There’s a good chance that when someone on TV tells you to live a certain way, but seems to exempt themselves, they don’t actually believe it.
Don Lemon, the millionaire CNN anchor who routinely insists that he is oppressed by virtue of his race – a staged expression he vents by throwing shade on his poorer, paler supposed oppressors – just so happens to live in Sag Harbor. Sag Harbor being one of the most ethnically homogeneous areas on Long Island. It’s certainly no crime to live in a “non-diverse” neighborhood, but when you’re preaching the benefits of a classless multicultural utopia by night and sleeping it off by day in a 4.3 million dollar house surrounded on all sides by the kinds of people you claim are out to get you, you hardly come off as honest.
Lemon’s handful of viewers on social media came to his defense after this revelation was made public knowledge in the only way they knew how – by claiming that pointing out the obvious was a hateful and violent act tantamount to physically beating the man. Such is public discourse on Twitter.
What truly makes for privilege in this world is the willingness you have for towing the line and saying what the powers that be want you to say. Reciting a trendy slogan and making a hand gesture can be the difference between keeping and losing an account. Between being harangued and being praised. Between landing a job on network news as an anchor or being hired to scrub the toilets.
Don Lemon is not a working-class hero. He’s not an oppressed, second-class citizen. He’s a member of the club that you are not in. And the money that keeps him in his walled-off paradise comes from the people he tells at night to be afraid or feel guilty.