Don Lemon Torched on Twitter for Holding Up Sign Displaying the N-Word

“Does this offend you?” Lemon asks on “CNN Tonight”

Don Lemon was taken to task Monday on Twitter after he held up a sign displaying the N-word uncensored on “CNN Tonight.”

The cable news anchor opened his show in the most direct — and many think offensive — way possible by addressing the racial outcry following the shooting deaths of nine churchgoers in Charleston, South Carolina, last week.

“This is what America is talking about right now,” Lemon said, while holding up a Confederate flag. “Does this offend you? It is a Confederate flag. Is it a symbol of Southern pride or a symbol of hate?”

He then proceeded to hold up a sign saying the N-word — spelled out fully — and asked: “What about this… does this offend you? President Obama said it out loud in an interview and a lot of people are shocked.”

The reaction to Lemon’s behavior was swift. The CNN host immediately became a trending topic on Twitter and the response was overwhelmingly negative.

Read a sampling of the reaction below.