In the wake of CNN anchor Don Lemon stating that “the biggest terror threat in this country is white men," a former U.S. Navy SEAL is pushing back with a declaration of his own.
To say that Ephraim Mattos is displeased that Lemon "labeled" him "a radicalized right-wing terrorist simply because of my gender and the color of my skin" is an understatement.
Who is Mattos?
After he retired from the military in April 2017, instead of returning home to Milwaukee, Mattos flew to Mosul, Iraq, with the Free Burma Rangers, a group that aids civilians in war zones, WITI-TV reported.
Ephraim Mattos (right) and a team member fire back at Islamic State militants. (Image source: WITI-TV video screenshot)
During a June 2017 mission to pull survivors from a street covered with 60 bodies, Mattos and his team saved a young Iraqi girl.
Ephraim Mattos (right) after team member pulls Iraqi girl to safety. (Image source: WITI-TV video screenshot)
Mattos on the ground after being shot. (Image source: WITI-TV video screenshot)
"You see ISIS — they're shooting civilians, little girls, in the back of the head as they're running toward us," Mattos told WITI of the day he was shot. "They'd shoot civilians because they knew we'd run out to get them."
Ephraim Mattos on the road to recovery last year. (Image source: WITI-TV video screenshot)
Here's the video report:
What did Mattos say to Lemon?
In his statement decrying Lemon's words, Mattos pointed out that he fought terrorists overseas "for the cause of freedom ... shoulder-to-shoulder with my brother Arabs, Asians, Blacks, Hispanics, Christians, Muslims, Jews, Buddhists, Animists, and Atheists."
He also made a point to note numerous instances when white men have defended freedom and stood up for justice for all Americans but emphasized that he identifies as "simply 'American,' not as 'white' or 'male' or 'Republican.'"
"Although blatantly racist and hateful, do not let Don Lemon's ignorant words drive you into viewing yourself only by your race and religion," Mattos concluded. "Identity politics does not lead to freedom. It only leads to hatred and division and an 'us vs. them' mentality."
He added that "if CNN does not fire Don Lemon immediately, it only goes to show that they are truly the 'enemy of the people.'"
Here is Mattos' response to Lemon in full:
After surviving three wars, a gunshot wound, a near fatal drowning, a failed parachute, Taliban ambushes, ISIS snipers, mortars, mine-fields, suicide bombers and laying down my life for the cause of freedom while fighting shoulder-to-shoulder with my brother Arabs, Asians, Blacks, Hispanics, Christians, Muslims, Jews, Buddhists, Animists, and Atheists, I have now returned home to the USA where a CNN host has labeled me as a radicalized right wing terrorist simply because of my gender and the color of my skin. I represent just one of the hundreds of thousands of conservative white men who have fought to preserve freedom in this great Nation and in other nations. My forefathers are the 3% who founded this Republic against the might of the British Army. It was white Conservative men who died by the tens of thousands after charging into our southern states to free our black brothers from the slavery imposed on them by the Liberal left. We were the ones who acknowledged that women have a right to vote. We held the line in WWI and charged the beaches of Normandy in WWII. We have fought for freedom and liberty for generations and we continue to do so today alongside all of our brothers and sisters regardless of their race or religion.
In the early 1930s, Hitler said the same thing about the Jews that Don Lemon of CNN just said about white men. This is the true face of the Democratic Party. First they enslaved and killed blacks, and now they use them to spew hatred and lies against the very people who have fought for generations to free them and uplift them.
Remember that when you go to vote.
One final thought: To make a point, I have referred to myself as a “white male" in the previous sentences multiple times, but I must make it clear that I identify as simply “American," not as “white" or “male" or “Republican."
Although blatantly racist and hateful, do not let Don Lemon's ignorant words drive you into viewing yourself only by your race and religion. Identity politics does not lead to freedom. It only leads to hatred and division and an “us vs. them" mentality.
If CNN does not fire Don Lemon immediately, it only goes to show that they are truly the “enemy of the people."
— Ephraim Mattos, Former US Navy SEAL
Lemon made his remarks Monday night to fellow CNN anchor Chris Cuomo: “So, we have to stop demonizing people and realize the biggest terror threat in this country is white men — most of them radicalized to the right — and we have to start doing something about them. There is no travel ban on them. There is no ban on — you know, they had the Muslim ban. There is no 'white guy ban.'"
“Even though more people died in attacks connected to Islamic extremists, the vast majority of deadly attacks in this country from 2001 to 2016 were carried out by far-right violent extremists," Lemon said.
According to a Thursday report by The Associated Press, CNN — which has not commented on the issue — will not comment on the matter in the future, either.