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Don Lemon on Rachel Dolezal: Not Like Black People Can Choose to Be White

Screen Shot 2015-06-15 at 5.13.25 PM

Don Lemon joined CNN’s Erin Burnett Monday evening to discuss the ongoing saga of Rachel Dolezal, the now-former NAACP chapter president who was apparently born white but had been trying to pass herself off as African-American for years. While Lemon attempted to keep an open mind about Dolezal’s intentions, he also pointed out that it’s a lot harder for the “transracial” move to go the other way.

Responding to Burnett’s suggestion that Dolezal “took on everything but the burden,” Lemon described her transition as “one more thing that white people can do that black people can’t.” He added, “I don’t know of many African-Americans who say, ‘I choose to be white’ and not have to deal with that burden.” Lemon even compared Dolezal’s attitude to the controversial statements of Tom Hanks’ rapper son Chet Haze.

At the same time, Lemon appeared to sympathize with Dolezal’s belief that race is a “human construct” that is ultimately “in the eye of the beholder.”

“If she wants to identify as black, come on in,” Lemon said later, echoing the sentiment of Whoopi Goldberg. “But then you have to take the burden that comes with it.”

Watch video below, via CNN:

[Photo via screengrab]

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