What Was the Don Lemon and Vivek Ramaswamy Argument All About?

Republican presidential candidate Vivek Ramaswamy is back in the headlines. What was the original argument with Don Lemon over? We break it down.

Allison Hunt - Author

Aug. 7 2023, Published 10:35 p.m. ET

Republican presidential candidate Vivek Ramaswamy is making headlines again after conflicting takes on Juneteenth. On the latter date, Vivek posted a video to his Twitter celebrating the day and saying that what makes America beautiful is the "vision" of what this place could be and that's what we celebrate on this day. However, at a campaign event in Iowa, he called the holiday "useless," flip-flopping on his stance from before.

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With Vivek's name being back in the press, the heated debate between former CNN anchor Don Lemon and Vivek talking about Black people and the Civil war is back in the news. What was their argument about? Don't worry we break it all down for you below.

What Was the Don Lemon and Vivek Ramaswamy Argument?

Don Lemon and Vivek Ramaswamy on CNN
Source: Getty Images

Back in April 2023, Vivek Ramaswamy appeared on CNN in the Morning and had an argument with one of the co-hosts Don Lemon. The conversation started with Vivek saying that the policies that are there for Black Americans have been "disastrous" and that the economic policies of Joe Biden are actually holding Black Americans back, relating this to the "put you back in chains" comment, and the Black Codes of the Civil War.

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Don Lemon then joins the conversation saying that he doesn't see what one has to do with the other, saying that the Civil War, "Was not fought for black people to have guns." This is referring to a comment that Vivek had made at the NRA convention. Vivek jumps in stating that that war was fought for Black people to have freedom. Don chimes in that it wasn't fought for black people to have guns. Vivek adds that Black people didn't enjoy their other freedoms until their Second Amendment rights were secured and this is where things start to go off the rails.

Don states that Black people still aren't able to "enjoy" those other freedoms with which Vivek disagrees. Don says that "When you are in Black skin and you live in this county then you can disagree with me." Vivek says that "We have to be able to talk about these issues and be open regardless of the color or our skin..." and says that comparatively to 1865 and 1964 Black Americans are equal. This comment really upset Don, who said that it was "infuriating" Vivek's "Telling of history is wrong" and that his spin that the Civil War was fought so Black people could have guns is "insulting."

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Vivek claims that Black people only started to get their freedoms after their Second Amendment rights were secured and that the NRA played a big part in that. Don quickly rebutted saying that that was not true otherwise the Civil Rights Movement wouldn't have happened.

There was no real end to the conversation. Don clearly was upset with Vivek's take on history and wrapped up the interview.

It is important to note that only a couple of days after this interview, Don Lemon was fired from CNN. While it has not been reported that it was because of this interview, this came after questionable comments about Nikki Haley as well.

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