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Don Lemon Meets His Match In Debate On Reparations

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OPINION: This article may contain commentary which reflects the author's opinion.


With the death of the late Queen Elizabeth II and the pomp and pageantry around her funeral, the Royal Family has been the main focus of the news.

Another main topic for many of the mainstream news organizations has been “colonialism” and the slave trade.

And CNN host Don Lemon found himself face to face with possibly one of the best arguments against reparations on national television.

“And then you have those who are asking for reparations for colonialism, and they’re wondering, you know, $100 billion, $24 billion here and there, $500 million there,” the host said to global business consultant Hilary Fordwich on Monday. “Some people want to be paid back, and members of the public are wondering, ‘Why are we suffering when you are, you know, you have all of this vast wealth?’ Those are legitimate concerns.”

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Fordwich argued that if reparations are to be paid then they should be paid by those who are the ancestors of the source of the slave trade.

“Well, I think you’re right about reparations in terms of if people want it, though, what they need to do is you always need to go back to the beginning of a supply chain,” she said.

“Where was the beginning of the supply chain? That was in Africa, and when it crossed the entire world when slavery was taking place, which was the first nation in the world that abolished slavery? The first nation in the world to abolish it, it was started by William Wilberforce, was the British. In Great Britain, they abolished slavery,” she said.

“Two thousand naval men died on the high seas trying to stop slavery. Why? Because the African kings were rounding up their own people, they had them on cages waiting in the beaches. No one was running into Africa to get them,” the global business consultant said.

“And I think you’re totally right. If reparations needs to be paid, we need to go right back to the beginning of that supply chain and say, ‘Who was rounding up their own people and having them handcuffed in cages?’ Absolutely. That’s where they should start,” Fordwich said, adding in another element to the Lemon ‘reparations’ claim.

“And maybe, I don’t know, the descendants of those families where they died at the, in the high seas trying to stop the slavery, that those families should receive something too, I think, at the same time,” she said.

The host appeared to be struck by the argument and paused for a while before answering her.

“It’s an interesting discussion, Hilary, thank you very much,” he said.

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It came after it was announced that Lemon has lost his primetime show and will be moved to mornings as part of a host team as the current morning show “New Day” is being canceled, The Wrap reported.

Don Lemon will lose his primetime CNN show on weeknights to co-anchor the network’s reimagined morning show with Poppy Harlow and Kaitlan Collins, the network announced Thursday.

The new morning show will debut later in the year with a new name, format, and set — and signals the end of “Don Lemon Tonight” after an eight-year run. CNN did not announce any plans for how it will fill Lemon’s primetime slot, which has long lagged behind Fox News’ “The Ingraham Angle” in the ratings.

John Berman and Brianna Keilar, who currently anchor the network’s ratings-challenged “New Day,” will shift to other roles at CNN later in the year.

It has been a time of change with the new ownership at CNN and it has affected more than Don Lemon.

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Mere hours after he praised President Joe Biden’s anti-MAGA Republican speech, CNN White House Correspondent John Harwood was gone from the news network.

CNN has been undergoing changes with the idea of getting to a more centrist news style and away from partisan leaning, and that has meant that some CNN personalities have to go.

Neither the network nor Harwood said if he was fired, quit or it was a mutual decision, but the timing had many wondering if his praise of President Biden’s divisive speech was the cause.

Harwood said in a tweet, “personal news: today’s my last day at CNN proud of the work thanks to my colleagues i’ve been lucky to serve the best in American media – St. Petersburg Times, WSJ, NYT, the NBC family, CNN look forward to figuring out what’s next.”

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It came hours after Harwood made his opinion known on President Biden’s speech when he appeared on the CNN show “New Day.”

“The core point he made in that political speech about a threat to democracy is true. Now, that’s something that’s not easy for us, as journalists, to say. We’re brought up to believe there’s two different political parties with different points of view and we don’t take sides in honest disagreements between them. But that’s not what we’re talking about,” he said.

“These are not honest disagreements. The Republican Party right now is led by a dishonest demagogue. Many, many Republicans are rallying behind his lies about the 2020 election and other things as well. And a significant portion—or a sufficient portion—of the constituency that they’re leading attacked the Capitol on Jan. 6, violently. By offering pardons or suggesting pardons for those people who violently attacked the Capitol, which you’ve been pointing out numerous times this morning, Donald Trump made Joe Biden’s point for him,” he said.

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