WATCH: Don Lemon gets surprise history lesson when pressing for 'reparations'

CNN co-anchor Don Lemon in an interview Sept. 19, 2022 with royal commentator Hilary Fordwich (Video screenshot).

CNN’s Don Lemon thought he was about to score some points for the political left when he confronted a British royal expert during coverage of Queen Elizabeth II’s funeral on whether or not the wealthy royal family and the government should pay reparations.

“You have those who are asking for reparations for colonialism,” Lemon said in the interview Monday with Hilary Fordwich, noting many British citizens are finding it difficult at the moment to make ends meet.

“Those are legitimate concerns,” said Lemon, who is now a morning co-anchor after his primetime show “Don Lemon Tonight” was canceled.

Fordwich proceeded to give Lemon a brief history lesson.

“I think you’re right about reparations, in terms of if people want it, though, what they need to do is you always need to go back to the beginning of the supply chain. Where was the beginning of the supply chain?” she asked.

“That was in Africa,” noted Fordwich. “Across the entire world, when slavery was taking place, which was the first nation in the world that abolished slavery? The first nation in the world to abolish it – it was started by William Wilberforce – was the British.”

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She added that 2,000 “naval men died on the high seas trying to stop slavery.”

“Why? Because the African kings were rounding up their own people. They had them in cages waiting on the beaches,” Fordwich said. “No one was running into Africa to get them.

“I think you’re totally right,” Fordwich told Lemon. “If reparations need to be paid, we need to go right back to the beginning of that supply chain and say, who was rounding up their own people and having them handcuffed in cages?

“Absolutely, that’s where they should start,” she continued. “And maybe, I don’t know, the descendants of those families where they died in the high seas trying to stop the slavery, those families should receive something, too, at the same time.”

Lemon had no rebuttal.

“It’s an interesting discussion, Hilary” he said, as he prepared to transition to a new subject. “Thank you very much. I appreciate it. We’ll continue to discuss in the future.”

See the exchange:

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