Who Is Don Lemon? 4 Facts About The CNN Anchor Who Bashed Trump That No One Is Talking About

Photo: CNN
Don Lemon

He's been named one of the most influential African Americans and also one of the world journalists.

I think it's safe to say that a lot of people were upset with President Donald Trump's speech at a rally in Phoenix, Arizona. In light of the tragedy, violence, and anger that was a result of the Charlottesville protests. 

Why? Well for starters, he blamed "weak, weak people" for allowing Confederate statues to be removed. 

"They're trying to take away our culture. They're trying to take away our history," he said in his speech. "They are trying to take away our history."

"This is our moment. This is our chance. This is our opportunity to recapture our dynasty like never before, to rebuild our future, to deliver justice for every forgotten man and woman and child in America. Freedom will prevail, our values will endure, our citizens will prosper, Arizona will thrive, and our beloved nation will succeed like never, ever before." 

RELATED: An Open Letter To My White Friends — What I WISH You Knew About Charlottesville

While many people reacted strongly to Trump's speech, CNN anchor Don Lemon is being applauded on Twitter for clapping back. 

As you can see in the video, speaking from the heart for Don Lemon meant calling out Trump for straight up lying to the public in an attempt to "rewrite history" of what happened in Charlottesville. Lemon, of course, was referring to the part of the speech where Trump recalled what he said after the rally that killed one person and injured 19 and left out the part about blaming violence on "many sides." 

"He's unhinged," Lemon said. "It's embarrassing -- and I don't mean for us, the media, because he went after us, but for the country. This is who we elected President of the United States? A man who is so petty he goes after people who he deems to be his enemy, like an imaginary friend of a 6-year-old?"

RELATED: Dear Trump: You Killed My Relationship (But I Could Hug You For It)

Lemon even went as far as to accuse the president of trying to "ignite a civil war."

"He has given oxygen to racists," Lemon said. "He hasn't really said anything [to] denounce the alt-right … He is clearly trying to ignite a civil war in this country. He has not tamped down race."

However, not everyone is loving Lemon. Trump supporters were quick to call him out for reporting "fake news," and taking his hate for the president too far. 

It seems like the feeling Lemon has for Trump is mutual. In May, the president described the anchor as "perhaps the dumbest person in broadcasting." 

Even if more people are jumping onto Team Lemon, he hasn't always had this much popularity. Here are four things we know about the CNN anchor: 

1. Don Lemob caused some controversy when he stated different ways the African American community could improve themselves. 


In 2013, Lemon came under fire when he said he agreed with Bill O'Reilly's rant about the black community. 

"He’s got a point," Lemon said. "In fact, he’s got more than a point…In my estimation, he doesn’t go far enough. Black people, if you really want to fix the problem, here’s just five things that you should think about doing."

Those five things include hiking up their pants, finishing school, not using the n-word, taking care of their communities and not having children out of wedlock. 

2. As a child, he was a victim of sexual abuse. 

New York Times

In 2010, Lemon shocked his viewers when he revealed on-air that he had been abused as a child. 

"I am going to tell you something I have never admitted this on television," he said. "I am a victim of a paedophile when I was a kid. Someone who was much older than me. I have never admitted that on television. I didn't tell my mom that until I was 30 years old." 

In his memoir that came out a year later, he identified the abuser as the son of his mother's close friend. In that same book, he also came out as gay. 

3. He asked an alleged Bill Cosby victim why she didn't fight back using her teeth. 


In 2015, Lemon got some heat when he asked Joan Tarshis — a woman who had accused Bill Cosby of sexual assault — why she didn't use her teeth to fight back during forced oral sex. 

He told her "there are ways not to perform oral sex if you didn't want to do it," and suggested she used her teeth as a weapon. In an interview with GQ that followed that incident, the writer said "Lemon tells me that when he was a child and was being forced to perform oral sex on his abuser, he told that f--ker that the next time, he’d bite his d--k off, and that’s when Don Lemon stopped getting molested."

4. Over 30,000 people once petitioned for CNN to fire him. 


Over 30,000 people signed a position that called for CNN to fire Lemon in 2015 after suggesting that his colleagues Wolf Blitzen and Sunny Hostin wait on deciding if a South Carolina resource officer had used excessive force to remove a student from a classroom. 

The petition read: “We, the people, want a journalist and an anchor that will not be afraid to accept the facts that are occurring within the African-American community and who will encourage our people the same way that person will encourage others across the board. We, the people, have no confidence in Mr. Lemon’s ability to do that. Therefore, we are asking CNN to remove him from his position.”

He was not fired. 

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Emily Blackwood is an editor at YourTango who covers pop culture, dating, relationships and everything in between. You can follow her on Instagram (@blackw00d) and Twitter (@emztweetz).