Don Lemon Sees 'Racism' in Comparing BLM to 1/6 Capitol Rioters

34 views

Cross posted to the MRC's NewsBusters blog

Appearing as a guest on Tuesday's New Day show on CNN, Don Lemon defended the liberal double standard of obsessing over the 1/6 Capitol Hill riots while defending the often violent left-wing protesters who rioted after the death of George Floyd.

The CNN host insisted that it is a verifiable fact that there is "systemic racism" that is to blame for such police involved violence, and declared that those who compare the two are motivated out of "racism."

After he insisted that such a debatable opinion is fact, he went on to call for social media like Facebook to punish users who disseminate false information.

New Day co-host John Berman set up the segment by reading quotes from two judges involved in some of the Capitol Hill riot cases who had conflicting views of whether the 1/6 riots and the anti-police riots were comparable acts of political violence.

Lemon treated last year's riots over policing as more worthwhile as he claimed that they were justified:

They were essentially doing what? Trying to undermine democracy, and that is quite different than protesting because you are upset about something. One is breaking the law from a lie -- built on a lie. There was nothing about the election that was stolen or anything that was untoward. It was one of the most secure -- the most secure election in our nation's history.

The other one was built on frustration and anger over what? A justice system that basically -- that is systemically racist towards people of color. That is the truth. The law shows that. The facts show that. So one is a lie -- built on a lie. The other is built on -- out of frustration over a system that needs to be corrected.

Co-host Brianna Keilar soon brought up the case of someone who vandalizes and loots a store:

There are many people who agree with the judge who conflates the two, right? They don't see the difference between riots, where someone is breaking into a shoe store and looting, and a riot where you have people entering the Capitol while Congress is in session certifying an election.

Even though many more people died and much more damage was done as a result of the anti-police riots that went on for months, in contrast with those from 1/6, Lemon downplayed the stealing of shoes as no one mentioned the arsons and other violence.

It was also not mentioned that, just as homicides increased between 2014 and 2016 after the anti-policing activism promoted by the media created the Ferguson effect, there was a much larger increase in homicides in 2020, with most of the increase coming at the expense of African Americans.

Lemon declared that such conservative-minded critics are "not living in reality," and blamed "racism" for comparing the two events:

...people see what they want to see, and they allow their own racism to come to light. We see it -- we get it. But you don't want to see it, and you don't want to get it. So those who are saying, "There is no systemic racism -- there is not difference between those things," come on. You're not worth it.

The CNN host then moved to the issue of censorship of social media use, claimed that the news media are more trustworthy, and demanded "consequences" for people who spread misinformation:

LEMON: What is posted on social media should be true. If it's not true, it should be taken --

BERMAN: So what does Facebook do?

LEMON: Take it down. If it's not true, take it down. If it's not true, don't allow people to put it up there. Have them face consequences.

As an example of how deceptive news outlets like CNN can be, last April on the very same New Day show on which Lemon was appearing, show regular John Avlon gave a "Reality Check" in which he misleadingly gave viewers the impression that most of the 1,000 police shooting victims each year are probably African American, even though the percentage is closer to 25 percent, which is in proportion with the FBI's reporting of crime patterns.

CNN has so far not faced any "consequences" for grossly misinforming the public on the racial breakdown of police-involved violence, and creating a false rationale that is repeatedly used by rioters.

This episode of CNN's New Day which gives cover to criminals responsible for thousands of violent crimes was sponsored in part by vmware. Their contact information is linked.

Transcripts follow:

CNN's New Day

October 5, 2021

8:50 a.m. Eastern

JOHN BERMAN: So a Federal judge sentencing a Capitol rioter rejected comparisons between the insurrection and some of the civil unrest that arose from last year's protest against racial inequality. 

The judge said, "To compare the actions of people around the country protesting mostly peacefully for civil rights to a violent mob seeking to overthrow the lawfully elected government is a false equivalency and downplays the very real danger that the crowd on January 6th posed to our democracy."

Just last week, a different judge on the same court suggested Capitol rioters had been treated more harshly, saying, quote, "The U.S. Attorney's office would have more credibility if it was even-handed in its concern about riots and mobs in the city."

(...)

DON LEMON: They were essentially doing what? Trying to undermine democracy, and that is quite different than protesting because you are upset about something. One is breaking the law from a lie -- built on a lie. There was nothing about the election that was stolen or anything that was untoward. It was one of the most secure -- the most secure election in our nation's history. The other one was built on frustration and anger over what? A justice system that basically -- that is systemically racist towards people of color. That is the truth. The law shows that. The facts show that. So one is a lie -- built on a lie. The other is built on -- out of frustration over a system that needs to be corrected.

