CNN’s Don Lemon and actor Terry Crews had a tense disagreement Monday evening during a discussion on the Black Lives Matter (BLM) movement.
Crews sparked backlash Saturday after he tweeted: “Are all white people bad? No. Are all black people good? No. Knowing this reality- I stand on my decision to unite with good people, no matter the race, creed or ideology. … Given the number of threats against this decision-I also decide to die on this hill.”
Defeating White supremacy without White people creates Black supremacy. Equality is the truth.
Like it or not, we are all in this together.
— terry crews (@terrycrews) June 7, 2020
Lemon brought up the tweet, sparking a discussion about the BLM movement – which Crews issued warnings against, although he pushed back on the movement as a whole being extreme. The actor did say the BLM movement has, at times, hints of extremism to it and brought up black-on-black crime, which he said doesn’t seem to matter for BLM.
The CNN host disagreed and began to talk over Crews to explain how BLM shouldn’t care about black-on-black crime. (RELATED: Hollywood Actor Terry Crews Says #BlackLivesMatter Can’t ‘Morph Into #BlackLivesBetter’)
“The black lives matter movement was started because it was talking about police brutality,” Lemon said after pushing back on Crews’ comments about extremism. “If you want an all black lives matter movement that talks about gun violence in communities, including, you know, black communities, then start that movement with that name. But that’s not what black lives matter is about. It’s not an all encompassing. So if you are talking about — if someone started a movement that said ‘cancer matters.'”
“And then, someone comes and says ‘why aren’t you talking about HIV?’ It’s not the same thing. We’re talking about cancer. So the black lives matter movement is about police brutality and injustice in that manner. Not about what’s happening in black neighborhoods. There are people who are working on that issue. And if you want to start that issue, why don’t you start it? Do you understand what I’m saying?”
“It’s not about what happens in communities, when it comes to crime – black-on-black crime,” Lemon said. “People who live near each other, black people, kill each other. Same as whites. 80-some percent of white people are killed by white people because of proximity. It’s the same thing with black people. But it happens in every single neighborhood. But again, I’m not saying it’s not important that those kids died, but it’s a different movement.”
Crews noted that he never said the movement isn’t about police brutality or that it should cease being about that. He added that “if they have more on their agenda, we need to ask them about what else is on that agenda other than police brutality.”
The disagreement began after Crews defended his tweets about the movement. Crews told Lemon that there are “militant type forces in black lives matter” and that he was issuing “a warning. The
actor added that even though it’s “a great” and “true mantra” – and that black lives do matter – the leaders of BLM are important because they are the ones organizing it.
“When you have the leaders of the Black Lives Movement, who are now talking about, you know, ‘if we don’t get our demand, we are going to burn it down,'” Crews said earlier in the segment. “Other black people who are talking about working with other whites and other races. Being viewed as sell-outs, or called ‘Uncle Tom,’ you start to understand, you start to understand that you are now – you’re being controlled. You’re not being treated as loved.”
“You’re actually being controlled. Someone wants to control the narrative. And I viewed it as a very, very dangerous self-righteousness that was developing. That, you know, that really viewed themselves as better. It was almost a supremacist move that their black lives mattered more than mine.”