CNN host Don Lemon lectured actor Terry Crews during an intense interview on Monday, even slyly suggesting that the Black Lives Matter movement is not about the equality of black lives.
What's the background?
Over the weekend, Crews was criticized for promoting a message of unity in the shadow of "Black Lives Matter" protests.
"Are all white people bad? No. Are all black people good? No. Knowing this reality — I stand on my decision to unite with good people, no matter the race, creed or ideology," Crews said. "Given the number of threats against this decision — I also decide to die on this hill."
Are all white people bad? No. Are all black people good? No. Knowing this reality- I stand on my decision to un… https://t.co/ljCJcZ6gap— terry crews (@terry crews)1593890062.0
The message echoed other recent statements from Crews, such as when he declared last week, "We must ensure #blacklivesmatter doesn't morph into #blacklivesbetter."
What happened on CNN?
Lemon brought Crews on his show to explain why he is calling for true equality and for humans, both black and white, to see the humanity in one another.
Crews responded by explaining, at length, his qualms with the leaders of the Black Lives Matter movement: that they demand ideological purity.
"Black people who are talking about working with other whites and other races, they're being viewed as sellouts or called Uncle Toms," Crews said, calling the position "supremacist" and one that views some black lives as having more worth than others.
And even though Crews affirmed Black Lives Matter as a "great mantra," a "true mantra," Lemon took serious issue with Crews' suggestion that leaders of the Black Lives Matter movement could initiate a "move from one oppressor to the next," citing rampant gun violence in black communities that has lead to the deaths of numerous black children in recent weeks.
"What does that have to do with equality, though, Terry? I don't understand what that has to do with equality," Lemon told Crews.
After again claiming he does not understand what black-on-black crime has to do with black lives having importance, Lemon lectured Crews and told him he needs tougher skin. "I have skin as tough as an armadillo because of what I do. I think maybe you should adapt that," Lemon said.
The CNN host then went on to tell Crews that, if he wants to talk about black-on-black crime, he should start his own organization because the Black Lives Matter movement is not interested in any such conversation.
The Black Lives Matter movement was started because it was talking about police brutality. If you want an all-black Black Lives Matter movement that talks about gun violence in communities, including black communities, then start that movement with that name. But that's not what Black Lives Matter is about. It's not an all-encompassing.
So if you are talking about — if someone started a movement that said cancer matters, and then someone comes and says, why aren't you talking about HIV? It's not the same thing. We're talking about cancer. So the Black Lives Matter movement is about police brutality and injustice in that manner, not about what's happening in black neighborhoods.
When Crews urged Lemon to engage in nuance — by seeking to understand the agenda of the Black Lives Matter movement's leaders — Lemon cut off Crews and said he did not have any more time for Crews to speak.
"We're equal. I should be able to say something truthful," Crews said.
"I'm over. I'm over, Terry," Lemon said, speaking over Crews. "I got to go, Terry. I got to go. I got to go."
Actor Terry Crews addresses backlash over Black Lives Matter tweet www.youtube.com