After President Donald Trump appeared to back off his comments condemning neo-Nazis and white supremacists for the violence during the “Unite the Right” rally in Charlottesville, VA last weekend, CNN’s Don Lemon finally had enough.
During a live broadcast, Lemon spoke in a more personal tone, saying that the president didn’t seem aware of the history of the U.S., which he said “came out of slavery.”
“People who look like me did not come over on the Niña, the Pinta, or the Santa Maria. And those people who were there want to keep people like me enslaved,” he said.
Don Lemon: "People who look like me did not come over on the Nina, the Pinta and the Santa Maria." pic.twitter.com/5iSejtlUdw
— The Shadow League (@ShadowLeagueTSL) August 15, 2017
“This is a sad moment for the country. I think it was an awful moment for the person who is supposed to represent the highest office of the land. There, today, you saw the real Donald Trump proving all of his critics right in that moment,” Lemon said while just getting warmed up.
“There is a difference between the two groups,” Lemon said to reference to Trump casting blame for the violence on “both sides.”
“One is a Nazi, white supremacist group. What they want to do is extinguish people that look like me and you, Wolf [Blitzer], Jewish people, black people, even women,” he said. “They don’t think we are equal to them. The other is a protest group, protesting a political and racist movement.”
Lemon, who grow up in the South, asked CNN panel members if they could imagine growing up going to a school with the name of their oppressor on it.
“Robert E. Lee High School,” he said. “Can you imagine having to go to a school with the name of your oppressor on it…Imagine if you are a Jewish person and you had to go to Hitler High School or Goebbels middle school?” Lemon asked. “That would be completely offensive on the deepest level. That’s how people of color feel in this country when we have to deal with figures like Robert E. Lee and Confederate flags. It is no different than flying a swastika.”
Finally, Lemon laid into Trump, saying he should return to elementary school education to learn basic facts about the country that he now governs.
“The president is ignorant of history,” Lemon said. “He does not know context. He should be ashamed of himself. He should go back to school and get an elementary education on how this country started and about protest groups and how this country works and who he represents and who he should represent.”
Watch Lemon’s full remarks below.