Don Lemon is reeling from Kanye West’s visit to the White House.
The CNN Tonight host, who never shies away from telling it like it is, slammed West’s Thursday meeting with President Donald Trump as a “minstrel show.”
“I have no animosity for Kanye West. I’m just going to be honest and I may get in a lot of trouble for it,” a visibly upset Lemon said to CNN’s Wolf Blitzer hours after the meeting. “I actually feel bad for him. What I saw was a minstrel show today.”
“Him in front of all these white people, mostly white people, embarrassing himself and embarrassing Americans, but mostly African-Americans, because every one of them is sitting either at home or with their phones, watching this, cringing,” he added. “I couldn’t even watch it. I had to turn the television off because it was so hard to watch.”
The 52-year-old journalist also called out CNN and other networks for covering West’s odd 10-minute speech in the Oval Office, saying it isn’t “normal.”
“This has nothing to do with being liberal or conservative, this has to do with honesty. And we have to stop pretending, sitting here on these CNN panels or whatever network panels, and pretending like this is normal and let’s have this conversation about Kanye West,” he railed. “Who cares? Why are you sending cameras to the Oval Office for Kanye West?”
Lemon then compared the rapper’s White House visit to Common’s meeting with President Barack Obama in May 2011.
“Did you send cameras to the Oval Office and carry it live when Common visited the White House?” he asked.
The Louisiana native ended his comments by invoking the memory of West’s late mother, Donda West.
“This was an embarrassment. Kanye’s mother is rolling over in her grave,” he stated. “I…texted with one of her friends today from Chicago…. I used to live there. I know them. She said Donda would be embarrassed by this.”
Listen to Lemon’s full remarks below.