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Congressman Barney Frank Gets Married; Michael Johnson's Controversial Comment about Black Athletes; Frank Ocean Says He's Gay
Aired July 7, 2012 - 22:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
DON LEMON, CNN HOST: Hello, everyone. I'm Don Lemon. The stories you're talking about in just a moment. But first, let's get you up to speed on some of the day's headlines.
We are following news tonight about a deadly disease outbreak with no name and only children as the victims. It's some kind of illness that doctors have never seen before and, so far, can't treat it and they can't stop it. At least 61 children are dead; all of them in Cambodia and medical officials are urgently trying to figure out what it is and somehow keep it from spreading to other countries.
Just months before his retirement, Massachusetts congressman Barney Frank is a newly married man. He married his long time partner, Jim Ready, tonight in a ceremony officiated by the state's governor, Deval Patrick. Massachusetts is one of six states that allow same-sex marriage.
And, yes, it is that time of year again. Pamplona, Spain, 400- year-old tradition of running bulls through the streets. It is the first day of the annual eight-day festival highlighted by massive bulls run along people of questionable sanity. A few people need medical treatment today. The animals wind up in the bull fighting ring.
Here's what else we have for you on CNN Saturday night.
LEMON (voice-over): One of the fastest men on earth.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You want to get up to speed as quickly as possible.
LEMON: Reveals a secret to his success, slavery.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I was able to break the world record.
LEMON: Is he right? Does the color of your skin make you better? Faster? Stronger?
And the upside of being on the DL.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: There are going to be people who don't understand it. LEMON: A bold move or bad for business? What would you say?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Well, me? Of the future?
LEMON: To your 12-year-old self if you could.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Don't -- don't do -- I'm not.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Excuse me.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Charming! No wonder I'm single!
LEMON: Wanted, must be loud and in your face.
Fluid and politics, and baseball and controversy.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I didn't think he would have the guts to do it.
LEMON: John Rocker is here live.
LEMON: All Right, everyone. Here we go.
I'm going to ask this question right up front. Are black people better at sports than white people? More specifically, are black people engineered to be better?
Michael Johnson, Remember him? Four-time Olympic gold medallist, once referred to as the fastest man in the world, well, he is now pretty fast with his opinions. He is telling London's daily mail quote, "all my life I believe I became an athlete through my own determination but it's impossible to think that being descended from slaves hasn't left an imprint through the generations. Difficult as it was to hear slavery has benefited descendants like me and I believe there is a superior athletic gene in us."
Yes, he did say that.
Join me to talk about it is Bomani Jones, ESPN and SBnation.com contributor and Kenneth Shropshire. Kenneth is the author of "In Black and White, Raised and Sports in America."
Gentlemen, thank you for being there.
So, listen. What do you think? What is the bottom line here when you hear those comments from Mr. Johnson? I will start with you, Kenneth.
KENNETH SHROPSHIRE, PROFESSOR, WHARTON, UNIVERSITY OF PENNSYLVANIA: Well, it's problematic. It's nothing new. This is something that has occurred over the past hundred years initially with African-American athletic success, post the Berlin Olympic games with Jesse Owens. And then, again in the '70s, we saw it a lot.
But this is a story that emerges and there rarely been any sort of foundation for anyone to make such statements.
LEMON: There have been a number of studies gone, I mean Bomani, and this is drawing controversy because many people who believe that what Michael Johnson says is true, both black and white.
BOMANI JONES, CONTRIBUTOR, SBNATION.COM: Yes, but I think it is number one issue of correlation and cause sayings because so many different issues with the same structures and everything else. Because one thing you can say are black people better at sports and then it begs the question what sport are you talking about? Soccer is the most popular sport in the world in the Europeans seems to do just fine with it.
The next thing I want to bring up is Michael Johnson is not a scientist. So, I think it's easy for a lot of people to bag on him about this but he knows so much on the topic. It's a correlation cause sayings issue and when he says there is a super athletic gene in all of us I'm trying to figure out why I'm sitting here talking to you and not going to London next month.
LEMON: Let's talk a little bit more this breeding argument. I want to read something that Lee Evans said. Lee Evans is an Olympic gold medallist. He says, "we were bred for it. Certainly the black people who survived in a slave ships must have contained a high proportion of the strongest then on the plantations a strong black man was mated with a strong black woman and we are were bred for physical qualities."
So again, he is saying this is, Bomani, but still you're not buying into that?
JONES: He's not a scientist either. I mean, this is -- it's worth noting we are a little bit falls beyond slavery. I don't know exactly how much the 150 years since then would have out-bred some of these characteristics.
But once again, I understand why people could say that they seen a certain thing and then say, well, of course, it has to be da, da, da. Well, who is Lee Evans?
LEMON: Mr. Shropshire, listen. I want you to weigh in on this because -- can you understand why some people may think if you look at the NBA now and you see the numbers, mostly African-Americans. And if you look at baseball, it is becoming now more Hispanics. In baseball, some people are saying, well, it is because of the way that Hispanics were bred. In basketball, it's because of the way African-Americans' bodies are made. They are longer. They are lankier. They are taller. And I say, what about the, you know, the tall Russians? What about people like Zaza Pachulia who from the Georgia Republic who is also tall and lanky as well? What do you make of that?
SHROPSHIRE: Well, as Bomani points out, there is something to hard work as well. Look at the influx of eastern Europeans in the NBA. Look at the -- as you said, the increase in Latinos in baseball and the decline of African-Americans of also an African-American becomes un-athletic.
LEMON: But, listen, when you think about Jeremy Lin, the whole reason that Jeremy Lin, number one, because he is very talented. But number two because rarely do you see Asian basketball players succeed or get to that level. And even so, even that tall. Well, it hasn't -- doesn't it have something to do with genetics you don't see people who are as tall because they are certain ethnicities?
SHROPSHIRE: Look, Don. I hope science at some points takes more time with this, but that has not occurred. I mean, science should be focus on those 61 kids you talked about at the top of the hour that decide from some mysterious disease. The idea of focusing on this idea of there is some athletics superiority based on genetics, is a waste of time.
LEMON: It is waste -- my question was going to be, why isn't science taking more time to study this? And you think even by doing it, it would be a waste of time?
SHROPSHIRE: What is the ultimate outcome? You know? In the 100 meters of London we see blacks with ten-pound weights on like we have race horses or whites in baseball only get two strikes all of a sudden. What kinds of changes do we tend to make other than saying there is something to the hard work of individuals, no matter what their race, the desire, the interest, in different sports and the opportunity.
LEMON: Yes. Maybe it has to do, too, with the opportunity as you say growing up in certain neighborhoods, which type of sports you had the opportunity to play.
But, listen. I want to go beyond this because you guys, as you guys said at the top of this broadcast, this has happened before. We heard about in the '70s and '80s and '90s and one of the most iconic moments came in 1988, you guys remember, when sportscaster Jimmy the Greek made these comments and they played back by CNN's Larry King? Take a listen to this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JIMMY "THE GREEK" SNYDER, SPORTSCASTER: Black is a better athlete to begin with because he has been bred to be that way, because of hi his high thighs and big thighs that go up into his back and they can jump higher and run faster because of their bigger thighs, you see.
The white man has to overcome that. But they don't try hard enough to overcome it. This goes back all the way to the civil war when during the slave trading the owner, the slave owner would -- would -- would -- would breed his big black to his big woman so that he could have a big -- a big black kids.
(END VIDEO CLIP) LEMON: You know --
SHROPSHIRE: Another Nobel Prize winner there.
LEMON: Just hearing that, you know, you're just going just stop. Stop right there. Don't say it. But Jimmy was probably fired from CBS for his comments. Michael Johnson is also a sportscaster, guys. Should he be fired?
I guess you're going to weigh in next. Stand by.
LEMON: OK. So black athletes, are they genetically made better than white athletes?
Just for the break, you know, we played you that infamous sound bite from Jimmy, "the Greek." And it was so, profound to see in the air. As this is so interesting, we are playing a part of it again. Take a listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SNYDER: This goes back all the way to the civil war when during the slave trading, the big -- the owner, the slave owner would -- would -- would -- would breed his big black to his big woman so that he could have a big -- a big -- a big black kids.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
LEMON: OK. So CBS promptly fired Jimmy "the Greek" who was a long time sportscaster there. Michael Johnson is also a sportscaster, but he works for the BBC. And Johnson told London Daily Mail in part that he believes slavery benefited the descendants like him and lot black athletes with the superior gene.
So, should he be fired too? Author and Professor Kenneth Shropshire joins me again and Bomani Jones, ESPN and SBnation.com contributor. They are back.
Bomani, what do you think? Should Jones be fired or this is a double standard because he is a black athlete, or just have times changed now?
JONES: Well, somebody were to fire him, I would understand but I think an important variable to point out on that is Jimmy "the Greek" worked on CBS, the NFL today. And the NFL is a very conservative, don't rock the boat, sort of operation. That's the sort of thing that being associated with the NFL, you will wind up getting fired for.
I think it's hardly ridiculous. If Jimmy "the Greek" had he not been fired I don't think an issue. But, I think the real fireable offense for him was letting somebody put a microphone if his face when he had absolutely no business talking on television. LEMON: Kenneth, should he be fired?
SHROPSHIRE: I don't think so. I think Michael is more on a personal journey. This is in context of a documentary. He made some comments at a point believing what he believes but without going through a full scientific method and understands what the reality is.
LEMON: Does it sound worse coming from the mouth of a white man? Is that -- do you think that's why? Because, essentially, I think you know, the language that Jimmy "the Greek" used, a big black, you know, man with it a big black woman for a black baby, OK. But come on, guys. They are saying the same thing.
JONES: Well, I think one of the difficulties is when you start talking about people talking about race in these context is we start making references to black people that are uninformed. They are as if any stereotypes of black people that are (INAUDIBLE). This is about as close as you can get to something possible about big black people.
So, when you start hearing people talking about black people and they sound like they are discussing animals, it does make people cringe. Of course, if can make the argument that in slavery, black people were treated like animals. You could see how, you know, you could see how that goes. What he said wasn't that utterly preposterous. But, I don't think double standard is quite the right word. I'm a little uncomfortable saying exactly what it is, but I will say it does sound worse coming from a white person because there is a historical lineage that says, that normally these things in bad people when white people talk about black people and have no idea what they are talking about.
LEMON: You guys remember James Baldwin and you remember the fire next time and then the forward to that letter he -- that book he wrote a letter to my nephew? Do you remember that to his nephew? Kind of the same argument but he says here, he says it will be hard, James, but you come from sturdy peasant stock men who picked cotton and dammed rivers and built railroads and in the teeth of the most terrifying odds, achieved unassailable and monumental dignity. You come from a long line of poets, and he goes on to talk about since homer and he says, you know, goes to says, my dungeon shook and my chains fell off.
Is he essentially saying the same thing or using the argument when they think it benefits them and others are offended by it, Kenneth?
SHROPSHIRE: Well, you know, the positive is we all have a history. We all come from somewhere. There is an influence from everyone based on their -- their backgrounds. But to say that because I came across in a slave ship I should be able to run the hundred faster than anyone else, there is something missing there. There are few more links need to be there before you can come to that kind of conclusion.
LEMON: Bomani, I cut you off. What were you saying? JONES: Yes. Baldwin didn't say that we built dams rivers and built railroads because we were naturally built to do so. He said that we did that and we survived on the back end. Speaking to the strength more figuratively literal, that's of course, talk about the existence, not about the physical presence. So, I don't think supposed in the same -- they are close. That is the point you want -- I promise you that -- if I heard -- James Baldwin say we are nationally built to build rivers I would be inspired.
LEMON: And you know I have used that quote in graduation speeches in a lot of speeches that I do. I know what he means by that but you can take it, depending on your interpretation of it, to mean the same thing.
Kenneth Shropshire, Bomani Jones. Thank you both very much. Appreciate it, guys in joining me on Saturday night.
SHROPSHIRE: Thank you.
LEMON: My next guest says the priest he beat up molested him as a child. The jury says not guilty. Was justice served? Hear his story next and then this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
LEMON: Wanted, must be loud and in your face. Fluent in politics, baseball, and controversy.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I didn't think he would have the guts to go through with it.
LEMON: John Rocker is here live.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
LEMON: Tortured by flashbacks of abuse nearly 30 years. That is what William Lynch says triggered an irrational fear that led him to attack a retired priest. A California jury found Lynch not guilty of assaulting Gerald Lindner two years ago. He told jurors Lindner raped him and his brother when they were young boys. And lynch testified. He went to the man, the priest, sign a confession and then he punched him. The jury Thursday also failed to reach a verdict on a misdemeanor assault charge.
William Lynch and his attorney Pat Harris are joining me from Los Angeles.
Will and Pat, thank you so much for joining us.
WILLIAM LYNCH, ACQUITTED OF ASSAULTING PRIEST: Hi, Thanks for having us.
Thanks for having us.
LEMON: So Will, I'm sure this has been a tough journey for you. Do you feel vindicated by the not guilty verdict?
LYNCH: I feel vindicated to a certain degree. I think there's more work that needs to be done so that people don't have to do what I did. In fact, I think when it comes to vigilante justices, as they are calling it; we really are asking the wrong questions. I think we need to be addressing is why are people taking the law into their own hands and why are juries having a hard time convicting them.
LEMON: Let's talk more about that because you -- you've heard the critics. You just mentioned it. They are saying this verdict is a green light for vigilante justice. Do you agree your actions could inspire more violent acts?
LYNCH: It's possible, but my actions were not vigilante justice whatsoever. I mean, I acted in the face of a system that fails to protect children and, I mean, it protects institutions but not children and that is something needs to be rectified.
