Don Lemon slammed Kanye West’s visit to the Oval Office on Thursday in multiple segments on CNN.
West donned a “Make America Great Again” hat during his visit with President Donald Trump where the rapper touched on a number of topics including crime in Chicago and the 13th Amendment.
Lemon said he found West’s behavior “embarrassing” and called it a “minstrel show.”
“I have no animosity for Kanye West. I’m just going to be honest and I may get in a lot of trouble for it. I actually feel bad for him. What I saw was a minstrel show today. Him in front of all these white people, mostly white people, embarrassing himself and embarrassing Americans, but mostly African-Americans, because every one of them is sitting either at home or with their phones, watching this, cringing,” Lemon commented during a panel discussion.
“Kanye needs help, this has nothing to do with being liberal or a conservative. We have to stop pretending… like this is normal,” he added.
Later, CNN pro-Trump commentator Steve Cortes slammed Lemon’s criticism as “condescending.”
“And for you and a lot of guests to dismiss him as a ‘token negro’ and question his mental stability when you’re not doctors, you haven’t examined him, I think is really unfortunate. And it’s an example unfortunately that is all too common on the left which is liberal- when a minority doesn’t tow the party line, they are vilified and dismissed….You said earlier today this was a minstrel show…I mean, could you be any more condescending to this man?” Cortes told Lemon.
Lemon replied: “I’m just telling the truth. I’m not being condescending to him, I’m telling the truth. And if you ask African Americans around the country, they will tell you the exact same thing. That’s what it looked like today, sadly. And I’m saying this… not out of animus for Kanye West but because I feel sorry for him. And I think he needs to take care of himself.”