CNN anchor Don Lemon was at a loss for words after a royal commentator told him reparations are necessary – but they should be demanded from the African chiefs who sold their subjects into slavery.
Lemon interviewed Hilary Fordwich on the day of Queen Elizabeth II’s funeral and suggested the British royal family should pay reparations.
Lemon said: ‘Well, this is coming when… all of this wealth, and you hear about it, comes as England is facing rising costs of living, a living crisis, austerity budget cuts, and so on.
‘And then you have those who are asking for reparations for colonialism, and they’re wondering, you know, $100 billion, $24 billion here and there, $500 million there.
‘Some people want to be paid back and members of the public are wondering, why are we suffering when you have all of this vast wealth? Those are legitimate concerns.’
Fordwich answered: ‘Well, I think you’re right about reparations in terms of if people want it though. What they need to do – is you always need to go back to the beginning of a supply chain, where was the beginning of the supply chain?
‘That was in Africa, and when it crossed the entire world, when slavery was taking place. Which was the first nation in the world that abolished slavery? The first nation in the world to abolish it, it was started by William Wilberforce, was the British.
‘In Great Britain, they abolished slavery. 2,000 Naval men died on the high seas trying to stop slavery. Why? Because the African kings were rounding up their own people, they had them on cages waiting in the beaches, no one was running into Africa to get them.
‘And I think you’re totally right. If reparations needs to be paid, we need to go right back to the beginning of that supply chain and say, ‘who was rounding up their own people and having them handcuffed in cages? Absolutely. That’s where they should start.
‘And maybe, I don’t know, the descendants of those families where they died at the in the high seas trying to stop the slavery, that those families should receive something too I think at the same time.’
CNN anchor Don Lemon interviewed Hilary Fordwich on the night of Queen Elizabeth II’s funeral. The anchor suggested the royal family should pay slavery reparations
The interview between Lemon and Fordwich occurred the evening of the Queen’s funeral
Lemon concluded the interview after Fordwich’s response and said ‘it’s an interesting discussion’
The royal commentator’s response immediately silenced Lemon as he decided to conclude the interview.
‘It’s an interesting discussion,’ Lemon said. ‘Thank you so much, I appreciate it. We’ll continue to discuss in the future.’
Britain was the first country in the world to abolish slavery permanently.
Some other countries imposed limited bans, but in 1833 the trade was abolished in the UK with the Slavery Abolition Act.
African leaders played a part in trading their own people to European countries as the demand grew.
The Portuguese would purchase enslaved Africans that had been held captive since the tribal wars. Africans would also transport slaves to the coastline to sell them off to Europeans, according to Britannica.
Royal commenter Fordwich is a global business consultant and a regular media contributor, according to her Women’s Media Center profile.
Fordwich is ‘a national Royal Watcher’ for networks, including Sunday Morning, CNN and CBS. She has covered every royal wedding since William and Kate.
The interview with the royal commentator came days after CNN announced Lemon would be retiring his night primetime show for a morning gig with Poppy Harlow and Kaitlan Collins.
Some on Twitter speculated that Lemon’s lack of response to Fordwich was a result of CNN’s ‘new policy’ to not bash conservatives and deliver ‘fair news’ amid the recent wave of layoffs of infamous liberal journalists at the media group.
Lemon spoke up for the first time on Thursday about CNN’s latest shakeup and dubbed the change a promotion. He insisted that the network wasn’t making him change his left-leaning views after his colleagues – who were overly critical of Donald Trump and the GOP – were fired.
‘This is not someone saying you must move to the right, Don Lemon, and must not give so much of your perspective. None of that has happened,’ Lemon said. ‘All of that is Fodder for Twitter.
‘I was not demoted. None of that. This is an opportunity. This is a promotion.’
Kaitlan Collins (left) and Poppy Harlow (right) will appear in the new morning show alongside Lemon
CEO Chris Licht (above) called the trio ‘compelling and reliable’ as CNN experiences a shift in operations, with Licht leading the purge against journalists overly critical of the GOP
Lemon’s new production with Harlow and Collins will replace the ‘New Day’ show hosted by John Berman and Brianna Keilar that runs from 6 to 9am.
The call is one of CNN’s new CEO Chris Licht’s most prominent decisions as he seeks to rid of and steer the outlet away from ‘opinion-based partisan news’ and anchors who slam conservatives and the GOP.
CNN has been purging itself of the reputation of being a woke media source since Licht pledged to make the network reliable to the people again by halting the slander of Republicans.
The new movement has resulted in the termination of popular CNN hosts, including John Harwood and Brian Stelter, along with their shows.
Licht previously warned CNN staffers that changes to the network were coming to the network that they would ‘not understand’ or ‘like.’