LEMON: Do you regret -- do you have any regrets at all about what you did by attacking Lindner?
LYNCH: The regrets that I have is that in doing that, I was perpetuating the cycle of violence, sexual abuse and violence and that is something I don't want to see continue. And that is why I created this nonprofit called "Roots for Individual and Social Enterprise" and you can find us on the web at risecorp.org. And we are going to be doing what we can to get the statute of limitations revealed and among other things.
LEMON: I want to talk more about that. Because I think you bring up a very important point. And that is the cycle you perpetuate and you continue the cycle, the same as violence when someone is beaten, if someone is abused. Sometimes, they go on to perpetuate that violence and you continue it - you continue that cycle.
How are you dealing with that in your life? That -- do you believe that is sort of a repercussion of having this happen to you as a child?
LYNCH: It's absolutely repercussion of that. But it's not something I choose to dwell on. And through this process, I've been able to break the cycle. Granted, what happen happened. But since that time, I've come to realize that I was actually part of the problem and not helping.
But, again, the problem is when it comes to children, we have to protect them. If the law is not going to do it, I think the law is going to see people taking things into their own hands. And so, there is a problem out there that needs to be addressed.
LEMON: But we have this whole thing going on, you know, with Penn State and Sandusky and what have you. So, let's just be honest with the viewers about what issues do you believe that you've had in your life that stem from being abused as a child and you want other people to know about and I guess maybe you can help in the process.
LYNCH: There had been a lot of things. A lot of self-esteem issues, self-confidence issues. Just sort of disconnected sense of self, I don't feel like -- I feel like whoever I was supposed to be from the beginning I will never be that person again. But I also think that I am right where I should be now and I feel more connected to myself now than ever. And that's come from me coming out and finding my voice and becoming empowered and repealing statute of limitations is all victims want.
LYNCH: And I want to go before Congress. I want to pass a national law for this so that people can take -- we don't need a budget, we don't need anything except the opportunity to have a voice and find justice and find healing.
LEMON: Pat, is this over for him, the legal process at least?
PAT HARRIS, ATTORNEY: No, actually it's not. We go back into court on Thursday. They can retry him on the count that hung, the simple misdemeanor assault but it is not over for him. What we hope is that it's not over for Father Lindner, the priest that abused him. This man has abused a large number of people.
He got on the stand and he committed perjury. He said specifically he did not molest Will Lynch and then took the fifth amendment, shortly thereafter. We hope it's not over for him either. We hope the Santa Clara district attorney's office who so vigorously prosecuted Will Lynch under the rule of law will now look at the rule of law of perjury and a man who perjured himself right in front of them and that they will go after him now with the same vigor they went after Will Lynch.
LEMON: All right. Mr. Lynch and Mr. Harris, thank you.
HARRIS: Thank you very much for having us. Appreciate it.
LYNCH: Thanks for having us.
LEMON: All right.
Next up, pitcher turned political pundit. John Rocker. There he is. Get ready. Live.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
LEMON: So, you're out and about and you are not in front of a television to stay connected to CNN? You can. You can pull it up on your cell phone like I do or you can watch it from your computer even at work. Just go to CNN.com/TV. Tell them Don Lemon sent you.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
LEMON: All right. More of the stories you're talking about in a moment.
But first, let get you caught up on the headlines here.
Something is killing children and lots of them. Some kind of bug, some kind of illness and doctors are scramble to go find out what it is. So far, it has killed more than 60 kids. All of them are Cambodian from Cambodia and as it stands right now, there is nothing to stop it. Health officials are also worried about this thing spreading to other countries especially through air travel.
Just moments before his retirement, Massachusetts congressman, Barney Frank, is a newly married man. He married marrying his long time partner, Jim Ready, tonight in a ceremony officiated by the state government Deval Patrick. Massachusetts is one of the few states that allow same-sex marriage.
OK. You don't have to be a baseball fan to remember John Rocker. A former closer for the Atlanta braves and rival of all things New York. He got himself into big trouble in 1999 with a now infamous profile in "Sports Illustrated," and today he is sharing his opinions again.
Again, this time as an online political columnist and also has written a book called "Scars and Strikes." and he knows a lot about books. "Scars and Strikes," I wonder what that is about?
John Rocker, welcome.
JOHN ROCKER, FORMER MAJOR LEAGUE BASEBALL PITCHER: Thank you for having me, Don. Appreciate it.
LEMON: World net daily you have a new job?
ROCKER: Yes. I'm -- sorry.
LEMON: All right. So, we are going to talk about all of this. How did you go from baseball to politics? How do you that?
ROCKER: Politics has always been a passion of mine even back playing ball. Thirty minutes a day watching "Sports Center," three hours a day watching MSNBC, you know FOX Business, FOX News, whatever news program out there.
ROCKER: CNN, of course. I had to (INAUDIBLE). So, you know, three or four hours a day at that, 30 minutes a day, you know, watching about the sport that was actually, you know, playing sports things like that so I've always been, I would say, more interested in politics than in sports.
LEMON: OK. We are going to talk more about politics. Well, let's talk -- can we talk about the controversies here?
ROCKER: Why not? It's never been discussed before. You'll be the first, Don. Congratulations.
LEMON: For our viewers who don't remember the "SI" article in 1999.
ROCKER: Breaking news.
LEMON: All right. Let me read it. Let me get it in! Come on.
OK. So, here is what he said. You said in this thing, you said imagine having to take the number 7 train this is when someone asked you if you --
ROCKER: I wrote the number 7 train.
LEMON: Let me read the quote then you can talk about it. "Imagine having to take the number 7 train to the ballpark looking like you're riding Beirut next to some kid with purple hair next to some queer with AIDS right nest to some dude who just got out of jail for the fourth time right next to some 20-year-old mom with four kids. It's depressing."
So those comments led to all kinds of things, suspension, and a fine. You ha --
ROCKER: I do regret the homophobic comment. I really do.
LEMON: That's what 'm going to ask you.
ROCKER: Everything else was just --
LEMON: What do you regret?
ROCKER: It was a little depressing at the time and a little bit shocking and I had only been three or four years e moved from high school, small town, you know, small town Georgia. It was a little bit eye-opening and awakening and like, oh, really some OK. You know?
Obviously, since then, I mature. Been all over the world and things like that. But, at the time, it was a little bit unnerving. I'm not going to lie to you. Homophobic comment was inappropriate.
LEMON: Why do you regret that?
ROCKER: It's just inappropriate. It was, you know, I guess -- I guess the definition would just be inappropriate in every sort and every way the term inappropriate can be used.
LEMON: You've grown up. Do you think you were just a dumb kid back then?
ROCKER: Dumb, inexperienced.
LEMON: I'm not trying to insult you. ROCKER: Naive.
LEMON: So, you think you've grown up now?
LEMON: Do you apologize and many people didn't think the apology was sincere. Do you?
ROCKER: No, it definitely was. It definitely was.
LEMON: What do you say to the people of New York if they are watching now and people you may have offended?
ROCKER: Well, I mean, the - you know, for the umpteen time. You know, like I said, inappropriate comments from a, you know, from a naive kid that just didn't -- I didn't want -- I didn't realize my point in the world playing on national TV every day at that time, every movement, every comment watched, critiqued, analyzed.
At 23 years old, you're not prepared for that and when it happens, you're like, my God, I didn't know they were all watching to this degree whether it happens and when something like that slips out, you're like, really? I'm being observed this closely. It was really an eye opening and almost a stepping back kind of moment like, my God, I had no idea I was this important. It never dawned on me until that point.
LEMON: How old are you now, John?
ROCKER: I will be 38 in two months.
LEMON: You are 38. So, you're a 23-year-old kid and someone asks you a question in an interview, right? And then you - probably may questions and they took, you know, few things.
ROCKER: We had about 11-hour interview that day. It was all day from 9:00 in the morning until about I guess 8:00, 9:00 that night, mainly politics being discussed.
LEMON: Yes. How does it feel to be -- you're a rising star. You were the closer. I remember, lived in Philadelphia then. I think you guys were playing -- this is 1999, 2000 you guys were playing the Yankees, right, in the World Series?
LEMON: I mean, you were the star, right? And then, all of a sudden, you make these comments and then you become one of the most hated people in America. What is that like?
ROCKER: People ask me that a lot. Fortunately I'm able to live in a bubble. I think a lot of athletes can. There's so much going on. There's so much extracurricular, so many people coming at you from different sides. I'm always been, you know, very grounded in important matters are. As long as about eight to ten people in my life are happy with me, family and a select close group of friends, as long as those people are happy with me, I'm fine and I'm happy with me. The cliche, you know, some people happy, some of the time, all you know happy, and some of the time whatever, you can't always keep everybody happy all the time so why bother trying? That select group if they are happy with me, I must be living OK.
LEMON: I can't wait to turn when we go to break how people are commenting on this but we are just getting started with this, John. Because we are going to talk a lot more about politics, his thoughts on current event, including President Obama who has said, you know what? I'm not going to vote for the guy. We are going to talk about that.
More with John Rocker, coming up next.
LEMON: All right. We're back. And we're talking with John Rocker, a former baseball player and now a columnist at worldnetdaily.com. He has written a book and it's called "Scars and Strikes," about his life in the big leagues in a controversial remarks that made. So much news beyond the sports world, and so, I said to you that it was interesting to see what people are saying on twitter. I can't believe to see Don Lemon and John Rocker in the same venue talking of them.
ROCKER: My God.
LEMON: The world is going to come to an end. I knew people would take that dumb kid. That's just a figure of speech. I'm not saying you're done. You got it, didn't you?
ROCKER: I'm fine with it.
LEMON: All right. Let's talk about the race for the White House now, John. No surprise you have strong opinions, especially when it comes to the president. An interview for "World Net Daily," you said in "my strong opinion, Barack Obama does not hold a single core value or belief consistent with the principles that created this amazing country we call the United States of America."
What do you mean by that?
LEMON: This could get into a very long winded diatribe type answer. I just think President Obama comes from a very socialist minded platform. I don't think socialist minded platforms and ideals is what built our economy is what the greatest generation held close to their hearts as far as the way they conducted their lives daily and individual-by-individual in the greatest generation call it from the 20s, you know, on to where we find ourselves now. I just don't think the dependence on the government 49 percent of Americans right now depend on the government in some way, shape or form as Obama care becomes law in 2014. That's got to go up into the 70 percent, 80 percent range. LEMON: Let me jump in here. Because what many on the right see as social -- being a socialist, many people look as helping that is what America does.
LEMON: Hang on. Let me finish. And then when it comes to -- when you talk about Obama care, health care, there's so many people in this country who don't have health care and who need --
ROCKER: Yes, there has to be a better way to do it than more burdens on the government which is not --
LEMON: More on the American people who don't have health care.
ROCKER: Our burden, Don. It's not burden on the American government. It is our burden passed through the federal government. It's got to be a better way.
LEMON: All right. But you realize when people -- when you say words like you and I were talking about the word racist. I mean, that is over. For many I think on the left and for people who are independent when you hear socialist throwing around that is like throwing a bomb into --
ROCKER: It is -- we talk about - you know, I will go throughout at CNN with some very tough times. I look to one person to get myself out of a tough time. It's not the federal government. It's me. It's the guy in the mirror.
LEMON: You never had membership in your life ever?
ROCKER: Literally not since the age of 18. And I played with the Atlanta Braves. So, there has never been independence from mommy and daddy from that day forward. It's -- whatever I have in my possession right now, I have blood sweat and tears I earned it.
LEMON: No one in your family has ever needed any help, any assistance from anything or anyone?
ROCKER: Not that I can really think of. Not really. And no, never social programs -- never. Obviously, the older senior Social Security and Medicare, things like that, but --
LEMON: Those are social programs.
ROCKER: They are. But when you get to be 80, you know, not much you can do from that point on.
LEMON: OK. Let's move on now, because you have weighed in on the Trayvon Martin killing. George Zimmerman was released on bail again yesterday. And here is what you said about that kid. You said Trayvon Martin is being treated like a pawn for the promotion of a social agenda - at least for right now. Next year, there will be a new face. But for now, this special young's man's life is being exploited for furtherance of some victimology and oppression campaign who is promoting victimology.
'So, what do you mean by that?
ROCKER: Right back to the -- the basis what we talked about during the break, that will end the one word to end all discussions, racism. If Trayvon Martin had been killed by a black man we would not know who Trayvon Martin because George Zimmerman has less pigment in his skin than Trayvon Martin did, it's a big deal.
Like the duke rape case both turned out to be hoaxes and obviously, Trayvon Martin is dead and no hoax there.
LEMON: But I think you're maybe right on that we wouldn't - I think you are right on that that we wouldn't be talking about it because --
ROCKER: Shame on both sides of the fence. It's an absolutely shame.
LEMON: Yes. But here's a thing. I think people believe that if Trayvon Martin's killer had been a black man that black man would have been arrested. And so, the justice -- that process would have played out. And I think when it comes to the Trayvon Martin case and many people see as racism or what have you. I think people want to have justice play out in the courtroom.
ROCKER: Justice has not played out. Not played out.
LEMON: I think they wanted a jury --
ROCKER: But you do understand the self-defense law that exists in Florida, there, obviously, was, you know, a bit of a catch-22 there. Obviously -- that's the thing when these situations immediately come to light in the media, the media knows about 20 percent of actually what is going on. There's always been pictures have been released. There's an inflation been released for the last two or three weeks. So when George Zimmerman, I mean, incurred quite a beating. There was, you know, stitches in the head and all kinds of things, the forensics how the bullet went into young Trayvon Martin, you know, and showed the distance of Trayvon Martin on top of George Zimmerman beating the hell out of him.
LEMON: I don't think that has been decided yet. I think that it should be decided and that should be decided in a courtroom and not from the police department.
ROCKER: It should be. Yet another situation where white sides with white and black sides with black and we just duke it out in the form of racial tension like it's played out so many times.
As long as these situations continue to rare their ugly heads, racial relations in this country will continue to erode and not get better. It's a very, very sad situation.
LEMON: For time purposes, I have to run. I have people in my ear saying we are out of time but I love having these conversations and I think it's interesting because people will look at it and go, but the headline will be written, Don Lemon and John Rocker, go at it over race issues or he calls him dumb and then when the actual conversation was not like that, it was just you and I talking but then, someone with a headline will say something else.
ROCKER: I've been the butt end of that scenario. I don't know where do I stop?
LEMON: Listen. I may disagree with you on everything you say and you may not disagree with me, but I thank you for coming in I appreciate you coming in.
ROCKER: I love debating.
LEMON: Thank you, John.
ROCKER: Thank you. No problem.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
LEMON: The upside of being on the DL.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: There are going to be people who don't understand it.
LEMON: A bold move, or bad for business?
LEMON: Today is a big day for hip-hop. The words of music pioneer Russell Simmons echoed across the Internet this week, but was the subject of these words a conversation that is long overdue. Frank Ocean, an up and coming singer recently posted on his Tumbler that when he was 19-years-old, he fell in love with a man.
In a heartfelt post here is what he writes. He says, "we spent that summer and the summer after together every day almost and on the days we were together, time would glide, most of the day I'd see him and his smile." Ocean went on to say "by the time I realized I was in love, it was malignant. It was hopeless. There was no escaping."
Joining me now is Dean Obeidallah and also Ana Navarro.
Hey guys, many of the headlines reporting this story call him brave as does his mom. But Ana, this is 2012. Is it brave to be honest about your sexuality now?
ANA NAVARRO, REPUBLICAN STRATEGIST: You know, it is still brave, unfortunately. I wish it weren't. I wish we didn't have to make these announcements. I wish that, you know, coming out and saying I'm gay was just like coming out and me saying I'm straight or saying I'm Hispanic or you saying, you know, you're black. This really, I hope one day, stops being a political issue and it turns into a personal issue.
LEMON: Dean, how do you think this is going to impact Ocean's career, or will it at all?
DEAN OBEIDALLAH, POLITICAL COMEDIAN: That's really an interesting question. And that's - I mean, that's the part that gets the brakes. At first, I thought I made it with the yawn. I think a lot of people as well and another gay celebrity, big deal.
But you know what, country singer, Shelley Right, after she came out, she lost a third f her sales in a record. They say there is a certain places don't book her anymore and he might go up against that as well, and hip-hop community, homophobia is notorious. Every video was a hot woman in it. Even his last video, a woman came in hot woman. So, only time would tell, will it hurts his career or not. I hope it doesn't, sincerely.
LEMON: What do you think that Ana? When it comes that -- he brings up a very good point about other entertainers that who have come out, but then when you look at Neil Patrick Harris who really sort of personifies the other side of that, he has been very successful and is an openly gay man.
NAVARRO: Well, you know Don, first, let me confess and say that I know more about high hop than I do about hip-hop.
NAVARRO: And you know, but I have read it is a very macho driven music movement and I will also tell you that the only Mr. Ocean I knew until this week was the guy from Oceans 11.
That being said, I think it's great that, you know, that folks come out and they show that you can be an award winning journalist covering wars and you can be gay. You can be a hip-hop artist singing about macho lyrics and women and whatever else and be gay, that it doesn't define you. It's just, you know, something like your hair color. It's something - it's a personal, you know lifestyle that people have and it does not mean there is anything they can or cannot do.
LEMON: Do you think Dean, that, this is going to make any difference with the hip-hop community because hip-hop community has been deemed as very homophobic. I've heard it and read it in a lot of places this week. And at first, the response to what Frank Ocean did was very tepid. No one said anything and then all of the sudden, you know, Russell Simmons and other people start to jump in. Maybe, I don't know if it's guilt by association.
But, do you think this is going to change anything?
OBEIDALLAH: You know -- but when you look at the responses, Anderson Cooper came out and overwhelmingly people come out and say this is a great thing. You have Russell Simmons and Jay-Z, but you don't have a lot of other people in the community, the hip-hop community coming out. I think they are actually still afraid of being tainted as somehow being gay. Because clearly the sheer number of people at hip-hop, there has to be gay hip-hop performance and people don't want to talk about it in that business, and in time I think overcome it.
