On Friday, CNN re-aired an interview Don Lemon did with NBA star Lebron James. The athlete opening the “I Promise School” in Akron, Ohio, provided the context for the sit down — but U.S. President Donald Trump completely ignored that in his response.
In his own retort to Trump’s lashing out, Lemon worked to remind everyone of James’ good work.
He wrote on Twitter simply:
‘Who’s the real dummy? A man who puts kids in classrooms or one who puts kids in cages?’
Lemon added the “#BeBest” hashtag to his post, referencing the first lady’s “Be Best” anti-bullying and overall child wellness initiative.
The president’s behavior routinely contrasts dramatically with a showy anti-bullying message. In fact, there have been documented instances across the country of Trump’s name being invoked in serious school bullying incidents.
In one of many disturbing cases shared in a BuzzFeed report, Spokane Valley, Washington, teacher Amanda Mead stumbled upon a group of white students following a Latino student and harassing him with chants of “the wall’s coming!” and “Trump! Trump! Trump!”
On the other side, James’ new school is the latest endeavor of his I Promise Network, which has already before this year been working to support at risk students. The new I Promise School opened recently with 240 students who will have everything from free meals, bikes — and college tuition for the University of Akron — available to them.
He described his take on the situation to Lemon by saying:
‘For kids, in general, all they want to know is that someone cares. And when they walk through that door, I hope they know that someone cares.’
In the same interview, the topic of Donald Trump somewhat inevitably came up. James noted the stark distinction between what he’s doing and what the president is, explaining:
‘What I’ve noticed over the past few months is [Trump’s] kind of used sports to divide us, and that’s not something I can relate to.’
Trump’s despising of NFL players who dare peacefully protest to bring attention to the plight of African Americans is well documented at this point.
He has lashed out when rebuffed by championship athletes who want nothing to do with his administration in a fashion similar to his Friday night freak out about Lebron James.
On Twitter, Trump wrote:
‘Lebron James was just interviewed by the dumbest man on television, Don Lemon. He made Lebron look smart, which isn’t easy to do. I like Mike!’
Despite that harassment from the president, James’ work remains an actual substantive benefit for young people while much of the president’s most certainly does not, as Lemon notes.
The Trump administration infamously carried on with a “zero-tolerance” policy towards undocumented immigrants for a chunk of this year. That policy resulted in the separations of thousands of children from their families and their subsequent detention while those family members faced criminal prosecution. Despite a court order for family reunification, a significant number of children remain separated from their families.
No matter how many tweets the president posts, these realities will not go away.
Twitter largely supported Lemon.
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