Bill O’Reilly—whose comments about the problems in the black community raised a firestorm this week—has at least one supporter from the liberal mainstream media, and he is black.
Don Lemon, host on CNN, said Saturday on a segment he deemed “No Talking Points” that O’Reilly has “a point. In fact, he’s got more than a point…In my estimation, he doesn’t go far enough.”
Lemon’s comments were made following a clip of Billy O’Reilly opining, “The reason there is so much violence and chaos in the black precincts is the disintegration of the African-American family…Raised without much structure, young black men often reject education and gravitate towards the street culture, drugs, hustling, gangs. Nobody forces them to do that. Again, it is a personal decision.”
Lemon then listed five essential reforms black men need to make:
- pull up pants
- drop the N-word
- take care of their communities
- finish high school
- lower rate of children born out-of-wedlock.
“More than 72% of children in the African-American community are born out-of-wedlock,” Lemon added, stressing this point as the top priority, just as Bill O’Reilly has said. “That means absent fathers. And the studies show that lack of a male role model is an express train right to prison, and the cycle continues.”
“So please…pay attention to and think about what has been presented in recent history as acceptable behavior,” Lemon concluded. “Pay close attention to the hip-hop and rap culture that many of you embrace, a culture that glorifies everything I just mentioned, thug and reprehensible behavior; a culture that is making a lot of people rich—just not you. And it’s not going to.”
Lemon’s brave comments unfortunately invited a sour reaction from guest Michael Skolnick, editor-in-chief of Global Grind, who is a white liberal who probably never stepped one foot into a black community in his life.
“I think your comments sounded like a conservative preacher on a Sunday, and certainly Bill O’Reilly should welcome you on his show,” Skolnik said. “I’m disappointed in you.”
“You’re talking about sagging pants,” Skolnik added. “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. We waged a war against black and brown people forty years ago, the War on Drugs, and it failed miserably, and now we’re reaping the repercussions.”
Lemon quickly fired back—and smacked Skolnick down: “Not every black kid is in jail. And there are rules, and people should know where that style comes from, whether it’s a black kid, a white kid, or whether it’s Justin Bieber. That is glorifying prison culture. Who wants to see someone’s butt crack?”
Lemon asked his other guest, Larry Elder for his opinion on the topic. Elder, who made headlines for verbally demolishing Piers Morgan last week, blamed Lyndon Johnson’s War on Poverty as the culprit in black American families’ disintegration. Elder credited Ronald Reagan as a restorer of employment opportunities for black men, as black communities’ prosperity greatly improved under President Reagan’s tenure.
“We’ve been giving people incentives to marry the government, and allow men to abandon their financial responsibilities,” Elder said. “My dad was a janitor, he worked two full-time jobs as a janitor. He never read Adam Smith, but he also said, ‘I never got a job from a poor person.’”
Lemon underscored how difficult it is to get this through the liberal filter. He said, “Larry, you’re gonna have a hard time convincing people that Ronald Reagan is the scion to help African-American people. That’s a tough sell.”
Here’s Lemon agreeing with O’Reilly and laying out what he believes the black community needs to do to address issues it faces:
And here’s the second segment featuring white guest Skolnik taking Lemon to task for criticizing the black community and agreeing with O’Reilly. The exchange comes at the 1:30 mark: