It seems that CNN news anchor Don Lemon is never at a loss for words or opinions, especially when it comes to his views on what Black people need to do in order to advance or “do better.” This time, using the Adrian Peterson incident as a springboard, Lemon decided to share his personal views on spanking children.
On Wednesday evening’s edition of “CNN Tonight” hosts Lemon and Alisyn Camerota invited Chris Cuomo to discuss the effectiveness of corporal punishment on children. Cuomo cited the Yale Behavioral Center research that proves that hitting children does not work.
Not only did Lemon disagree with this point, but he used the tried, tired and true, ‘my grandmama beat me and I turned out just fine’ argument. He probably should have stopped right there, but he continued with:
Listen, I went to training — I hate to do this — with my dog and fear is the same. You have to teach who’s in control … It doesn’t matter whether it’s fear or what have you, I’m saying this, because it stops you from doing it.
No, Mr. Lemon, no. You can’t compare training a dog to a child. I mean you can, but it’s probably not the best or most thoughtful argument. Naturally Lemon is now taking heat for his comments, especially since he somehow also managed to throw slavery on top of the argument. Here’s the exchange:
Lemon: Especially for me as an African-American, because the question is where did you learn that from? Was that learned from the slave master? Getting the switch? Being beaten?
Cuomo: How is that a rationale? Help me with this. Is this white man’s ignorance? I keep hearing this. Well, maybe it was passed down from slave culture. Why would that be a rationale to continue a practice like this? Isn’t that the last thing you would want to continue?
Lemon: Because Chris, the slaves were beaten and some people had to go and get the whip.
Of course everyone is entitled to their opinion and Black folks are not a monolithic group that must think alike, but sometimes Lemon is like that Uncle Pete from the movie Soul Food who you just want to stay hidden in the bedroom upstairs.
Let’s take a trip down memory lane and take a look at some of Lemon’s other side-eye worthy comments.