“There were many more people who contributed to the beginnings of this country, to making this country what it is, than just one group of people — and the history needs to be told by many people,” Lemon said.
If you are a vocal opponent of critical race theory, Don Lemon wants you to “stop making it about you”, and his CNN cohort Chris Cuomo is backing him up on that assertion.
Thursday evening while the men were transitioning from Cuomo’s Prime Time to Don Lemon Tonight, they quickly touched base on the significance of Juneteenth being recognized as a federal holiday. Not surprisingly, the conversation naturally turned to the heated debate taking place all over the country about if it is appropriate to teach critical race theory (CRT) in schools.
The biggest argument against teaching CRT in schools echoes the sentiments of conservatives like Tucker Carlson who’ve opined that teaching the history of how white Americans have – by design – benefitted from the labor of enslaved Black people will only make white students feel bad about themselves.
But Lemon pushed back that safeguarding white fragility only further traumatizes students of color who are already buckling under the weight of systemic oppression.
“You don’t think that telling them people were beaten and sold and lynched makes them feel bad?” Lemon asked, while laughing at the perceived irony.
“Having people come to the realization, especially ancestors of slaves, that they were enslaved and that they were beaten and they were sold and they weren’t able to accrue wealth, they weren’t able to go to school, they weren’t able to go vote — you think that makes them feel good?” he continued, visibly impassioned. “So the folks on the other side, stop making it about you, and be curious instead of judgmental.”
Cuomo also chimed in to assert that teaching people about how racism is baked into the American fabric doesn’t paint any one group of people as evil.
“I had somebody today say to me, ‘Well, you know, I’m just worried. I don’t want them to tell any of that history. I don’t want people lecturing my kid like, hey, you’re white, you’re bad.’ I said, why do you think that’s what it will be?” Cuomo told Lemon. “That’s the problem. The only problem is your perception. Why wouldn’t you want your kid to understand the roots of slavery and the legacy of slavery, how it has played out for enslaved people as a culture throughout the years? Why wouldn’t you want that?”
Cuomo then urged viewers of Don Lemon Tonight to take note on who is showing up on the “right side” of history during these discussions about critical race theory and Juneteenth. But Lemon added that he felt it was also important to “speak to the right,” including the people who “don’t think that the full history of our country should be taught in schools,”
“All of it should be taught, “Lemon said. “There were many more people who contributed to the beginnings of this country, to making this country what it is, than just one group of people — and the history needs to be told by many people. There are more voices.”
“Now more people have a voice. More people have a platform. And if you want the true history, it’s really about who is telling it,” he concluded. “So if you are the person who happens to be telling the history, you’re going to tell it in your favor. And the best way to correct that, so that some people aren’t over-indexed in the history of the country, is to have all voices, as many voices as possible, included in that history.”
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