CNN’s Don Lemon Criticizes “Thug” Behavior In Hip-Hop Culture

On Saturday, CNN anchor Don Lemon offered his stance to Bill O’ Reilly of Fox News’ criticism of crime within the African American community. This was one of Reilly’s ongoing rants of the race problem in the wake of the verdict of the Trayvon Martin vs. George Zimmerman trial.

Lemon came to the defense of O’Reilly, saying he “doesn’t go far enough” and listed five tips for Black Americans to improve their quality of life. He said they should stop wearing baggy pants, dropping out of school, littering in their neighborhood, using the n-word and having children out of wedlock. Additionally, he made comments that put blame on hip-hop, imposing the genre profits from “thug and reprehensible” behavior.

Subsequently, Lemon moderated a panel discussion, where his participants ripped into his commentary. Global Grind editor-in-chief Michael Skolnick responded to Lemon’s critique with a strong point. “You’re talking about sagging pants. I’ve heard this rap for years. Let’s stop talking about sagging pants, and let’s talk about why we incarcerate 2.2 million people in this country, and why young kids look up to guys who come out of jail.”

Lemon countered with whether it’s a Black kid, a White Kid or Justin Bieber, they are “glorifying prison culture.” Skolnick immediately responded with the music is a representation of society. “Don’t break the mirror, look at yourself,” he stated.

Watch Lemon’s commentary above, and the panel discussion that ensued below.

[via RawStory]

Previously: In The Wake Of The Trayvon Martin Verdict, Freddie Gibbs Speaks On Being Black In America

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  • BG

    more important the white man get paid off all that. who u think funds these albums. Major Record companies ran and owned by white people.

  • Jonathan Peelingsburg

    I mean opinions are opinions! Don Lemon…..I agree on half of what you said…but not all…this been going on before I came into this world…so who’s to blame and who’s to say……If want to change got to change yourself….point blank!!…and sometimes I wish people like you would stop saying this and saying that for something you don’t know about or don’t even care!…cause the only thing your worried about is your recognition and your pockets!…#PieceSign

  • Ballout GBE

    Faggot ass nigga stfu

  • vivian

    Don Lemon is very smart and courageous. I have great respect for him for telling it like it is.
    Young people should heed these suggestions. He should be seen as a leader of the black people. He obviously cares.


    he’s lived in several predominantly white neighborhoods in his life? no way? really? wow who wuda a thunk it…
    (& u kno this dude loves seeing other dudes asses hanging out when they sagging their pants, stop frontin Lemon)


    glad this dude was able to do other things besides co-starring in the boondocks


    well I sag my pants bcz I used to wear hand my downs from my older brothers that were too big for me to fit in. then I realized its a lot more comfortable. & that im free to dress however I want & just bcz Don Lemon stereotypes me & I don’t give a fuk doesn’t mean im wrong & he’s right.
    but I shud say, I wear big shirts too so my ass aint hanging out for pervs like don lemon to get his jollies off

    • Nick

      Wow so your saying you wear baggy pants, are poorly educated (implied from your poor spelling, poor sentence structure and lack of punctuation) and homophobic. Way to perpetuate the stereotype. By the way, your are absolutely right. In America, you are free to dress however you want and employers are free to not hire you.


    btw mr elders, LBJ killed JFK. he wasn’t trying to help anybody but himself

  • Tevin


  • illive music

    If you cant stomach these squares and you want some thug music, Kadeve’s Debut album The Bear The Star Da King drops on iTunes later today. This album IS NOT for squares like this clown, this album is for hoodlums, thugs, hustlers, etc.. Street Music

  • neekerbreeker

    Attacking the African-American community by implying that the problems inherent in black neighborhoods are the result of bad “choices,” poor parenting, and the disintegration of the African-American family, is like attacking a sick person for being sick after you’ve deprived him of food and medicine. Our poor communities (which often happen to be predominantly Black) have been eviscerated by fiscal policy and income disparities that have swelled to grotesque proportions over the past 20 – 30 years. The housing crisis and the recent economic downturn has made a terrible situation even worse. Do we really believe it isn’t the lack of jobs and economic and educational opportunity exacerbated by latent classism and racism that is hurting our black communities and that it’s the fault of rap music and sagging pants and poor role models? I can tell you for a fact I don’t know a single young black person (and I work with at-risk inner city teens) who wouldn’t pull up his pants and put on a tie if it meant a real shot at real opportunity … the problem is THERE IS NO REAL OPPORTUNITY in these communities. I can expect this sort of gibberish from bully/blowhard O’Reily and Fox News, but to hear it from other sources, some of whom you’d think might know better, is quite frankly mind blowing. Things are bad all over, it should not be surprising that with an ever shrinking share of the pie for the lower and middle classes, that things would get even worse in our most destitute and neglected districts (many of which happen to be black). A miniscule percentage of our population take, take, and take even more from behind their gated enclaves — more than they could use in a hundred lifetimes — while the vast majority of us wallow in perpetual stagnation, struggling to get by. More and more people fall into poverty, and we blame the problems born of this poverty on rap music and clothing styles and bad language? Unbelievable.

    • T H

      If the people, regardless of race, want an opportunity then they must pull up their pants first. Those that are respectful, respectful of themselves first and foremost, of others, and their environment; that are articulate, as Don Lemon is; and that do the things he recommends, like pulling up their pants, making education a priority; will have the opportunities come their way. I’m not going to hire a person that comes in for an interview wearing their cap on crooked and not removing it, talking trash, and wearing inappropriate clothes. It is that simple. Thank you Don Lemons for having the courage to tell the truth!

      • neekerbreeker

        Have you ever had the experience of someone coming in acting that way and dressed that way to interview for a job? These kids never get the interview in the first place, why should they bother dressing up, or having “respect” for a system that’s done nothing but isolate and ignore them?

        • T H

          I am retired, thankfully, and my interviews took place after applicants were somewhat screened. Applicants that could not speak proper English were already eliminated well before they reached me. You are correct in that these ‘kids’ never get the interview. You should closer examine why yourself and look to Don Lemon for the answers! No, perhaps they should never bother to dress up as you suggest since their ‘attitude’ of ingratitude and your advice to them via this blog will insure that their future attire will be mostly prison orange or an early grave. It is not up to ‘the system’, but their choices they make.

          • neekerbreeker

            There has to be an intersection of adapting to expectations — assimilating to social and cultural (and professional) norms — and a bona fide host of available opportunities in order for things to really change. There are no opportunities, and a lot of our youth wouldn’t know what to do with them even if they were available. So neither is happening at present. Even so, are you saying kids should prepare themselves for the unlikely event someone might call them in for an interview? lol, it seems to me that would be silly, lets play dress up and talk like white people even though they’ll never accept us (that’s the belief for many — and they have some pretty damned good reasons for feeling that way). There have to be inroads into these communities, real investment, real jobs, real opportunity … until that happens its absurd to expect these kids to go through the motions of succeeding in a job market that doesn’t exist.

  • wrestlefan01

    he is correct.quit blaming whitey and go make something of yourselves