W. Kamau Bell Cracks Up Alumni Hall
“Race is not real. It is a social construct created to divide groups of people.”
Socio-political comedian W. Kamau Bell brought his act “The Bell Curve: Ending Racism in About an Hour” to Alumni Hall in the HUB Tuesday night, courtesy of SPA. Bell’s stories and opinions had the crowd roaring with laughter.
He’s not only a comedian and father of two, but is also a talk show host of the CNN documentary series United Shades of America. He has published many books and has a Netflix special to air soon called “Private School Negro.”
Bell began with listing various terms that would not and should not be mentioned in his speech — Caucasian, minority, colorblind, diversity, and celebration of diversity. Bell has been performing this particular show since Barack Obama’s run for presidency in 2007. While altering it throughout the years, Bell said the show has taken quite a turn since he first took the stage.
Bell mentioned various figures who have made impacts in today’s world, including NFL quarterback Colin Kaepernick, who famously stated, “I’m not going to stand up to show pride in a flag for a country that oppresses black people and people of color.”
Bell talked Black Lives Matter, noting that 12 percent of America’s population is black, but 40 percent of prison inmates are also black. He challenged the audience to claim the color they came as, at one point telling attendees to yell, “I’m white and I’m proud.”
One student asked Bell if he’d ever consider running for president. Without skipping a beat, he answered, “Nope! Next…”
A student asked Bell during his question and answer period how he interacts with figures like white supremacist Richard Spencer.
“I’m used to it,” Bell said. ” I’m not intimidated by people like that because I don’t feel the need to react. It’s simply my job” .
As Bell concluded his presentation, he left the audience with a couple tips for approaching the topic of racism. He told the audience to always approach racism with a sense of humor, explaining if you can’t laugh about it, then you can’t think about it thoroughly.
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