While interviewing Morgan Freeman, CNN’s Don Lemon admitted that he’d grown weary of having discussions about race. Still, somehow, whenever a racial conversation catches traction, Lemon finds a way to inject himself into the conversation.
Appearing on The Tom Joyner Morning Show on Thursday, Lemon weighed into the controversy over whether the Washington Redskins football team should change its name to something less offensive.
Lemon painted the picture by comparing the “R” word to the “N” word during the show’s introduction.
“Sounds like I’m talking about the ‘N-word,’ which has been debated, discussed and reported countless times, but I’m not,” Lemon stated. “This time, it is the dreaded ‘R-word.’ I’m talking about Redskins, as in the Washington football team.”
He continues: “So ‘Redskin,’ ‘Red Man’ and ‘Red Indian’ were all used by Brits and Americans to distinguish between Indians from India and so-called Indians or Native Americans,” Lemon explained. “It’s very similar to the way ‘Negro’ became the pejorative ‘n-¡-g-g-e-r’ to distinguish between Africans living in Africa from Africans living in the United States.”
Lemon then finishes by explaining how, just like the “N” word, the “R” world could have evolved over time to become offensive.
“Either way you cut it, no matter the origin of a word, if over time it has become a slur, a dig or an insult, should you use it, even if it is the name of your favorite team?” Lemon asked. “My personal opinion is no, but I want you to decide. At the very least, though, before you defend using it, you should probably know where it came from and what it means.”