For iPhone users: [audio http://ioneblackamericaweb.files.wordpress.com/2014/02/lemon0213.mp3%5D
I knew it was going to be controversial the moment I opened the email sent to me by my producers proposing a segment on CNN.
And so it was after they secured radio host Mo Ivory and conservative blogger Crystal Wright to participate.
Yahoo.com writes that while speaking to students at Palm Beach Atlantic University Justice Thomas said he is concerned about what he considers a society that is more “conscious” of racial differences than it was when he grew up in segregated Georgia before and during the civil rights era.
Thomas says, “My sadness is that we are probably today more race and difference-conscious than I was in the 1960s when I went to school. To my knowledge, I was the first black kid in Savannah, Georgia, to go to a white school. Rarely did the issue of race come up.”
On CNN, Crystal Wright weighed in first.
Crystal Wright: “Now we’re in a situation where we have people actively looking, hunting Don for racism and to call people homophobes and to talk about sexism so they can make a living off of it and they are. They’re shaking down corporate America. And now you have a hyper-sensitivity where many white people are afraid not to even engage in an honest dialogue on race.”
Don Lemon: “Mo what do you think? Are we too sensitive?”
Mo Ivory: “Wow, I would have to disagree with partially what she said. But no I don’t think we’re too sensitive about it all. I just think we have a more open forum to talk about it to bring it out.”
And from there the conversation took an ugly turn with the commentators talking over each other, and the conservative commentator Crystal Wright lamenting being called vile names like Uncle Tom and Thomasina by people who disagree with her, mostly black people.
Don Lemon: “Ok Crystal, listen Crystal.’
Crystal Wright: “Wait, I want to finish this.
Don Lemon: “Ok quickly.”
Crystal Wright: “Because at the end of the day the only way any of us are going to have an honest discussion is if Mo you stop attacking me for my opinion. And we allow white, black, brown
Mo Ivory: “And you stop attacking me for mine.”
Crystal Wright: “I haven’t attacked you.”
Don Lemon: “We should all stop attacking each other and stop calling people names.”
All of that came about from my one simple question, “Are we too sensitive about race?” I think that conversation proves that we are; at least when talking about race.
But the difference is that talking about race when Justice Thomas grew up might have gotten you killed. Talking about it now might make people call you names.
I don’t know about you, but of the two choices, I’ll take the name calling.