Don Lemon to Terry Crews: Don’t like Black Lives Matter? Start your own movement


Terry Crews was invited on Don Lemon’s CNN show Monday to explain his concerns about the Black Lives Matter movement, but instead ended up in a heated debate with the news anchor.

Lemon opened the segment with two recent Crews tweets that had sparked an outcry — the first warning about a “#blacklivesbetter” sentiment emerging from Black Lives Matter, and the second announcing that he would “die on this hill” after getting threats for his decision to “unite with good people, no matter the race, creed or ideology.”

Lemon then introduced the actor by saying, “Man, you stepped in it.” He eventually closed the segment by talking over Crews about the meaning of Black Lives Matter.

“There are some very, very militant-type forces in Black Lives Matter,” Crews told Lemon. “What I was issuing [in his June 30 tweet] was a warning ... When you issue a warning, and a warning is seen as detrimental, how can you ever, ever have checks and balances?”


The “America’s Got Talent” host continued: “Other Black people who are talking about working with other whites and other races, they’re being viewed as sellouts or called Uncle Toms. You start to understand that you are now being controlled. You’re not being treated as loved, you’re actually being controlled.”

Crews said he saw a “dangerous self-righteousness” developing from the movement, where certain people “really viewed themselves as better.”

“It was almost a supremist move ... where their Black lives mattered a lot more than mine,” he said.

“It’s a great mantra. It’s a true mantra,” Crews told Lemon. “Black lives do matter. But when you’re talking about an organization, you’re talking about the leaders.”

That was when Lemon jumped in, asking if Crews saw Black Lives Matter as an extreme movement.


“Terry, you realize that even during the civil rights movement, that Dr. [Martin Luther] King was seen as extreme,” the anchor said. “That movement was seen as extreme. To people who don’t want to make change, movements are seen as an extreme. You can paint them easily as an extreme when they are not.”

Crews said there needed to be a nonracial element in any movement; otherwise resentment would build.

“I don’t want to move from one oppressor to the next,” he said.

As Lemon asked him quickly, “Who’s the next oppressor?,” Crews moved on to talk about gun violence within the Black community in Chicago, the number of young victims it has claimed, and BLM’s silence on the matter.

“But what does that have to do with equality, though, Terry?,” Lemon asked. “I don’t understand what that has to do with equality. Listen, there’s crime. There are people in those communities, those people aren’t just being nonchalant about gun violence.” The anchor then detailed what he had seen from gun-violence activists when he worked at a local Chicago TV station from 2003 to 2006.

After thousands object, actor Terry Crews is defending his tweet about “Black Supremacy.” “It is important that we not suffer from groupthink,” he says.

June 8, 2020

“I don’t see what that has to do with a movement that’s about equality for Black people. ... It just seems like apples and oranges,” Lemon said.

Crews explained that his warning was about who is controlling the Black Lives Matter narrative.

“It’s got to be All Black Lives Matter,” the actor said. “And what’s happened is that because I even challenged it, because I even questioned it and warned people ...”

Lemon cut him off, telling Crews that he was a high-profile person who was destined to get backlash on Twitter and that he shouldn’t be surprised. He suggested Crews get thicker skin, as he had.

“The BLM movement was started because it was talking about police violence. If you want an All Black Lives Matter movement that talks about gun violence in communities, including Black communities, then start that movement with that name. But that’s not what BLM is about ...,” Lemon said.

“The Black Lives Matter movement is about police brutality and injustice in that manner, not about what’s happening in Black neighborhoods,” he added. “There are people who are working on that issue, and if you want to start that issue, why don’t you start it? Do you understand what I’m saying?”

Crews pointed out that BLM was talking about more than just police brutality.

Actor Terry Crews sparked an angry social media response Tuesday after warning against Black Lives Matter morphing into “#blacklivesbetter.”

June 30, 2020

On its website, the organization explains that it started out as an effort against state and vigilante violence against Black people but that it had since evolved into a group “committed to struggling together and to imagining and creating a world free of anti-Blackness, where every Black person has the social, economic, and political power to thrive.”

BLM talks about its efforts to “disrupt the Western-prescribed nuclear family structure requirement” and “dismantle the patriarchal practice that requires mothers to work ‘double shifts’ so that they can mother in private even as they participate in public justice work.”

It also affirms that all Black lives matter “regardless of actual or perceived sexual identity, gender identity, gender expression, economic status, ability, disability, religious beliefs or disbeliefs, immigration status, or location,” but makes no mention of allowances for differences of political opinion.

Black people who are talking about working with other whites and other races, they’re being viewed as sellouts or called Uncle Toms.

— Terry Crews

“Black Lives Matter is about police brutality and about criminal justice,” Lemon said. “It’s not about what happens in communities when it comes to crime, Black-on-Black crime. People who live near each other, Black people, kill each other. Same as whites.”

Lemon went on, until Crews jumped in to say that there was more than that to Black Lives Matter.

“If they have more on their agenda, we need to ask them about what’s on their agenda. And that’s all I’m doing — questioning, warning and watching,” the actor said. “And if that bothers you now, that bothers me.”

Crews followed up the CNN appearance with a tweet Tuesday morning.

“If I’m truly your equal, I can discuss my concerns with you,” he wrote, “but if I’m not — all my concerns are perceived as threats.”