Thursday, August 1, 2013

Everything Wrong with Don Lemon's Oversimplification of Race - and Poverty - in America

As if we didn't have enough to worry and argue about with the debates about gun ownership and the George Zimmerman verdict and Lauren Green's embarrassing interview of Reza Aslan, the issue of race and blaming people for their challenges hit front and center on CNN the other day with African-American anchor Don Lemon oversimplifying race and poverty in America. While Don Lemon may have thought he was contributing to a complex issue, he simply ignited an argument that puts people in corners. While it is certainly worth sifting through the complexity, there are some important things to remember about what Don Lemon got wrong about race and poverty. For a brief and concise explanation - with some fluent spoke word philosophizing - check out New York DJ's Jay Smooth's video commentary:

Simply put: starting a discussion or basing an argument on the issue of "sagging pants" or any other superficial issue of appearance is simply absurd. That sort of thinking gets us nowhere, and actually takes us back a few steps ... or decades.

For the sake of argument, here is the clip of "what Don Lemon said," as well as his follow-up discussion after being criticized:

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