CNN’s Don Lemon tries to explain why riots destroying mom & pop shops aren’t as bad as when politicians feel threatened

  CNN host Don Lemon on Tuesday seemingly sought to downplay the damage caused to small businesses amid the civil unrest in 2020, dismissing comparisons between them and the Jan. 6 storming of the Capitol.

.Appearing on CNN's "New Day," Lemon claimed trying to undermine democracy was "quite different" than people protesting because they were upset about something, and while an insurance policy could replace damage done to businesses or stolen products, it couldn't replace a democracy.

Host John Berman noted to Lemon that a number of federal judges held differing opinions on the comparison between rioters at the U.S. Capitol and those taking part in riots following the murder of George Floyd at the hands of a police officer, with some suggesting the treatment in sentencing wasn't equal enough, and others suggesting it would be a false equivalency to liken the two.

"One of them operating in reality, the other one operating not so much in reality," Lemon said of two judges holding differing opinions. "More than 300 people have been sentenced very harshly for what they did during those protests and riots, and that's not the case when it comes to the Capitol riot."

Lemon claimed that some judges were wondering why Justice Department prosecutors were seeking "lenient" sentences against those who participated in the Capitol riot, and not harsher ones.

"They were essentially doing what? Trying to undermine our democracy. And that is quite different than protesting because you are upset about something," Lemon said. "One is breaking the law from a lie, built on a lie … The other one was built on frustration and anger over what? A justice system that is systemically racist towards people of color."

Lemon added that no one across the country should be rioting, but that everyone could peacefully protest because it's a right afforded to those in America.

"A shoe can be replaced … Can you replace a democracy? How do you fix a broken democracy? … You can take a shoe and fix it or get another one. Right? Or an insurance policy can replace a shoe," Lemon said. "An insurance policy cannot replace a democracy, or fix our broken republic, or fix racism, or fix a lie that has been spread by one person and the people who enable him. So there's quite a difference."

"People see what they want to see, and they allow their own racism to come to light. We see it. We get it. But you don’t want to see it and you don’t want to get it. So those who are saying that there is not systemic racism, there is no difference between those things, come on," Lemon said.

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