Hold up: Is Don Lemon seriously suggesting that Donald Trump laid the groundwork for Roseanne’s racist tweet? Because that’s kind of what it sounds like:

Transcript via Grabien:

“I’m talking about the folks who are saying this has nothing to do with the president. You cannot say that and have him say and do and exhibit all the behaviors he exhibits and all of a sudden you want to be disconnected from it. It doesn’t work that way. Logic does not work that way. This is, again, the normalization of conspiracy theories and racism. And we cannot allow that to happen. It is hurting the fabric of American society. People who are racist, don’t know they’re racist. Or they say that they believe that people are going to believe they’re not racist simply because they say it is. I think we need a crash course in exactly what racism is. And again this president is trafficking in it just as Roseanne did.”

One can certainly argue that some racists have been emboldened since Trump took office. His refusal to outright denounce the Charlottesville neo-Nazis, for example, didn’t exactly make him seem tough on racists. His own remarks about Judge Curiel were abhorrent. But Roseanne’s been spewing racist crap for years, long before Donald Trump was elected. Her tweet about Susan Rice being “a man with big swinging ape balls,” for instance, was from 2013. And there was lots more where that came from. Racism predates Trump by … a long time. So no, Don Lemon, Donald Trump didn’t build Roseanne’s racism; she made that happen. Her racism is on her. Hold her accountable for her own words and actions, just as you should hold Trump accountable for his.

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