On Monday’s broadcast of CNN Tonight, Don Lemon clearly had a point to make.
The anchor kicked off last night’s show holding up a Confederate flag and then a sign on which the n-word was printed in letters about half a foot tall.
The unorthodox attempt to engage his audience in a debate on race immediately sparked controversy and a new meme. Which may have been the intention.
“Does this offend you? This word?” Lemon asked, as he teased his show’s topic. Many viewers noted how he was careful not to obscure his face with the sign, speculating this may have been his attempt to maximize a made-for-social-media moment.
— CNN Commentary (@CommentaryCNN) June 23, 2015
The provocative segment did cause Lemon to trend on Twitter, but instead of unpacking the complex issues around race, people seemed more curious about his state of mind. At one point, the trending phrase “Has Don Lemon Lost His Goddamn Mind?” became popular due to a Gawker story on the segment with the same headline.
The overwhelming consensus appearing to be: Yes.
Best Don Lemon meme pic.twitter.com/ahw8SvW21S
— blackgalriri (@blackgalriri) June 23, 2015
— darth:™ (@darth) June 23, 2015
don lemon remaking Common's "come close" video hella wrong yo pic.twitter.com/Mfrq19cfsq
— Desus Nice (@desusnice) June 23, 2015