Not satisfied with presiding over a panel that called Kanye West an illiterate “token Negro,” CNN host Don Lemon went on a rant Thursday in which he said the rap star was a mentally unbalanced “minstrel” being exploited by whites.
In a segment Thursday on his network’s “The Situation Room” show, Mr. Lemon also said that every black person watching Mr. West’s White House appearance earlier in the day was “cringing.”
“What I saw was a minstrel show today — him in front of all these white people — mostly white people — embarrassing himself,” Mr. Lemon said.
He went on to complain that while the appearance was “embarrassing [to] Americans” it was “mostly” so for “African Americans. Because every one of them is sitting either at home or with their phones, watching this, cringing.”
He continued the minstrel analogy by saying that he saw “the president of the United States exploiting him.”
As his panelist Tara Setmayer did Tuesday in the infamous “token Negro” segment with himself and CNN commentator Bakari Sellars, Mr. Lemon called Mr. West mentally ill.
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The president was “exploiting someone who needs help, who needs to back away from the cameras, who needs to get off stage, who needs to deal with his issues and if anyone around him cares about him…they need to grab him and snatch him up and get Kanye together because Kanye needs help,” Mr. Lemon said.
In what the conservative press watchdog Newsbusters called a move in which “the hypocrisy was stunning,” Mr. Lemon said that CNN should not have Kanye West on the air — during a lengthy segment on Kanye West.
“We need to take the cameras away from Kanye and from a lot of this craziness that happens in the White House because it is not normal,” he said. “Who cares? Why are you sending cameras to the Oval Office for Kanye West?”