*You may be surprised to know that there are many progressive black people who don’t find comedian W. Kamau Bell amusing. However, white folks love him – as evident by the primarily white audience that attend his shows, and the endless blogs and articles written by mainstream journalists who sing his praise because his “act” usually “makes light” of racism, and y’all know how the world loves to laugh at Negroes who know how to put clever words together that mock black folks and race.
Admittedly, I never heard of the Kamau until last year when he had an epic meltdown after some white workers at a cafe told him to “scram” like he’s a vagrant for sniffing around the precious white patrons. Bell was so disturbed by this sudden jolt of “nigga, wake up,” that he penned a letter about it and allegedly agreed to his white wife to a sit down with the white owner of the cafe to talk about this troubling moment in his life.
Imagine that…. a guy who makes his living using racism as a template, doesn’t find it amusing when he’s a victim of racism. Ha! Again, progressive black folks joined hands and collectively sighed over the incident – moving right along and leaving him to amuse the colorblind millennials.
Well, W. Kamau Bell is back and once again trending because of his shenanigans with racist white folks. The comedian agreed to meet with the Ku Klux Klan as part of his deal with CNN, for its new original series titled “United Shades of America.”
The series will follow Bell as he explores different groups and subcultures throughout the country. Along the way, he will ask questions, get into some awkward and at times unpredictable situations, and make people laugh. The eight-part docuseries strives to show the United States is not built upon just one, but many diverse and colorful definitions, according to the synopsis.
READ RELATED STORY: Ex KKK Grand Wizard David Duke Endorses Donald Trump
In season one of “United Shades of America,” Bell visits with the KKK, prisoners at San Quentin, Latinos in East LA, hipsters in Portland, spring breakers and retirees in Florida, people living off the grid, the Inuit of Alaska, and police officers in Camden, N.J.
To kick off the series, Bell meets with the Klan because there are folks out there who are blissfully ignorant to the fact that the KKK still exists. During our recent chat with W. Kamau Bell, he called his meeting with the KKK “well-needed.”
“As a black person in America, it’s good to know who still hates you out there, and if they’re still around,” he said, adding that he didn’t want to just do a show about a black man in “white America” because he felt that there’s “not a lot to explore” outside of the country clubs.
The episode sets up a brief history of the Klan and “how pervasive they used to be in this county,” but not much else about the series is compelling or enlightening.
Bell couldn’t be bothered with challenging the Klan’s ideas because he preferred to make them “comfortable.”
“I realize there are some black people that’ll go ‘You let us down, brotha,’ and blah blah blah, but I don’t think that I let my humanity go in front of them. I don’t think I did anything to embarrass my ancestors or my family because I don’t think I cooned for them,” Bell explained.
He didn’t coon for the camera, but he certainly treats his KKK meeting like a “Funny or Die” skit. It’s an episode that will leave you asking, ‘How’s your melanin feeling today, Mr. Bell?’
“Let’s be clear, everything is not for everybody, so I don’t imagine that everybody is going to feel the same way about this,” Bell said, when asked how he made peace with his spirit after participating in this episode. “Clearly, I’m not Kevin Hart or we wouldn’t be talking right now,” he added. Which didn’t quite answer my question…but, okaayy.
There’s a moment in the episode when Bell asks a Klansman what would he do “If I brought 35 more me’s into this town?”. It’s pause-worthy moment that leaves you visualizing 35 Kamau’s boo’d up with white women and singing kumbaya with the KKK. NO THANK YOU!
Bell said he didn’t engage in a deep conversation about race and racism with the KKK because “That turns into a Jerry Springer episode from the 90’s, as far as I’m concerned.”
“I pushed them the way that I push them, not the way that other people push them,” he explained of his interaction with Klan members. “And I find that the thing I was doing was really opening them up to let them be comfortable and talk. I can’t point to another project I’ve seen where a black person sits and talks to the Klan.”
Well, Mr. Bell, that’s because there aren’t too many black folks who desire a sit down with the KKK. But if given the opportunity, the conversation might start off a little something like this “Why do you people believe everything on this planet is your God-given right to control?,’ ‘What’s your beef with black folks?’ and ‘Which religion truly controls the masses: Christianity or White Supremacist ideology?’
Exploring those three questions alone would make for a dynamic CNN segment, don’t you agree?
CNN should hire me to chat with the racists, I know how to ask the tough questions. W. Kamau Bell… not so much. Black Twitter needs to remind this brotha that da struggle is not a joke.
“United Shades of America” airs Sundays on CNN at 10 pm E/P.