Don Lemon is usually very serious when he is addressing current events and incidents of bigotry across our nation. But last night the CNN commentator couldn’t keep his composure while covering the ridiculous “disguises” that two police officers wore in a 1993 police yearbook.
During Tuesday night’s edition of CNN Tonight With Don Lemon, the host ended the show by covering yet another blackface scandal, this one revolving around a resurfaced photo that shows two white Baton Rouge cops dressed in blackface for an undercover operation. Although the photo was taken in 1993, somehow it ended up being published in a 2007 police yearbook.
Lemon was understandably incredulous as he described the picture, which was captioned in the yearbook as “Soul brothers.” In the snapshot two officers are “dressed in blackface for an undercover field operation.”
“You heard that right,” Lemon said to the viewing audience, stressing his disbelief.
“One of the officers in blackface boasted to the newspaper about his racist disguise,” Lemon said. “He said, ‘Not only do they not know we are cops, they don’t even know we are white’.”
“There is no way anyone could have missed that these were in fact not Black people,” Lemon said while laughing.
Baton Rouge Police Department in Louisiana is apologizing after a 1993 yearbook photo shows two police officers dressed in blackface as part of an undercover operation.
— CNN Tonight (@CNNTonight) February 13, 2019
After breaking down for few more seconds to get more uncontainable laughter out of his system, Lemon regained his composure then read an apology from the current Baton Rouge Police chief.
“This is the moral of the story, let’s talk about what will make a difference here, policy wise,” Lemon said. “The police chief should have apologized for the lack of diversity in the department back then. And that anyone would fathom putting white officers in Blackface was a good idea, let alone a tool for law enforcement.”
Lemon then pointed out the obvious, “You know what would have been sufficient here? Black officers.”
He also noted that even after the Baton Rouge department made a vow to diversify, overall their police force “still does not reflect the city’s population. That’s the real issue here. Let’s learn from the past. Correct it in the future.”