Chris Cuomo and Don Lemon had a thing or two to say about Tyrant Twatwaffle's Tweet about Spike Lee's acceptance speech from Saturday's Oscar's awards show. Black KKKLansman won for Best Adapted Screenplay, and after winning the award, Spike Lee said the following:
2020 presidential election is around the corner. Let's all mobilize. Let's all be on the right side of history. Make the moral choice between love versus hate. Let's do the right thing!
OMG THAT IS SO RACIST, RIGHT? No, it totally isn't, but el presidente was triggered.
So, Chris Cuomo wasn't having it.
First, Lee coming at the president isn't racism. Second, the president invokes racism NOW? And then he mocks someone for how they read a script? Has he seen himself on tv?
For realz. But projection is his game, we all know it. Cuomo really got into the meat of it, though, when he illustrated Trump's need to seize upon any opportunity to prop up racists and bigots ("fine people on both sides," anyone?) and his sudden athleticism in running from condemning the deaths of innocents at the hands of those same racists and bigots (Heather Heyer, Rest in Peace.) When Don Lemon joined him for the hand-off at the hour, Lemon reminded us that he'd opined in the beginning Trump was, if not racist, then racist-adjacent. Once our dear leader made the "s-hole countries" comment though, Lemon dropped the "adjacent" and called it what it was.
Honestly, a lot of us were calling Trump what he was — a racist — for a long time before that comment, but, hey. Welcome to the right side of history.
Partial Transcript below:
CUOMO: The president played to the petty, bringing racism where it wasn't with Spike Lee. And he's poisoning us by ignoring bigotry where it is. But while it would be great to have leadership come from the top, last night in the Oscars, we got to see how the rest of you can make things better on your own, recognizing diversity and talent, rewarding those who speak truth about our reality. That truth and embracing diversity, those are the best hope for America becoming greater still. And I hope that this president, if he's going to keep taking these shots, at some point, he at least owns why he does it. like as we always say on this show, why lie? If you have nothing to hide, why lie? That applies to Russia. It applies to some ancillary matters around that, and it applies to this too. If you're going to ignore somebody like Steve King and ignore racism where it's staring us in the face, you should tell the American people why you do it because it's obvious to everyone. Thanks for watching. CNN Tonight with Don Lemon starts right now.
LEMON: So according to the dictionary, "racist, a person who shows or feels discrimination or prejudice against people of other races or who believes that a particular race is superior to another." You can do that through your comments. You can do that by ignoring racism. You can do that through your actions. You can do that through your policies. You can do that through ignorance. You can pretend that you don't see it. All of that is racist material. That's all racist. And so you saw the back of my fat head there when I asked him a number of times --
CUOMO: I wasn't going to say anything. Looked like a pack of franks back there.
LEMON: The least racist person, and I asked him that question a number of times. But just because you say it doesn't mean that it is so. It comes out in your actions and your policies.
CUOMO: And I think that --
LEMON: or inaction.
CUOMO: The reason we seized upon them tonight in putting together the closing is because I think they're the most instructive. He knows that that's not true, what he's saying. He knows it's ridiculous, and that's not because I'm painting him as a bigot. I'm saying he goes out of his way. He goes out of his way not to be as condemnatory as he is about so many things that matter so much less. And that Heather Heyer murder, when that happened, and he didn't do with that matter what he did with, let's say Katie Steinle, something that didn't have to happen, that wouldn't have happened if that guy wasn't in this country, upon that as proof of a problem. But when this bigot kills Heather Heyer, that doesn't speak to any problem. That doesn't speak to anything. And he had to be chased into saying the right thing about Heather Heyer, where he leaps the chance to make so much more of these others. It's obvious. It's obvious, and it's ugly. I just hope at some point he owns it.
LEMON: It's also where your priorities are. And even if you use it because it's politically expedient, ignoring the problem or prioritizing the wrong things, that is also racist behavior and ignorance. And ignorance is part of racism.
CUOMO: Sure it is. It's one of the most dangerous types of indifference that we have seen in world history, where you know that what you're saying is stirring a very dangerous brew.
CUOMO: And while you may not really be that convinced of it yourself, it doesn't matter. In some ways it makes it worse, that you just see the effect of it. You see the need for it in yourself and what you want to achieve, and then you do it? You own it.
LEMON: Well, as I said during the campaign, I said he -- I started by saying if he's not racist, then he's racist-adjacent. Then after the s-hole comments, I came right out and said the President of the United States is racist. I opened my show that way. And you would have thought that I set off a bomb or something. But people just went nuts. But the evidence is there. I stand by it. All you have to do is look at his words, his deeds, his actions going back to when he was a young man. And the biggest one of all -- well, besides, you know, the Central Park Five, would be the whole birther thing.