Michael Skolnik, editor-in-chief of Global Grind, used a recent guest appearance on CNN to give Don Lemon a piece of his mind.
Lemon has received flak for agreeing with comments made by Fox News host Bill O’Reilly about race on Saturday, and then found himself sparring on air with Skolnik, who rebuked his views on young black men.
O’Reilly said, “The reason there is so much violence and chaos in the black precincts is the disintegration of the African-American family…Raised without much structure, young black men often reject education and gravitate towards the street culture, drugs, hustling, gangs. Nobody forces them to do that. Again, it is a personal decision.”
Lemon said that he thinks Bill O’Riley did not go far enough in his critique of the black community. Lemon urged black men to stop sagging their pants, littering in their neighborhoods, and having children out of wedlock.
A “disappointed” Skolnik told Lemon that he sounded like a “conservative preacher on a Sunday,” and that O’Reilly should welcome him to his show.
Skolnik responded by saying, “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,” added Skolnik.
“Not every black kid is in jail,” Lemon responded. “And there are rules, and people should know where that style comes from, whether it’s a black kid, a white kid, or whether it’s Justin Bieber. That is glorifying prison culture. Who wants to see someone’s butt crack?”
Skolnik held his ground, citing more issues that stemmed from poverty, which he feels should be identified as the problem. He also argued that criminal culture is taught in jail and thinks that prison culture acts as a microcosm of society at large.
“It’s not glorifying it, it’s a reflection of our society. Our society incarcerates 2.2 million people, more than anyone else in the world,” said Skolnik to Lemon. “It’s a reflection, it’s a mirror. Don’t break the mirror. Look at yourself.”