Tennessee Republican Turns Tables on Don Lemon over Racism Claim: ‘I Am an Immigrant, in 53 Years in America, I Never Encountered a Racial Slur’

Sabi Kumar, an Indian-American Republican legislator in the Tennessee House of Representatives, turned the tables on CNN’s Don Lemon and ex-Democrat Rep. Justin Jones for pushing claims of racism.

Lemon and Jones accused Kumar of being a “racist” and smeared him as the “brown face of white supremacy.”

The Tennessee State House voted to expel two members yesterday in a historic vote.

Lemon and others called racism but Kumar fired back.

Kumar said: “I am an immigrant, everybody knows.

“I have been in this country for 53 years, and when it was 50 years, you recognized me for that.

“It was a celebration in my mind and for my family.

“In those 53 years in America, I have never encountered a racial slur.

“I’m really not aware that any of that applies to me. I live a good life. Yet you on tape call me a brown face. Yessir, it’s on tape.

You walked up to me, you had no business coming up to me, you were sitting a row or two ahead of me. “You shoved your finger in my face and said, you shoved your finder in my face and said ‘Kumar, they will never accept you.’

“You said it twice. And you were so intimidating that the sergeant-at-arms without my invitation came and intervened between us. Sir, that is very disappointing.

Don Lemon said Friday on “CNN This Morning” that Tennessee Republicans who expelled two black lawmakers did so because of “racism.”

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Lemon said, “Look, it’s. They could have done a censure. Right.

“I think the right question was, why take the most drastic action afterwards?

“This is exactly what our country was built on. On protesting.

“Not everyone — protests aren’t perfect.

“It’s also unconscious bias. It’s racism.

“It’s a double standard in our society.

“Obviously, I don’t have to say.

“I doubt they would have done this to white members because guess what? They didn’t.

“They did it to the two black members.

“And especially the two black men.

“It’s like usually, especially with something like this, the way people think about black men in this society needs to really be examined, especially with protests, especially with how we express ourselves.”

“If you look at the member there, the guy with the afro, right?

“He’s very outspoken. Justin Pearson.

“Right. I just, I just wanted to be clear because there are two Justins.

“I just wanted to be clear because he has the afro.

“Too militant or whatever you want to call him, outspoken.

“But that’s how he that’s his way of expressing himself.

“And it doesn’t mean that he’s being rude or boisterous or whatever.

“He’s expressing himself, and that’s how he feels.

“And the other guy is a more subdued, and he’s going to be on, the other, Justin, I should say, because there are two Justins.

“And that’s why I keep saying Justin Jones. That’s the way he expresses himself.

“And so I think that we really need to think about the double standard in the society.

“You may want to call it an unconscious bias. It’s racism.

“It’s exactly that’s all that it is.

“And what they were trying to do is something that was good for the country and for Tennessee and for the country.

“And they ended up with the worst outcome.”

READ MORE: Don Lemon Has Meltdown, Is ‘Apoplectic’ and Wants to Sue Variety over Sexism Allegations

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By David Hawkins

David Hawkins is a writer who specializes in political commentary and world affairs. He's been writing professionally since 2014.

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