Archived Opinion

Lemon’s book is well worth a read

Lemon’s book is well worth a read

To the Editor:

Whether or not you are a fan of TV anchor and journalist Don Lemon, his latest book This is the Fire: What I Say to My Friends about Racism is recommended to everyone trying to better understand the racism in our country and what we can do about it. Lemon grew up as a Black and gay man in Louisiana in the 1960s and 1970s. As an adult, Lemon has lived in the South and North and has experienced racism and homophobia much of his 55 years. 

Inspired by James Baldwin’s book The Fire Next Time (1963) and George Floyd’s murder in 2020, Lemon shares his personal stories. He challenges us as to what we all need to do to combat racism. Quoting Baldwin, “If we do not now dare everything, the fulfillment of that prophecy, recreated from the Bible in song by a slave, is upon us. ‘God gave Noah the rainbow sign, no more water, the fire next time.’” Lemon writes:  “This is the fire. We’re in it. JFK and Obama led us to the rainbow; Trump forced us into the fire. And then he poured gasoline on it.” 

Because of the outrage in our country and all over the world after the murder of George Floyd and the growing Black Lives Matter movement, Lemon believes we could be witnessing the death throes of white supremacy in the United States. In the last chapter, “How Change Happens,” Lemon lists four things to bring about change — anger, solidarity, compassion and vision. Lemon writes: “In order to move forward, we must form unshakable coalitions of marginalized people.”   

Lemon writes: “We can get there — we can — if we’re willing to do the work. History is always now for somebody.  Why not us?  If every one of us is willing to be ‘one of the ones,’ we have it in us to meet this moment together, feel its mighty sway, and emerge from the chaos to craft a more just and loving world.” 

Lemon encourages us to start talking with people who think, act and are different than we are. Develop relationships with people of different races, religions, sexual orientations, political views, etc. It isn’t easy to talk about our differences but it must be done over a period of time. In the book’s appendix, Lemon lists a number of books to read including John Lewis’ Across That Bridge: A Vision for Change and the Future of America.

I found Lemon’s book easy to read, thought-provoking and challenging as to what I can do to help combat racism and work toward a more perfect union. In my opinion this is a “must-read” that was No. 1 on the New York Times bestseller list in March.              

Mary Herr

Cherokee

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2 comments

  • To promote lemon and his book is to agree the country is systemically racist which is bunk. The biden administration has chosen racism as their theme to divide Americans. Every part of their agenda talks about racism. Lemon is a chosen one to carry on the theme. Pushing the racist theme distracts us from the crisis on the border, inflated prices like gas, groceries and lumber to name a few, and the woke, cancel culture that destroys freedom of speech.

    posted by Carol Adams

    Monday, 05/03/2021

  • Don Lemon is a fake, phony fraud. I have no idea why his time slot is still on CNN? He has like no audience. People have wised up to his nonsense. Stop trying to promote a loser.

    posted by Cloyd Jones

    Monday, 05/03/2021

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