CNN’s Don Lemon Asks Blacks, Whites How They Feel About The ‘N-Word’

“I’m going to say this word on television,” CNN anchor Don Lemon declared while holding up an index card with the “n-word” written on it. Lemon sat down with Brooke Baldwin on Monday to promote his Monday night special which will examine what has become the most controversial word in the American lexicon.

Lemon took to the streets of New York City and asked one young black man for his thoughts on the various spellings of the “n-word.” One young man said that he felt differently about the various spellings, with one evoking feelings of camaraderie while the other inspired him to take offense. A white woman Lemon spoke with said that she did not feel as offended by anti-white slurs as she was by the “n-word” even when it ended with an “a” rather than an “er.”

Lemon said that he was not sure if young people who use the word as “a term of affection” were aware of the tragic history behind the word. “There’s a difference between being knowledgeable about something and being respectful about something – about the word,” Lemon said.

Lemon noted that he interviewed Roots actor LeVar Burton and noted that, when his character was being auctioned off, he was beaten and was called “a good nigger” after he finally submitted. “Do you really
want that to be a term of affection?” Lemon asked. “Personally, I don’t think so.”

On Saturday evening, Lemon hosted an explosive panel exploring the use of the “n-word,” in which contributor Marc Lamont Hill exclaimed that there are simply “some things white people cannot say!”

Lemon’s CNN special on “the n-word” airs tonight at 7 pm EDT.

Watch the clip below via CNN:

> >Follow Noah Rothman (@NoahCRothman) on Twitter

Have a tip we should know?

Filed Under:
  1. Mediaite
  2. The Mary Sue
  3. RunwayRiot
  4. Law & Crime
  5. SportsGrid
  6. AmboTV
  7. Gossip Cop