Don Lemon’s open letter to Russell Simmons polarizes; Touré, Simmons respond [video]

CNN’s Don Lemon was labeled a “turncoat mofo” and “dangerous” when, in the wake of the George Zimmerman verdict, he emerged with his list of five rules to live by, which he handily summed up in one tweet.

Those comments led Def Jam records co-founder Russell Simmons to issue an open letter to Lemon on his Global Grind website and declare Lemon a “slave” who should stick to reading the news. Lemon responded today with his own open letter to Simmons, and response was polarized.

Supporters applauded Lemon’s stand for personal responsibility despite an environment of racism.

Critics, though, thought Lemon was only embarrassing himself further.

Also unimpressed were MSNBC host Touré and Simmons himself.

Scolder? That’s an improvement over “slave.”

That’s a good start.

Simmons reiterated his message that it’s the war on drugs that is doing the most damage to the black community, though we’re still not sure why promoting high quality education and urging kids to pull up their pants are somehow mutually exclusive.

The backlash over Lemon’s “five rules” has carried on for weeks now and looks to keep going.

Editor’s note: This post has been updated with additional tweets.

Related:

‘Turncoat mofo’: CNN’s Don Lemon slammed after agreeing with Bill O’Reilly’s comments on black community

‘Just read the news’: Russell Simmons calls Don Lemon ‘a dangerous talking head’

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