MSNBC's Goldie Taylor Calls Don Lemon a 'Turncoat Mofo' Over Backing Bill O'Reilly's Race Comments
MSNBC’s Goldie Taylor Calls Don Lemon a ‘Turncoat Mofo’ Over Backing Bill O’Reilly’s Race Comments (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Did MSNBC contributor Goldie Taylor call CNN’s Don Lemon a ‘turncoat mofo’ over his comments in which he seemed to back Fox News’ Bill O’Reilly criticizing the black community on black-on-black violence? Why do we have to call people names when we don’t agree with what they are saying? I have been covering black-on-black crime for a long time and I agree with some of what Don Lemon said on CNN Saturday night. Bill O’Reilly made some inaccurate comments during his ‘rage,’ such as President Obama not addressing problems in the black community. He has and on many occasions, including his commencement speech at Morehouse College a few months ago. But the gist of what O’Reilly said wasn’t so far-fetched, but his way of reaching that view was distorted and one-sided. Not all young black men are thugs nor are all young white males mass murderers. Still, we can’t sweep the problems confronting the black community under a rug nor can we beat each other up when we don’t agree. Ted Nugent gets a pass and is dismissed as a wingnut, but Don Lemon comes under blistering criticism for speaking up? Where’s the logic?

Don Lemon was excoriated by Global Grind’s editor-in-chief Michael Skolnik: “I think your comments sounded like a conservative preacher on a Sunday, and certainly Bill O’Reilly should welcome you on his show.”“I’m disappointed in you.” “You’re talking about sagging pants.” “I’ve heard this rap for years. Let’s stop talking about sagging pants, and let’s talk about why we incarcerate 2.2 million people in this country, and why young kids look up to guys who come out of jail. We waged a war against black and brown people forty years ago, the War on Drugs, and it failed miserably, and now we’re reaping the repercussions,” Skolnik added.

While I agree that the justice systems discriminates against black males, we cannot ignore the fact that the ‘gangster culture’ has permeated our community for all the wrong reasons. Sagging pants are a way of life for many young black men and even some white and Hispanic kids are wearing sagging pants too. We have to take responsibility for our actions. There are many variables that have contributed to the plight of the black community, but we can start by having a dialogue without getting mad when black-on-black crime is brought up.

I recently visited High Point, North Carolina, and I was appalled to see the state of the poor black neighborhoods, with trash all over the place, and some houses falling apart. Not because you are poor your home or community has to look rundown and seedy. This is also evident in many inner city communities across the U.S. That’s what Don Lemon addressed and he was lambasted. Lemon also referenced the use of the word ‘nigger’ as a part of the vocabulary of many young black males. Why? The word never had positive implications for us from its inception and throughout history. Why use it like a badge of honor? There’s a thing called personal responsibility and it should be embraced, not shunned.

The cycle of poverty can be broken with finishing school and being serious about getting a career. Not everyone is cut out for a four-year college program, but there are numerous vocational schools and community colleges as viable options. The system must also give non-violent offenders a chance at having a decent life in which he or she can become gainfully employed instead of being blacklisted and forced into a life of crime.

Don Lemon pointed to single parenthood as a big reason for the problems in the black community: “More than 72 percent of children in the African-American community are born out of wedlock. That means absent fathers. And the studies show that lack of a male role model is an express train right to prison and the cycle continues. So, please, black folks, as I said if this doesn’t apply to you, I’m not talking to you. Pay attention to and think about what has been presented in recent history as acceptable behavior. Pay close attention to the hip-hop and rap culture that many of you embrace. A culture that glorifies everything I just mentioned, thug and reprehensible behavior, a culture that is making a lot of people rich, just not you. And it’s not going to. That said, though, the political right is not off the hook.”

I am in no way suggesting that racism isn’t real. It is and it’s evident in many sectors, such as in cases where black applicants with black sounding names are more likely not to be called for an interview than whites or in the housing market with higher interest rates, for example. We have to start the dialogue on race in our own communities and with each other. We can’t get mad because Don Lemon made uncomfortable comments. He told the truth. MSNBC is being as racially polarizing as Fox News. You can’t tell one group of people that the word nigger is off limits to them, and embrace its use in the black community. That’s just a fact. We don’t have to fall for the right wing hypocrisy on what ails the black community every time an unarmed black kid gets killed or arrested. Why not start having that dialogue among ourselves and working towards saving our communities?

Here’s what Goldie Taylor tweeted:

Here’s Don Lemon’s segment on race: