CNN’s Don Lemon Goes Off In ‘Thugs’ Debate: No, It’s Not The New N-Word!

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CNN anchor Don Lemon was not ready to return to the debate over the word “thug” on Tuesday night, in the aftermath of the fatal shootout between a biker gang in Waco, Texas.

His colleague Sally Kohn was on to discuss her op-ed piece accusing the media of a double standard for labeling Baltimore protestors “thugs” while refraining to apply the same terms to the bikers.

Lemon was not moved.

“On the language part, and on the media double-standard, I think it’s bull,” he said.

(Lemon once let the word “bullshit” slip on air before profusely apologizing. He also repeatedly said the word “dick” while covering the Academy Awards.)

“Not everyone believes that thug is a new way of saying the N-word,” Lemon continued.

“The first thing that comes to my mind with thug is not a black person — it’s Tony Soprano, it’s someone who does something bad,” he added.

Kohn attempted to push back, but Lemon was on a roll.

“They are thugs! People in Baltimore who rioted and burned down buildings, they were thugs! The people in Waco who shot people are thugs!” he said. “It has nothing to do with black or white!”

Retired New York police detective Harry Houck began clapping for Lemon.

Lemon later interrupted New York Times columnist Charles Blow to put up an image of the bikers, repeatedly shouting, “not all of these people are white!”

Despite Kohn’s attempts to cut back in, the conversation soon devolved into a shouting match.

h/t Mediaite

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Notable Replies

  1. It shouldn’t be, but it is.
    It’s the first word many people use to describe when a Black person is involved. I rarely if ever see it used to describe a person of another color. I saw it with Trayvon who was murdered, but not with George in his many subsequent arrests. Even with the latest incident, the guy that used gun to shoot out Zim’s window - no one described him as a thug. It’s subtle - maybe it’s not purposeful - but it isdefinitely there. Lemon may be denying it because he and his network are among the worst offenders in their coverage when it has to do with something regarding racial issues.

  2. I agree with Mr. Lemon. “Thug” is used in too many ways to be pinned down as a code word for ni**er.

    Clearly it’s used too often in connection with african americans by some on the right… but it isn’t the new n-word.

  3. Happens all the time outside the Starbucks up here in Tucson’s Catalina Foothills. Sometimes the rumble between the “Spandexes” and the “Baggies” is started over their vying for coffee tables, sometimes, an inadvertent latte splashed onto a rival gang-member, or an argument over Proustian syntax. They generally show up at 10:00 am on a Saturday after a ride, which is when those of us who wish to avoid trouble retire to the “Einstein’s Bagels” a few doors down.

  4. repeatedly said the word “dick” while covering the Academy Awards.

    Totally understandable…

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