CNN anchor Don Lemon said President Donald Trump “should be ashamed of himself” after defending white nationalists in his Tuesday remarks on the rally and counter-protest in Charlottesville, Virginia, over the weekend.
Shortly after Trump reverted back to his claim that “both sides” are to blame and said that there were “fine people” in the “Unite the Right” rally, Lemon appeared on Wolf Blitzer’s show to condemn Trump’s speech.
“This is a sad moment for the country and I think it was an awful moment for the person who’s supposed to represent the highest office of the land,” Lemon said.
“Today you saw the real Donald Trump, proving all of his critics right in that moment.”
The journalist noted why Trump’s comparison of neo-Nazis with anti-fascist and anti-racist groups was egregious.
“There is a difference between the two groups: one is a Nazi supremacist group,” Lemon said. “What they want to do and in their hearts is extinguish people who look like me and who look like you, Wolf. Jewish people, black people, even women. They don’t think that we’re equal to them.”
“The other is a protest group protesting a political and a racist movement,” he continued. “I’m not saying that group, all of their tactics were right, but they were there protesting hate in America.”
Lemon went on to say that simply knowing the facts about America’s history is vital for understanding what each side is fighting.
“In order to have this conversation ― and Mr. President doesn’t seem to be very aware of the history of this country ― you have to be aware of the history of this country and we have to discuss the history of this country,” he said. “And this history of this country is it came out of racism, it came out of slavery. People who look like me did not come over on the Nina, the Pinta or the Santa Maria. And those people who were there want to keep people like me enslaved. And that’s why they were protesting.”
Lemon also brought up the removal of Confederate monuments and flags ― the reason white supremacists organized a protest in Charlottesville. He said asking black people to deal with the glorification of their oppressors is an insult and compared it to flying a swastika in Germany.
“The president is ignorant of history. He does not know context. He should be ashamed of himself,” he said. “He should go back to school and get an elementary education on how this country started and about protest groups and how this country works and who he represents and who he should represent.”
Watch Lemon’s full takedown in the video above.