(...)

BRIANNA KEILAR: There are many people who agree with the judge who conflates the two, right? They don't see the difference between riots, where someone is breaking into a shoe store and looting, and a riot where you have people entering the Capitol while Congress is in session certifying an election.

LEMON: One, a shoe can be replaced. And the vote is the value of a shoe. Again, nobody should be doing that -- nobody should be stealing anything from anyone. The other one, can you replace a democracy?

(...)

So there's quite a difference. I think the people who see the same, want to see the same -- again, not operating in reality. And if you look at the reality check of what John said -- if you look at the reality check of having George Floyd's brother on and you see what's happening in the New York City Police Department, and you see what's happening all over the country, again, people see what they want to see, and they allow their own racism to come to light. We see it -- we get it. But you don't want to see it, and you don't want to get it. So those who are saying, "There is no systemic racism -- there is not difference between those things," come on. You're not worth it.

(...)

So we say something on this network that is not true, there are repercussions and ramifications, right? We face the consequences. If you do that on social media, there are no consequences. It's the Wild, Wild West. I can go on and say that you, you know, "When was -- John, when was the last time you beat your wife?" or any of those things on social media. And there are no consequences for it even though it is not true.

(...)

What is posted on social media should be true. If it's not true, it should be taken --

BERMAN: So what does Facebook do?

LEMON: Take it down. If it's not true, take it down. If it's not true, don't allow people to put it up there. Have them face consequences.

(...)

CNN's New Day

April 15, 2021

7:56 a.m. Eastern

JOHN BERMAN: So the killing of Daunte Wright has reignited calls from some progressive members of Congress to defund or outright dismantle policing in America. Is that the right pathway to reform? John Avlon here with a "Reality Check."

JOHN AVLON: There's an overdue reckoning over the killings of young black men by police, and there's majority support for significant police reform. But there are also strident slogans from politicians that don't help at all -- like Congresswoman Rashida Tlaib's tweet earlier this week calling for no more policing. Let's be clear. This is a terrible idea as a matter of politics and practicality. It's an extension of the call to defund the police, which Donald Trump used as a cudgel to hit Democrats in the last election despite Joe Biden's disavowal. 

Many defenders essentially say that "defund the police" should be taken seriously but not literally. After the Trump presidency, I thought that we agreed that words matter. It doesn't even represent the community it seeks to serve. A Gallup poll from August of 2020 found that 80 percent of black Americans want to keep or even increase the amount of police in their neighborhoods. 

The real issue is what kind of policing they're receiving. Considering the alleged minor offenses that led to high-profile killings by police in recent years -- Daunte Wright pulled over for expired plates; George Floyd for a counterfeit $20 bill; Walter Scott pulled over for a broken taillight; Eric Garner for selling loose cigarettes; Alton Sterling for selling CDs. And these are just a few examples. According to FBI statistics, black Americans made up 30 percent of arrests for curfew violations or loitering -- 29 percent of gambling arrests in 2019 -- while local studies show they're far more likely to be arrested for jaywalking. So much for former AG Bill Barr's insistence that there isn't systemic racism in police departments.

This needs to change, but gutting or cutting police departments is not going to achieve some utopia. It will do the opposite. Instead, there needs to be significant retraining and reform. Cops need to focus on de-escalating situations and decriminalizing some victimless misdemeanors to reduce causes of conflict. It helps that some 27 states have decriminalized or even legalized recreational marijuana, considering that black Americans are arrested more than three times as much as whites for possession despite equal usage rates.

In 2020, Republican Senator Tim Scott proposed a bill to require reporting standards for use of force and no-knock warrants. Democrats said it didn't go far enough and proposed a ban on choke holds and racial profiling, a limit on military transfers of equipment to police, and eliminating qualified immunity, which protects officers from lawsuits when they violate a citizen's constitutional rights.

Good people can disagree on the details, but we need to agree on the facts -- like the fact that 991 people have been shot and killed by the police over the past year, according to the Washington Post. We also need to recognize that despite some fear-fueled appeals, violent crime and property crime have plummeted since the 1990s.

Finally, we should not fall into the trap of demonizing all police officers who do a necessary, difficult, dangerous, and often thankless job. We can support the vast majority of good cops while insisting on holding bad cops more accountable and invest in changing the culture that has led us to this crisis of confidence and the basic promise of equal justice under the law. And that's your "Reality Check."

MRC Merch

MRC Merch