Colbert Checks His Privilege by Switching Seats With Black Lives Matter Activist


Last night, Stephen Colbert marked Martin Luther King Jr. Day by having #BlackLivesMatter activist DeRay McKesson on to discuss the ongoing efforts for racial and social justice.

The conversation touched on a wide range of topics from the history of civil rights movements to the new Campaign Zero project. Sure enough though, the talk turned to #BlackLivesMatter after Colbert brought up the friction the movement creates, while McKesson touched on the host’s previous acknowledgement of the movement’s actions.

“I think that people are uncomfortable talking about the racist history of this country and what we need to do to undo the impact of racism,” McKesson said. “People would just like to act like we don’t have a legacy of racism here. I think people get really uncomfortable with it, but we know that we can’t change it unless we address it.”

Eventually, Colbert asked McKesson for tips to better recognize his own white privilege. After discussing how Colbert has a TV show, a salary, and the capacity to extend the discussion to other people, the two decided that the best way to explore this was to switch up and have McKesson take the host’s chair and Colbert sit on the couch.

“I can’t speak for other white people, but I feel guilty for anyone who doesn’t have the things I have,” Colbert said on the discomfort white people have talking about race. “That includes black people or anyone. I am so blessed, there’s always a fear it’ll be taken from me.”

After more witty back-and-forth, Colbert and McKesson agreed that having the activist on was, indeed, a conductive “baby step” to the racial conversation.

Watch above, via CBS.

[Image via screengrab]

— —

>> Follow Ken Meyer (@KenMeyer91) on Twitter

Have a tip we should know?

Filed Under: