem Renaissance and other African American Renaissance could not have been possible, if that generation would have performed as this generation. This generation speaks of the African American Community as those that spat, hanged through their deification in their parents face, during the civil disobedience, as if we were children, in the early sixties. None race is to sensitive to talk about. It was not only a sensitive matter during my time, but a matter of life or death; food or starvation; bombing of churches and water hoses. To sensitive to talk about. We may arose the same treatment today as we did in the sixties. Caucasian Folks may get mad and not appreciate my taunting them concerning the inequities; the imbalances in their economic and social platforms where it concerns the poor. But there are but so many resources and the more you get the less I am able to obtain.

  2. You spanish descendants are next! on said:

    Crystal Wright quiet naturally you would feel we are too sensitive about the rave issue your in the deep deep south Virginia yeah right! Come to Florida and Texas where they are killing our children’s. All of you who have forgotten what it was like come on down to the real south where no matter how many degrees or money you have your still thew N word with and s. Crystal need to take a trip. Thank you Ms Ivory taking it to her and Clarence Tom. Smiling in the Real Deep South!

  3. Jacqueline Perry on said:

    Racism has never gone anywhere in this country, blacks in this day don’t want to discuss it. But its reality . There’s some good white folk in america, but racism is taught,obama being president and a bad economy has reared its ugly head.we’re discriminated against when filing complaints..its in every aspect of life, law say they cant discriminate but white folks know the law so well, they find the loopholes in it and do away with a lot of stuff in this country.they make the final decision in every major office in this country.

  4. Loud music is never a reason for murder! This man had preexisting racial bias already within him. Taking the life of a young black child/man under circumstances as this or really any circumstances is sickening. This is a Black issue because it is affecting black young men by a disproportion in number to any other race. However please know this is an American issue/problem that is displaying cruelty and lack of value in worth of a major group of its citizens. This is a slavery/master/KKK mentality. Just look at the history and how they have done this to the black man over and over throughout the many years. You have to be blind or have a desire to stay in denial not to see this. People wake up! Everyone….White, Black, Yellow, Brown and other. Wake up and do the right thing! Start today in some way!!

  5. tired of being bullied. on said:

    Don Lemon is now speaking about the shooting in Florida over teens playing loud music. He keeps saying that the man should have moved his car away from the loud music. Why didn’t the teens turn down the loud music when he asked them to turn it down. Most states have noise ordinances. Why do we have to put up with loud, rude, mouth trashing teens? Where are my rights to walk, ride, down a street and not be offended by teens who are plain rude and nasty

  6. americanize. on said:

    Come on now what do u expect good ole boy clarance to say people like him crystal Jessie lee,alan west just to name a few negroes, these folks will not rock the boat.We had these kind of negroes during slavery,fast forward to today they still exist.Crystal probaley thinks Dunn is not guilty.

  7. Dorothy Kincaid on said:

    RACISM definition is Race prejudice plus power. Race is a political construct and as long as whites continue the process of racists acts and beat the drum about us and don’t even know a Black person. I felt sorry for them at one time. Not anymore. I just want them to stay out of my life. I won’t bother them just don’t bother me.

  8. i believe anybody can be a racist. I think it’s important to judge yourself your own people & make judgments about other people too cause ya know they be doing this & that! Lol Don’t be judgmental but judge or examine people. You’ll find out they act just like our people but on a different level. I must admit i think white folk have a god complex & a superiority complex..guess what..everybody does. One reason why wars breakout cause we be like nahaa they did what…who do they think they are?!

  9. to Jamie Why is it always the liberal this or that wielding the ax of racism? You can come with that I grew up in a small town where everyone knew everyone – it didn’t matter we were a community. Isn’t it funny that a white person always says this – I grew up in the same small town and you better believe it did matter whether you were white, black or Korean. Since it didn’t matter – how many integrated churches did you have in that small town? Five will get you ten that there wasn’t. BUT IT DIDN’T MATTER BECAUSE WE WERE A COMMUNITY!!!!!!

    • the Timekeeper on said:

      You are correct, WTF. Jamie, like a lot of folks like to think they are one with mankind. Problem is they no longer want to hear about racism, bigotry and the plight of black people. they simply want us to move on, get over it, et. etc. In short they just dont want to hear it anymore. And then, when we do protest, it must be the Liberal media. This is a very convenient excuse now used in order to dismiss the obvious racism is going on. And yet, I am sure Jamie and so many like her ( or him) really think they are at one with mankind. In fact, they may very well be. I get the feeling she is sincere in her feelings. Problem is, not everyone around her is the same. Even if they have convinced her they are.

  10. VBucGreen on said:

    Racism is alive and well in 2014, it seem as if we are back in the Jim Crow era and times are getting worse. One only have to look at the treatment President Obama has endured, since taking office. Some republicans constantly talking about impeaching the President, although they have no grounds, appealing the ACA when millions need healthcare, the voting right act being watered down and countless states changing voting procedures in the middle of the game. This is not a colorblind society and never will be, just look at the mess Fox News put out and Rush Limbaugh. Fox, Rush, and some Republicans are feeding their base a bunch of lies, and the sad thing is that that base believe the garbage being transmitted. The commentator that thinks everything is on the up and up, just keep living and being black dear, believe me, you will find out the hard way.

    • That’s a bunch of BULL____ the only way you’re not achieving what you want out of life is because of you, not a white person! Don’t you realize you can do ANYTHING you want to in this Country? Even if there are people out there who try to hold you back, they can’t if you have a healthy sense of who you are and your education! That’s baloney about racism being so prevalent! SO WHAT,WHO GIVES A DAMN? Live your life and stop giving your power to others!!!! Life is REALLY what you make it, it is up to YOU!!!!!

  11. Sonny, I couldn’t say it any better. Well said!!!!!!! When I go to a restaurant, hotel, job interview, car dealership, and etc., they see my race and gender, but never know my sexuality unless I tell them. When race is the issue or topic let’s stick to that subject. Homosexuality is being discussed almost every day in America when we still have not conquered a solution to the obvious race problems. We can start with the discrimination that our POTUS deals with all the time. Since President Obama has taken office the racial tension in American has exploded. For anyone to say race talk is overplayed is either living in denial or flat out not being truthful.

  12. I would like to know when homosexuality became part of race relations. If judge Thomas truly feels race is no longer a real issue it shows clearly he isn’t in touch with the people he is suppose to be protecting through his work as a Supreme Court justice. He hasn’t heard about the stand your ground controversy? He hasn’t seen the reports on the young black people male and female that have died in the last year and a half because they played music too loud or approached homes seeking help and ended up paying with their lives? As for the woman who Don Lemmon had on his show that claimed there aren’t still issues with race relations, maybe you’d feel differently if one of your family members was killed. Please open your eyes, we aren’t sensitive we are seeing what IS!

  13. the Timekeeper on said:

    Racism i Not an ise for some peope. It is an isse foe everyone. whether they adimit or not. Whether they realize it or not. there is a domino effect o racism that affets us all knowlingl or unkowigly. Someonewe kno has been adversely affected by it. The Viseral in these commnts substantiate tha fact. Yes, life is wondeful, excting, exhilirating and all of that. People of color have ben living life to th fullest despite the obvious minefields, roadblocks and stumbling blocks that have impeded our paths since Plymouth Rock landed on us! If the liveral media is the lumberjack, then conservaitve media is Paul Bunyon. es communities do stick together during times of tragedy, but quickly return to their own corrners of the ring when issues like this arise. Someon said o an earlier post that black people are now in a position of having to defend themselves. too bad Trayvon couldnt defend himslf, neither could Sean Bell and so many others. and yet when someone speaks up for them, they are the ones accused of racism. How Convenient. Yes, life is good, in fact its great. If we can sit aroud and write these posts, we are probably dong better than a lot f folks. However, regardless of how much I flourish and enjoy the fruits o my labor, that doesnt make me oblivious to the deep divide in our country. If that bothers you, then you have much deeper problem than any of these responses.

    • Sorry, I just disagree with you! Life is soooooo much more than racial issues! Life is about truly living and finding Peace,Joy, and Love! I choose to get out of life what I want,not what someone else tells me to. Start really living life and all of these ‘other’ issues will fall by the waste side, trust me!!!!!

      • the Timekeeper on said:

        No, iam11 I dont trust you. Though I do trust tht you actually do feel that way. Regardless of how fulfilinglife may be ( and I agree it truly is) that does not, and never will make me oblivious to what is going on aroud me. In fact, the many many blessings I have received have made me even more aware of people wh have been racially carred ofr life and other thins beyond their control that have happened tothem. I do not have a Disnyland approach to life. For even though Iam the beneficiary of so mnay good things and trulyanjoy them. It certainly doesnt make me think as you pur it “those other things will go away” Goaway for who? See, it might not affectme personally, but I am sensitive enough to know it isnt just about me. ts for all of the others who arent as fortunate. I that isnt the way you think. Gee Whiz then knock yourself out. You say you disagree with me. If that is your thought process than UI am happy to dissagree with you.In a topic as contentious as this,It will never be solved on this post. As confident as you are in your point of view, you can rest assured I am equally as confident n my won feeling, i m spirit, my gut and evr par of my being. A cold hearted man shot into a vehicle and shot a 17 year old boy simply becuase he idnt like his music. He called him a thug and this child even though dead has had to put his reputation on the line, simply bcuse he is a blrown boy. And yet, this jurycant even decide to convict this man becuase he white and the boy is black. If I had won the lottery, or lliving on an Island of my own, that would bother me. As it should anyone.
        God less you and lets agree to disagree if tiat is the case.

      • You know nothing about this jury to make a comment as to why they have not found this man guilty yet! You were not there, you do not know what happen between the two parties involved, get busy LIVING your own life, and yes I believe in helping as many people as possible to achieve a self fulfilling life, but don’t forget to LIVE and have real Joy that EVERYONE can have if they really want it and try to get it!!!!!!

      • @iann11 I’d like to give you a little analogy. Just some food for thought. A couple of years ago when the President was trying to get the Affordable Health Care law passed, I was a very vocal advocate for passing the law. One of my sisters who has had a great job and great insurance for nearly 40 years couldn’t understand why this mattered so much to me. She pointed out that I too have a great job and great insurance, therefore she wondered why I cared about the health care law so much. I explained to her that my youngest daughter (who’s now too old to be on my insurance) has a preexisting condition because she had cancer when she was 13 years old and that without the ACA she couldn’t get insurance as an independent hair stylist. You see the ACA doesn’t help me directly but it helps my daughter and every other American with preexisting conditions. My point is, just because you may not face racism directly, doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist. It’s good to look at the positives and always aim for the very best in life. It’s just not fair to pretend that others don’t have some harsh realities to deal with…

      • I never said that people do not have harsh realities to deal with, We all have harsh things to deal with. But STOP sounding like a DAMN VICTIM all the time. Get on with Life and find the real Joy that’s out there for everyone, if you’re not going to do that, then what’s the point of Living if you’re not going to at least attempt to enjoy your Life!!!! No one gives a DAMN about self proclaimed Victims, Life keeps moving on, why not move with it??????

      • the Timekeeper on said:

        iam11 you try to make it sound as if you are the only one who has found the secret of a blissful life. I am sure you are a happy fellow, congratulations!! No, I dont know this jury, but i do know that a murdrerer is currently walking the steets after killing another 17 year old boy and I simply do not want to see that repeated. And yes, whether you like it r not, it should not take this lng to convicta murderer. Contrary to your belief there is no magic bridge of equality we passed over a few years back. There are some harsh realities ivolving racce that cannot be dismissed just becuasewe are living a good life. Based on your reply not only to me but also to others it is obvious you dont want to listen or hear anyones perspective other than your own. you re going to make yourself right no matter what. No one is discounting your views, we just simply do not agree with you.Nothing you write is going to change that. I, and others feel just as strongly, even more stronlgly than you do But Iam sure you will keep trying, keep trying, keep trying….

  14. There was a time when I thought we (The United States) had made some real progress on the issue of race. Then we elected our First AA President and it seems like all HELL broke loose. How can we say that Black folks, African Americans (your choice) are overly sensitive when it comes to matters of race when our current President has received 300% more death threats then any other sitting President in U.S. history?

    If we are overly sensitive then why do multiple states now have Stand Your Ground laws now???