If Frank Ocean's sales don't go down, he is more popular are not effective, I think others who are gay might have the encouraged to come out as well.
LEMON: Yes. And it is always interesting, I always say that, you know the hip-hop entertainment, movies, athletics, they don't defy the rest of the population and interesting you says that. Because people here --
NAVARRO: You know, Don, the gay community has a tremendous amount of financial powers. So, if all of a sudden they become hip-hop fans, this could be a very good thing for hip-hop!
LEMON: All right, Dean and Ana, thank you.
Stand by because I want you to pay attention now. In 1993 a boy taped himself talking to his future self. Confused yet? Just wait. Now 20 years later, he interviews that young person yourself. You have to see this clip. It's next.
OFFICER ZACK HUDSON, COMMUNITY CRUSADER: I've been a police officer now for a little over 10 years. We see people at their worst. And one thing that I have seen over and over again is victimization of the elderly.
They're the forgotten portion of our society that nobody really thinks about. They're alone, and yet they don't ask for help.
Hey, buddy, you got a flat tire going there.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I know. But I don't have any money to fix it.
HUDSON: That's not good. There's not much easier to victimize.
It extremely sad. If I can help you with that tire, why don't you give me a call.
I realized that something had to be done, I had had enough.
I'm officer Zack Hudson, and I was raised by my grandparents, my great grandmother. Now I'm bringing this community together to help keep senior citizens safe. Seniors reach out directly to us.
Hey, Miss Anderson. How are you?
Cops and firefighters come across seniors that have marriage problems are able to call us. And seniors reached out directly to us.
How's your floor looking? Not so hot?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: My floor was getting mushy. I was scared to death that I would fall through it.
HUDSON: We contact (INAUDIBLE), eight-based organizations and businesses, and we get it taken care of for free.
If we get the file down, then that wheelchair won't take its toll like it did. It takes commitment from the community nice and solid.
We have 25 yards to do.
It takes commitment from the community.
Nice and solid.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I love it.
HUDSON: Elderly people rescued me in a lot, a lot of ways.
So, what do you think, Mr. Anderson.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I don't want to leave my bathroom.
HUDSON: This is an opportunity for me to give back.
LEMON: Twenty years ago, a boy taped himself talking to his future self. His name is Jeremiah McDonald. He is now 32, and he is a filmmaker. And he added new footage to create a conversation with his younger self. Here's a clip.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JEREMIAH MCDONALD, FILMMAKER: Life before the internet is kind a blur to me. The Internet is a thing you'll know what it is in a few years.
I know about my only future. I'm cool.
I'm glad that pleases you.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
LEMON: All right. Dean Obeidallah and Ana Navarro are still with me.
The video was posted two days ago. It has already been watched by nearly four million people, four million times. Ana, is that cool or it is kind of creepy to you?
NAVARRO: Well, you know, at one point, the guy says no wonder I'm still single. And I would say, look, if you were talking to maybe other girls you would be better off than talking to your 12-year-old self. But, I think it was incredibly creative. It was amusing. It was creative. It was entertaining and it was a little creepy so it was both!
LEMON: OK. So, Dean, to both of you, I'll start with you, Dean. If you could say anything to your 12-year-old self, what would it be, Dean?
OBEIDALLAH: I'd say, OK. I'd tell my 12-year-old self, first of all, buy a lot of Apple stock as much as you can and bet on the giants in both Super Bowls that you are allowed to see them. Never date anyone and named Francine or Amy. And definitely don't marry them! And last thing, always wear a condom. Remember that. Always wear a condom, young Dean. My advice, go low. Be strong.
LEMON: Well, I told my 30 something-year-old self to buy Apple stock so it was very smart of me and I don't know how I did it. It was just - so, you know.
OBEIDALLAH: Very shrewd move. Imagine if you did it at 12.
LEMON: I don't know what I was thinking. May I just get the dumb computer.
Ana, what would you say to your 12-year-old self?
NAVARRO: Well, I think I would have said to make sure and short the facebook stock, to make sure and go see Whitney Houston and Michael Jackson in concert, to make sure to live in Florida and vote for Bush in 2000. You know, I would have said, that was very important. And I think that I would also told myself to spend a little more time with my brother because he wasn't going to be around for too much longer.
LEMON: All right. Ana, thank you very much. Thank you, Dean. Appreciate it.
OBEIDALLAH: Nice seeing you, don.
LEMON: Those of you on twitter ask me what I would tell my 12- year-old self the same thing I would say to Frank Ocean. Love yourself, everyone, be dumb. Don't worry about the haters.
I'm Don Lemon. Thanks for watching. Good night.