Don Lemon took a little heat this week for saying this. Watch:
CNN's Don Lemon Tells Chris Cuomo: "Biggest Terror Threat In This Country Is White Men" youtu.be
Probably one of the most racist things I've ever heard on cable news. It was one of the most contradictory statements I think you could ever dream up. We need to stop demonizing people… but, oh yeah, those white people!
So the backlash, as it should have, began to pile up. And where was CNN executive Jeff Zucker? I mean, he was quick to demonize Donald Trump for calling him "Fake News" after the world's worst pipe bomber sent his network a fake bomb. He was Johnny on the spot. But when one of his employees labels an entire race as terrorists? Silence.
Well, on Halloween, we finally got a response from Don Lemon. But instead of an apology, we got a double down. Watch:
"Let's put emotion aside, and look at the cold, hard facts. The evidence is overwhelming."@DonLemon presents the facts on domestic terrorism.#DonsTakehttps://t.co/PpH9t4Trvp pic.twitter.com/v3qDglsLaL
— CNN Tonight (@CNNTonight) November 1, 2018
So in other words, "Sorry, but not sorry."
And I'm sorry Don, but your "overwhelming cold hard facts" are flawed. And these flawed "facts" have already been used recently by Cory Booker to basically say and do the same thing: to demonize and lay blame on one specific race of people, which is typically called - oh I don't know - oh yeah… RACISM!
Both Cory Booker and Don Lemon are primarily quoting from a Government Accountability Office report on Countering Violent Extremism. And since Lemon alluded to these "cold hard facts" but didn't really give any context, I guess I'll do it for him.
During his "sorry not sorry" mea culpa refusal, Lemon quoted the GAO report finding that from September 12, 2001 until the end of 2016, there have been 85 extremist attacks. 73% of those documented attacks were committed by right wingers. So case closed then? Are Cory Booker and Don Lemon right?
Well, if you actually look at the listed attacks you'll see a few… peculiarities. It's very obvious from Lemon's rant that he was talking about domestic terrorism, but the GAO report lists cases that don't have anything AT ALL to do with domestic terrorism. The GAO counted every single case where a fatality occurred and the attacker had an affiliation with a right wing or white supremacist affiliation. Those attacks include prison murders and gang violence where race, religion or sexual orientation weren't even the motive. One case included in the report listed a member of a white supremacist street gang that killed his own father.
You heard that correctly. The report that Cory Booker and Don Lemon are using to show that white people are the most dangerous terror threat, includes prison and gang crime where - many times - race or bigotry wasn't even the motive. You think that might be skewing the information just a bit? And if your whole case is built around this report to try and label an entire race of people as dangerous terrorists, isn't that a little - well actually - INSANELY DISHONEST?
Don does however point out that there were more fatalities from Islamic extremists versus right wing extremists. Right wingers killed 106 people, as documented in the GAO, and jihadists killed 119. And I also found that even more interesting considering that the GAO didn't include attacks unless there was a fatality. There were multiple attacks from Islamic extremists that either didn't show up because they didn't kill anyone, or they were foiled by the FBI before they could attack.
False narratives and propaganda are only successful when the questioning stops and we fail to do our own homework.
But the GAO doesn't show that information. Now if you're going to call all white people terrorists, you might wanna have more information to back it up than a flawed study that includes prison and gang violence. So, I went to the Department of Homeland Security. From 2001 to 2013 there were 53 Islamic terror attacks that were foiled by law enforcement. From 2014 to 2016, just with ISIS alone, there were 101 foiled attacks. So during the span of the GAO study that Don Lemon is quoting from, there were 154 foiled Islamic terror attacks! That's more attacks than the GAO even reported. Combining right wing attacks AND Islamic terror attacks, and even including prison and gang violence, they only reported 85 incidents. Jihadists tried to attack us 154 times!
Now, unlike Booker and Lemon, I'm not stating these facts to try and demonize. I'm not labeling all Muslims as terrorists. That would be irresponsible. But even MORE irresponsible is going on national cable TV, on a supposed "NEWS" network, and using tailored facts to have people ignore one threat while, at the same time, demonize an entire race of people. False narratives and propaganda are only successful when the questioning stops and we fail to do our own homework. It's never been more dangerous than right now for us to fail at doing both.
UPDATE: Here's how the discussion went on radio. Watch the video below.
Don Lemon doubles down on racist comments youtu.be