    Yet when a young Black woman used that defense when she shot a gun in the air (not aimed at anyone) to get her abusive husband to leave her alone she got convicted in a nanosecond but a jury is still deliberating about a White man who used it as an excuse to shoot a young unarmed Black man in the the backseat of a car for playing loud music in a public parking lot.

    What world is Crystal Wright living in???

  15. How SAD are we that in the year 2014 race is still an issue for some people! Why can’t everyone just live their lives to the fullest of their abilities? Race just doesn’t matter at all, be committed to embracing life with everything that you have and let all of this nonsense go.No one can STOP you from getting all you want out of life but yourself!!!!!

    • iann11…What planet our you living on? Yes, we have succeeded despite slavery, jim crow laws and any other atrocity that has been made against folks. I have joy and peace because of my faith in God. But I also have a son who will be 21 years old in March. Every year he gets older the celebration means more. Do you have a black son? Well, I do. I tell my son all the time no one knows you like your parents. The person who wants to harm you doesn’t know you are in your 3rd year of college. They don’t know you are very respectful. So, I have to warn him because of the color of his skin he can be targeted. That is reality and the TRUTH! But that doesn’t stop us from living. It’s just make us conscious of what’s going on in our WORLD. We are not victims. We are VICTORIOUS.

      • I choose not to HARM my children by telling them they’re victims in this society be cause of their skin color!!!! What kind of BULL____ is that? I will not handicap my children that way! My children know who they are, and that they can achieve anything they want because they have a healthy sense of self. I would never destroy my children by telling them some BULL___ about the world targeting them because they’re black!!!!! NEVER!!!

    • @iann: Yes it is sad that race is an issue in 2014; but it is what it is. And, for the record people can live life to it’s fullest, and ALSO point out racism if it applies. What if Martin Luther King, Roy Wilkins, Rosa Parks, etc. didn’t speak out, or take a stand in the 60s…..where do you think we would be today?

      • Yes! and with all of those civil rights leaders look at the majority of the black community today, and tell me you’re not ashamed of what you see!

  16. the Timekeeper on said:

    First of all, Clarence Thomas is the Llaaasst person to even bring up the topic of race. He has ( Less than) Zero credibility. Yes, black people are now in the position of having to defend themselves. It should never, ever be like that but it is true. Since the ascension of a Black man being president it has bought out the very worst in a segment of our population. From Stop & Frisk, Stand your Ground, Tea Party Hatred, Voitng Rights Violaitons, the list goes on and on. All this and more in the past few years. and then when black civil rights leaders are asked to come and help, they are called “race baiters” This is not only disengenous, it is also hypocritical. Wjite folks use the term “Race Card” only to stop people of color from protesting the obvious racism that still exits in our country. Well, this aint Blackjack, and if it is they still hold the Aces. Even as we speak there is a young black boy murdered over his music.The jury has had this racist white mans case since last evening. and yet they still have not annonced that he is guilty. That is the very essence of racism and how distorted white folks view of racism is. Even so called even minded caucasians, and there are some on this post who think of themsleves in that manner wont even admit to these facts. Racism exists and should be exposed regardless of what anyone thinks.

    • Wow. The comment made here would be super racist if a white man said it about a black man. Racist remarks labeling all white folks can’t be used to stop racism against blacks. Hate doesn’t be hate it creates more hate.

      • the Timekeeper on said:

        You r right Jamie. If a whie man said it , it would be racist. Beccuase racism is about power, and they have the power..

    • I don’t think you should live your life trying to view every incident that happens to people of color as racist! You have to LIVE life, if all you do is constantly viewing things as racial, you’ll NEVER live! And that’s VERY SAD!!!! Life is Wonderful, Exciting, Adventurous, Educational and Amazing! You cannot let anyone take the Joy out of life for you, if so then they win, and that is Unacceptable!!!! Don’t let other people dictate how you should live your life!

      • @iann11. While you (and I) are enjoying our lives, we must also be sure we have empathy for others who may be less fortunate than we are. There are injustices that happen in this world and unfortunately they are sometimes prompted by race, size, gender, religious beliefs, sexual orientation etc., etc., etc. It’s just part of life. Maybe not yours but others. We have to have some empathy for others…

      • I sooooooo agree with you about that! But I cannot STAND people who love to pretend they are VICTIMS in life! There are no victims! Yes, bad horrible things happen a lot in life, but GET UP, dust yourself off and learn from that experience and apply it to your life and move on and make something out of your life. No one cares about self-proclaimed victims.Find the Joy in your life and never, ever let anyone take that from you!!!!! Life is Beautiful, you’re ALIVE, Live like it!!!!!!!!!

