Don Lemon Compares Government Shutdown to Slavery, Indentured Servitude

January 18, 2019

CNN host Don Lemon on Thursday night likened the situation of government employees working during the government shutdown to slavery or indentured servitude.

Lemon, who is African American, made the comment during a brief appearance on "Cuomo Prime Time" with colleague Chris Cuomo. Lemon responded to rapper Cardi B's new Instagram video slamming the shutdown. In the profanity-laced video, Cardi B said the United States "is in a hellhole right now. All for a ... wall."

"This is ridiculous. If you are being summoned to work without pay, what is the synonym for that?" Lemon said.

"And for no good reason," Cuomo interjected.

"What kind of people work without being paid? Either you're an indentured servant or you are a slave," Lemon said.

A standoff between President Donald Trump and Democratic lawmakers over border wall funding has resulted in a partial government shutdown that is now in its 28th day. Trump has said he will not sign a bill that doesn't include funding for a wall in some form. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D., Calif.) has remained adamantly opposed to Trump's request for funding, going as far to say a wall is "immoral."