29 Jul 2013
- Written by Lynette Holloway/The Root
CNN anchor Don Lemon on Saturday defended Fox News host Bill O'Reilly's highly contentious remarks about crime in the African-American community and the disintegration of family. Lemon says the conservative pundit did not go far enough, which drew fire from critics on the left, according to the Raw Story.
"In my estimation, he doesn't go far enough," Lemon said in a commentary, before going on to list five tips for Black Americans to improve their living situation, starting with an entreaty to young African-American men to stop letting their pants sag as a fashion choice.
"Walking around with your a*s and your underwear showing is not okay," Lemon said. "In fact, it comes from prison. When they take away belts from prisoners so they can't make a weapon. And then it evolved into which role each prisoner would have during male-on-male prison sex."
Lemon also advised Black viewers to stop saying "the N-word," to encourage young members of the community to finish their education and to "respect where you live."
"I've lived in several predominantly white communities in my life," Lemon said. "I rarely, if ever, witnessed people littering. I live in Harlem now. It's a historically Black neighborhood. Every single day, I see adults and children dropping their trash on the ground when the garbage can is just feet away. Just being honest here."
Additionally, Lemon cited an oft-mentioned statistic saying 72 percent of African-American children were born out of wedlock. But that figure has been in dispute since as far back as 2009, when columnist Ta-Nehisi Coates pointed out in The Atlantic that the birth rate among Black women was actually declining at the time, and that the birth rate for married Black women was lower than among married white women.
"There is no data to show that the black 'illegitimacy' figure of 70 percent has been caused by unmarried black women having more kids than they did in the past," Coates wrote at the time.
Lemon's remarks were also ripped in a subsequent panel discussion by Global Grind editor-in-chief Michael Skolnick.
(Read more at the Raw Story.)