"Pain and fear. Pain and fear," Lemon said on CNN. "Listen, I know people are afraid. They see the people out on the streets. They're not afraid of the legitimate protesters, but they're afraid of the looters. Even coming into their own homes. Coming into their businesses. And there are many people who live during the civil rights movement who faced the very same fear."
"I had Bernice King on the other night. Same fear when mobs would show up at her house, when they would burn crosses on their lawn, when their property would be damaged, when black families would be in fear of being dragged out of their homes in the middle of the night. None of it is right, but what I'm saying is we are gripped in fear right now and we don't know what to do on many, many different levels and it's time for some understanding," Lemon continued.
"No one wants to go back to the 1960s and we don't want to progress forward -- we don't want to move forward without gaining some understanding of where we are in the moment and how we're going to change things, and that comes with everyone letting their guard down, having some empathy for the person that you don't really know about and listening, and not just having -- we always say -- I'm sick of people saying -- Chris, we do it all the time, let's have a conversation. Well, where do you go after that conversation? There's got to be some action, right?" Lemon said.
The conversation Lemon had with CNN's Chris Cuomo on insurrection:
CHRIS CUOMO, CNN: Right. Because, you know, look, I think -- I'm pretty sure -- I've had so many different quotes in my head recently, but Tupac Shakur gave an interview where he eloquently said, I thought, blacks have been asking, asking, asking for a long time, let us in, let us in, let us in. Begging, begging, begging, it's bad out here, let us in. We ask and you don't let us in. We beg and you don't let us in. We start banging on the door because we need to get in. We can't stay out here. We're dying out here. Do you think we're going to keep asking at some point? Now, I know that sounds incendiary to some people, but everything that has mattered in American history has happened because people got to a point where their desperation led them to action and they insisted things got better.
We've never done it by conversation and a pat on the back. It doesn't mean insurrection. It doesn't mean civil war. It means passion that fuels anger that fuels change.
DON LEMON, CNN: But the thing is, Chris, it does mean insurrection, and I don't mean -- I don't mean it in the way people -- let me -- it means insurrection when people get tired and if no one listens, then it fuels insurrection, do you understand what I'm saying?
LEMON: After a while people say, okay, look, I'm tired of this. I'm tired of it and either you let me in, you understand me, I'm gonna force my way into the conversation, force my way into the system. I'm gonna demand that you let me into the house, meaning -- I'm talking about -- you get what I'm saying, the metaphorical house. And you're going to have to do it and people aren't going to like it. So why can't we all figure out how to do it now instead of an insurrection that happens because no one wants to change?