CNN host Don Lemon and Brooklyn Nine-Nine‘s Terry Crews debated – passionately, not, as some reports suggest, angrily – the goals and accomplishments of the Black Lives Matter movement, with Lemon taking issue over Crews’ suggestion that BLM leaders should be more focused on violent crime within Black communities.
“The Black Lives Matter movement was started because it was about police brutality,” Lemon said. “If you want an All Black Lives Matter movement that talks about gun violence in…Black communities, then start that movement with that name. But that’s not what Black Lives Matter is about.”
“If someone started a movement that said Cancer Matters and then someone comes in and says, ‘Why aren’t you talking about HIV’, it’s not the same thing.” Lemon called the two issues “apples and oranges.”
Crews rejected the argument, saying “Black people need to hold other Black people accountable,” to which Lemon replied that violent crime is generally committed within communities – white against white, Black against Black – due to proximity.
The debate grew out of Crews’ tweet last month, in which he said, “We must ensure #blacklivesmatter doesn’t morph into #blacklivesbetter.” Addressing the online backlash he received, Crews said on CNN, “I don’t want to move from one oppressor to the next.”
“Who’s the next oppressor?” Lemon shot back. At another point the host suggested that given Crews’ celebrity, he shouldn’t be surprised at a response. “Terry, you’re a high-profile person,” Lemon said. “You’re writing things out there, you know you’re going to get backlash.”
The segment ended as Crews was speaking and time ran out. “I’m over, Terry, I’m over, I gotta go,” Lemon said, and not, as some reports indicate, “I’m over it.”
Watch the segment above.