W. Kamau Bell’s CNN Show—A Waste


W. Kamau Bell’s program on CNN, "United Shades of America" is anything but worth it. According to CNN, W. Kamau Bell is a “sociopolitical comedian”. Comedian for sure, politico I think not!  He once interviewed a KKK group and thought that was really something. He is a comedian of course and it showed, for he knows nothing about the propaganda tactics of the old school KKK groups that have existed for a very long time. I recently heard a fellow remark that he thought it was great that Bell was able to dialogue with a racist organization as if this was somehow a magic bullet to offset the teaming racism that we see in America today. It does not help when people think they really did something and it amounted to nothing. Let me explain.

          Years ago the local KKK folks were able to get my phone number and give me a call. It was not to threaten me on this occasion but the caller wanted to have coffee and dialogue with me. He claimed that black folks and Brown folks have a lot in common with the Klan and that a dialogue should begin. Fortunately, I knew from my civil rights experience that this is an old KKK tactic that is aimed at diffusing their image as racist. The caller claimed that the KKK only believed in “white pride” just like other people believe in their pride. Baloney! They believe in racism and murder and have used the tactic of  “Let’s Talk” for decades. Mr. Bell’s interview with these bigots was a victory for racism and showed that comedians need history lessons as well.

          W. Kamau Bell claimed the hoods that his KKK audience wore were frightening—oh wow really? He claimed to know that “Most people of color who got that close to the Klan didn’t get away live.” He is right for the most part, but the KKK often had secret meetings with Uncle Tom preachers and Uncle Tom leaders across the South in efforts to create spy networks and to propagandize folks. This is what they did to him.  Despite the thoughts that Mr. Bell may have had he played right into their hands by getting the CNN coverage that they might never had been given. This is why they welcomed a “Colored” man to their wooded compound. Mr. Bell was snookered like so many others in the past by giving brutal racist killers a platform for which they seek to generate support. Can you imagine the KKK supporters that tuned that night to see their “heroes” deal with a “N.” Mr. Bell did very little to accomplish any real constructive purpose. When Mr. Bell commented that he made a white supremacist laugh, and that this was somehow black supremacy in reverse, that did it for me. If he thinks for one minute that they appreciated his jokes as a comedian, or as a human being, he is dumber than I thought. White supremacists love black talent, but they still hate black people. Surprising?

          White supremacists love black music, and blacks playing sports, and silly black comedians, but they are only looking at this in the way a man would watch a dog perform tricks. They were probably very happy that a funny man showed up for the interview. The KKK made it clear what they thought about black people when they spoke about their beliefs in their usual crypto language, “White people have an inner drive for discipline and law and order.” What are they implying here? Simple—that blacks are criminals! Shrewd racist talk.

        One of his more recent shows is even more ridiculous. He did a show that purports to illustrate that not all blacks are alike in their thinking….Jesus, we knew that centuries ago. He claims that a lot of black folks think that all blacks think alike. How ridiculous is that! We have been around long enough to know that folks like Jim Brown, the former NFL star, supports Donald Trump…pitiful! We also know that Uncle Toms and sellouts like Kanye West will always be around. Nothing new for mature folks, especially those that did more than tell jokes. Those on the frontline of the war against racism always knew that not all blacks think alike, but you would have to have a real common sense to know that! We don’t have to be on the same page about everything, but we still have to know right from wrong! Mr. Bell has done some things that bring to light African American history on his show, but he is no historian and by no means one with the experience of fighting on the frontline against racist injustice. Wonder why CNN used a black comedian for such serious topics? We know why! Go back to the Comedy Club Mr. Bell!

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17 May 2018


By Mario Salas
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