There has been plenty of commentary over the last 24 hours or so about Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban‘s admission that he’s “prejudiced” and “bigoted” in “a lot of different ways.” But one of the most enlightening discussions on the issue occurred last night on CNN’s OutFront, where Don Lemon and Marc Lamont Hill had very different reactions to Cuban saying he would cross the street to avoid a “black kid in a hoodie” (as well as “a white guy with a shaved head and tattoos”).
“I think that his examples were poor. I think he, you know, was inartful the way he said it,” Lemon said of Cuban’s comments. But at the same time, he did not see what Cuban felt to need to apologize for what he said. “I don’t understand the controversy really,” Lemon said. “I think he was very honest. And I think we cannot have it both ways where we say we have to talk about race, we have to talk about race. And the moment someone like Mark Cuban, who is known not to be a racist, who doesn’t have racist history, is honest about race, we want to shut him up.”
“I’ll still call him racist, though,” Hill chimed in.
“I don’t think he’s racist,” Lemon disagreed. When Sunny Hostin tied Cuban’s comments to the Donald Sterling controversy, Lemon pushed back, saying, “This issue has nothing to do with Donald Sterling.”
While Hill backtracked and said he doesn’t think Cuban himself is “racist,” he maintained that the comment he made is racist. Noting that it is “black people in hoodies” that specifically concerns Cuban, he said the remarks were “obviously racially informed.” Later Hill said, “I’m not saying he is an evil person, but the fact is just because he is honest doesn’t mean he gets let off the hook for saying something that might be racist.”
By the end of the segment, Lemon and Hill remained at odds on the question of whether Cuban is “racist,” still arguing over the issue as host Brianna Keilar tried to cut to commercial.
Watch video below, via CNN:
[Photo via screengrab]
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