Don Lemon's remarks about terror threats had ignited uproar among many conservatives.
During a recent segment about a supermarket shooting in Kentucky, CNN host Don Lemon said that "the biggest terror threat in this country is white men."
Lemon was speaking on live television Monday about an incident in which a white man allegedly shot and killed two black people outside a Kroger grocery store in Jeffersontown, Kentucky, not far from Louisville. The incident, which is being investigated as a hate crime, occurred during the same week that 13 potential explosive devices were sent to prominent Democratic and media figures across the country and 11 people were killed in a mass shooting at a synagogue in Pittsburgh. White men are charged in both cases.
"I keep trying to point out to people not to demonize any one group or any one ethnicity. But we keep thinking that the biggest terror threat is something else – some people who are marching toward the border like it's imminent," Lemon told CNN anchor Chris Cuomo, referring to the Central American migrant caravan walking toward the United States. He added that "the last time they did this, a couple hundred people came and they, most of them didn't get into the country. Most of them got tuckered out before they made it to the border."
"So," he said, "we have to stop demonizing people and realize the biggest terror threat in this country is white men, most of them radicalized to the right, and we have to start doing something about them. There is no travel ban on them. There is no ban – you know, they had the Muslim ban. There is no white-guy ban. So what do we do about that?"
CNN declined to comment.
Within days, Lemon's remarks about terror threats had ignited uproar among many conservatives.
House Majority Whip Steve Scalise, R-La., who survived a shooting targeting lawmakers who were practicing for a Congressional Baseball Game in 2017, posted a link to a story about Lemon on Twitter – commenting simply with an emoji showing wide eyes.
And Donald Trump Jr. said in a tweet Wednesday that he thought it "was some sort of joke quote taken out of context but no … it's just Don Lemon being a moron."
"Unfortunately this is how so many leftists actually think," he continued. "Disgusting! Imagine the outrage if you changed 'white men' with any other demographic?"
Some research has shown that over the past decade, there have been almost twice as many terrorist incidents carried out on U.S. soil by right-wing extremists – most of whom are white – than by Islamic extremists. A 2017 report from the Nation Institute's Investigative Fund and the Center for Investigative Reporting's Reveal found that from 2008 to 2016, there were 115 incidents involving right-wing extremists and that those that ended in death were more deadly than incidents that were carried out by other groups.
A study from the New America Foundation showed similar findings.
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