CNN’s Don Lemon warned Democrats of electoral consequences if they fail to address the “blind spot” that’s prevented them from condemning the rioting that plagues the country nightly.
“I think Democrats are ignoring this problem, are hoping that it will go away. And it’s not going to go away,” Lemon remarked to fellow CNN host Chris Cuomo on Tuesday night.
Lemon went on to urge Biden to give a speech similar to the one Barack Obama delivered in 2015 following the death of Freddie Gray, in which the former president condemned the rioting in Baltimore.
“He’s got to come out and tell people that he is going to do deal with the issue of police reform in this country, and that what’s happening now is happening on Donald Trump’s watch, and when he is the president, Kamala Harris is the vice president, then they will take care of this problem. But guess what, the rioting has to stop,” Lemon stated. “Chris, as you know and I know, it’s showing up in the polls, it’s showing up in focus groups. It’s the only thing right now that’s sticking.”
CNN's Don Lemon is panicking over the disastrous impact that far-left riots are having on the Democrat Party. pic.twitter.com/lqZl7nuKQ6
— Ian Miles Cheong (@stillgray) August 26, 2020
Lemon’s warning came as violence in Kenosha, Wis. escalated for the third-straight night after police shot Jacob Blake, a local black man, in just the latest example of the political violence that’s raged across the country this summer.
Democrats were silent on the stark rise in violent crime across American cities during their four-day convention last week, with Chicago mayor Lori Lightfoot failing to mention the rampant looting that happened in her city earlier this month.
A recent Pew survey on the top issues in the 2020 election showed that 59 percent of voters consider dealing with violent crime “very important” to their vote — only three points less important than the coronavirus pandemic.
Lemon also condemned calls for defunding the police, saying that the “fringes” of the party still vocally calling for it was “starting to turn people off.”
“I’m going to say this and I know people don’t like it. Most black people don’t want police defunded. They don’t want fewer police there,” he stated. “What they want, they want more. And most communities of color in this country need police. They may need police more than white communities, okay?”
“There’s more crime,” Cuomo added.
The frank discussion came after businesses were looted and buildings were burned in Kenosha, leaving residents upset. But CNN had already tried to whitewash the unrest, removing a chyron on Tuesday that described the demonstrations as “violent.”
Someone at CNN didn’t like the violent protests in Wisconsin being described as “violent” (observe the chyrons) pic.twitter.com/oDN5V2muUN
— Tom Elliott (@tomselliott) August 25, 2020
And later, a shooting early Wednesday morning left two dead and at least one injured after conflict erupted when armed citizens intent on protecting local businesses entered the area. The White House said Tuesday night that Wisconsin governor Tony Evers had declined an offer to send additional National Guard members to Kenosha
It also marks a stark turn from Lemon’s own commentary on the issue, including a July debate with actor Terry Crews over the Black Lives Matter movement. After Crews mentioned that “the Black Lives Matter movement has said nothing” about the recent deaths of African American children in shootings, Lemon countered that the two were separate issues, calling them “apples and oranges.”
“Black Lives Matter is about police brutality and about criminal justice. It’s not about what happens in communities when it comes to crime,” he argued. “People who live near each other, black people, kill each other. Same as whites . . . it happens in every single neighborhood.”
And in June, after wide swaths of New York City were looted, Cuomo used his show to empathize with the rioters.
“Please, show me where it says that protests are supposed to be polite and peaceful,” he said. “Because I can show you that outraged citizens are what made the country what she is and led to any major milestone. To be honest, this is not a tranquil time.”