      • @iann11 Just so you know, neither my daughter (whom I sited as an example in my previous post) nor I have ever seen ourselves or behaved as victims. Neither of us have ever asked for a dime of disability, welfare, food stamps, etc. As a matter of fact, my daughter at age 13 specifically asked that we not request assistance. I used that analogy to make the point that sometimes bad things happen to good people. Somehow you seem to think that unless we all ignore everything around us, we are behaving like victims. I am not, nor have I ever been a victim but I do have the ability to recognize injustice and you and no one else will convince me to ignore it. Peace and Blessings…

      • I would not ever try to convince you to believe anything that you don’t want to believe. We just have a different approach to life, and that’s just fine! Have a Wonderful life!!!!

  17. Also, people have ALWAYS been “conscious” of racial differences do Mr. Thomas need to stop acting like it was not even in the 60’s. Today, we have more media and the internet to express ourselves.

  18. I think the problem with all of this is that people want to put their views on others. Look at Ms. Crystal. She wants to make out that some people want to make a living off race issues. Well, Ms. Crystal, some folks go through racism, if You live in a place where you do not have to deal with it, great; however, EVERYONE is NOT like you and there is nothing wrong with those who go into those place to deal with it. SO again, race matters even to those who want to act like it does not. Listen to them talk and it will come out. Like I said, CLarence Thomas has a race issue when it comes to blacks. That is no different.

  19. Honestly I’m afriad to talk to or have any actions with black people. I can’t understand them half the time and if I ask what they ment I’m a racist. I’m sorry if I see a person dressed as a gang banger and I cringe. If I saw a white guy in a nazi uniform I would do they same. But its alright to cringe at that but not the gang banger that’s racist. I don’t even like says the color black in the work place because its to harsh sounding. What does this lead to? I have a resentment towards all blacks. The liberal media is creating a divide in the races that would make hitler proud.

    • And what about conservative media which is just as bad. The bottom line is race matters and we just have to deal with it. YOu can not change the minds of people on how some folks are treated. Even Clarence Thomas judge based on race. He act like he hates blacks but I guess because he has a white wife and loves whites he thinks he is colorblind. NOT.

    • As for dividing the races, you can NOT divide anything if it is not broken; however, if you can divide it, that means it was ALWAYS BROKEN but you lived in denial about it being broke.

      • Lol and back to attacking the other side. I grew up in a small town where everyone knew everyone. White, black, korean… it didnt matter we were a comunity. A wild fire hit our area and everyone came together to help. You would say that was a conservative town. I am at college in a city now and race is a huge issue. Btw you can divide something that is not broken. Think of the american people as a tree and the liberal media the lumberjack wielding the axe of racism.

    • You say you cringe when you see someone dressed as a ”gang banger”? Does this happenm when you young white boys dressed as one OR only when you see young black boys????

    • Perhaps your ‘fear’ of speaking with Blacks abut race stems from your own ignorance? Afterall, that’s what racism is: unwarranted fear of what you don’t know about or understand. Whenever ANYONE makes an attempt to ‘speak’ about racism, you’ll get Fox News, Rush Limbaugh, and the rest of these idiots pulling out the infamous ‘you’re playing the race card’ card. You may not like it, but chances are when white people ‘claim’ to want to ‘discuss’ racial matters, they want to speak of it in terms of slavery, Jim Crow, civil rights movement, etc. In other words, you’re more comfortable ‘pretending’ that ‘it’s not like that anymore,’ and don’t want to bring up the current climate we live in today. Ignorance is the best defense against responsibility. If you acknowledge that it is as alive and well in 2014, then that means you have to do something about it, and that something usually means taking an honest look at yourself and admit that we ALL have our prejudices, and then be honest about why you feel the way you do. So Jaime, you’re not afraid of dialoguing about race; you’re afraid of taking responsibility for leaving your comfort zone.

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