Don Lemon Defends Maxine Waters' 'Confrontational' Remarks: 'I Understand Her Anger'
'People with half a brain' know Maxine Waters wasn't inciting violence
CNN anchor Don Lemon defended Rep. Maxine Waters' comments, calling for Black Lives Matter rioters to be more "confrontational," after she was accused of inciting violence as the Derek Chauvin trial goes to the jury.
On Saturday, Waters joined protesters in Minnesota as demonstrations over the death of Daunte Wright entered the seventh night.
Waters told the protesters at Brooklyn Center "to get more confrontational" while encouraging rioters to ignore the curfew - just one day after protests descended into violence and looting.
"We've got to stay on the street, and we've got to get more active, we've got to get more confrontational. We've got to make sure that they know that we mean business."
Lemon praised Waters as a "sharp-tongued, rabble-rousing lawmaker who came out of the Civil Rights movement" and had to fight "tooth and nail" as a Black woman for everything she has gotten.
"While I, as a Black person, can understand her rage and her anger ... and I understand that she makes a lot of people uncomfortable," Lemon said.
"Do you really think Maxine Waters is calling for violence?" Lemon asked.
"Maxine Waters is not calling for violence. Everyone knows that. She makes a lot of people uncomfortable, especially a lot of men and quite frankly, especially a lot of White men because she puts them in her place."
"She tells you, 'Shut up!' ... and she gives it to you like it is!"
But Lemon admitted Water's remarks were not "constructive" and that she should have "absolutely not" and that she "handed" "ammunition" to her enemies.
"Maxine Waters is not the issue here," Lemon told colleague Wolf Blitzer.
"Was it strategist for Maxine Watters to say what she said in this moment?"
"No. She needs to be more responsible with her words," Lemon continued.
"She should know better ... but was Maxine Waters really calling for people to loot and riot? I think most people with half a brain knows that's not what she was doing."
"I don't want to sit here and criticize and demonize Maxine Waters for speaking the truth, for where she comes from and what she is and the urgency for people to get out and demonstrate and demonstrate in the right way, not causing riots and violence."
PBS correspondent Yamiche Alcindor also defended Waters with an attempted "fact-check" of Chauvin's defense team.
"Eric Nelson is now using Rep Maxine Waters saying that protesters should get 'more active' & 'more confrontational' if Derek Chauvin isn’t convicted as a reason for a mistrial to be declared. He’s claiming she threatened violence. Fact check: Waters did not threaten violence," Alcindor wrote.