CNN anchor Don Lemon was at a loss for words after a royal commentator told him that reparations are necessary – but 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 that the British royal family should pay compensation.
Lemon said: ‘Well, it’s coming when… all this wealth, and you’re hearing about it, is coming while England is facing rising costs of living, a living crisis, budget cuts, and so on.
‘And then you have those asking for reparations for colonialism and they wonder, 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 this enormous wealth? These are legitimate concerns.’
Fordwich replied: ‘Well, I think you’re right about compensation, as far as if people want it. What they need to do – do you always have to go back to the beginning of a supply chain, where was the beginning of the supply chain?
‘It was in Africa and when it crossed the whole world when slavery took place. Which nation was the first nation in the world to abolish slavery? The first nation in the world to abolish it, it was started by William Wilberforce, was the British.
‘In Britain they abolished slavery. 2,000 sailors died on the high seas trying to stop slavery. Why? Because the African kings gathered their own people, they had them in cages and waiting on the beaches, no one ran into Africa to get them.
‘And I think you’re absolutely right. If reparations are to be paid, we have to go back to the beginning of that supply chain and say, ‘who rounded up their own people and handcuffed them in cages? Absolutely. That’s where they have to start.
‘And maybe, I don’t know, the descendants of the families where they died on the high seas trying to stop slavery, that those families should also receive something, I think at the same time.’
CNN anchor Don Lemon interviewed Hilary Fordwich the night of Queen Elizabeth II’s funeral. The anchor proposed that the royal family should pay reparations for slavery
The interview between Lemon and Fordwich took place on the evening of the Queen’s funeral
Lemon ended the interview after Fordwich’s response, saying ‘it’s an interesting discussion’
The royal commentator’s response immediately silenced Lemon as he decided to end the interview.
“It’s an interesting discussion,” Lemon said. ‘Thank you very much, I appreciate it. We will continue to discuss in the future.’
Britain was the first country in the world to abolish slavery permanently.
Some other countries introduced limited prohibitions, but in 1833 the trade was abolished in Great Britain with the Slavery Abolition Act.
African leaders played a role in trading their own people to European countries as demand grew.
The Portuguese wanted to buy slaves from Africans who had been held captive since the tribal wars. Africans would also transport slaves to the coast to sell them to Europeans, according to Britannica.
Royal commentator 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 just days after CNN announced Lemon would retire her nightly 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” of not bashing conservatives and delivering “fair news” amid the latest wave of firings of notoriously liberal reporters at the media group.
Lemon spoke for the first time Thursday about CNN’s latest shakeup, dubbing the change a campaign. He insisted the network didn’t make him change his left-leaning views after his colleagues — who were overly critical of Donald Trump and the GOP — were fired.
‘It’s not somebody saying you have to move to the right, Don Lemon, and don’t give so much of your perspective. None of that has happened,” Lemon said. “All of that is fodder for Twitter.
‘I wasn’t demoted. None of that. This is an option. This is a promotion.’
Kaitlan Collins (left) and Poppy Harlow (right) will appear on 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 reporters 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, which runs from 6 to 9 in the morning.
The call is one of CNN’s new CEO Chris Licht’s most prominent decisions as he seeks to get rid of and steer the outlet away from “opinion-based partisan news” and anchors bashing conservatives and the GOP.
CNN has cleared itself of the reputation of being a vigilant media source since Licht promised to make the network trustworthy to the people again by stopping the smearing of Republicans.
The new move has resulted in the termination of popular CNN hosts, including John Harwood and Brian Stelter, along with their shows.
Licht warned former CNN staffers that there were changes coming to the network that they ‘wouldn’t understand’ or ‘like.’