Late Night Round Up: Hosts Tackle Black Lives Matter Movement With Star Guests, From Kamala Harris to Shaq
Late-night hosts Stephen Colbert, Jimmy Kimmel, Seth Meyers, Jimmy Fallon, Conan O’Brien, and James Corden all discussed the Black Lives Matter movement and racism with their guests on Wednesday night, working out ways to pursue justice following George Floyd’s killing.
Colbert talked to Breakfast Club host Charlamagne Tha God about his on-air conversation with Rush Limbaugh and about systemic racism in America, during which he suggested focusing on legislation and reparations to acheive economic equality.
Charlamagne noted he was disappointed in Limbaugh’s response to white privilege during their conversation, adding that he thought the interview was a waste of time.
“I said ‘you’re being delusional right now,'” Charlemagne said, recounting his response to Limbaugh’s claim that white privilege doesn’t exist. “What really bothered me about that conversation is, after I left that conversation I felt like it wasn’t productive.”
Charlamagne told Colbert that his conversation with Limbaugh didn’t feel genuine — as if he was putting on a performance by denying the existence of privilege, before defining it clearly for a caller when the interview ended.
“After we left his show, he was taking callers, and a caller asked him ‘What is white supremacy? What does Charlamagne mean when he talks about white supremacy, white privilege?’ He broke it down so eloquently. Rush broke it down like he knew exactly what it was,” Charlamagne said.
Kimmel spoke to Shaquille O’Neal and actor Regina King about Floyd’s death at the hands of the police, raising black sons, and discrimination in America.
Kimmel asked O’Neal if he taught his sons to be extra careful around the police, noting that this is a conversation many white parents did not even know existed.
“Yes, I have that talk with them all the time,” O’Neal revealed. “I tell them, first of all, you have to try to defuse the situation by showing respect … and if it happens to get rough, don’t say anything, don’t do anything, just comply.”
O’Neal explained that that compliance does not always work and referred back to the videos he’s seen of Floyd’s death, during which he seemed compliant and did not resist arrest.
Meyers invited Ramy star Ramy Youssef and co-founder of the Black Lives Matter Movement Patrisse Cullors for a conversation about racism and police brutality, and the guests ultimately suggested ways to help create change.
“White people are definitely best at racism,” Youssef joked. “They’re doing it on, like a professional NBA level, but I do think that there are other groups in there where you’re like, oh you guys are playing some Euro League racism. You wish you could be in the NBA. And I really feel like calling that out in our own communities.”
“So much of our work is about not just black death, but the fight for black life,” Cullors added. “Right now we’re in a moment where the entire country, and I argue the entire world is trying to reevaluate its relationship to black people.”
Fallon spoke to rapper Talib Kweli and Sen. Kamala Harris (D-CA) about growing up with racism, protesting, and the 2020 election.
“We got a president of the United States, or at least somebody who occupies that position, who doesn’t understand the job and isn’t capable of performing the job,” Harris said when Fallon asked about President Donald Trump’s response to the protests following Floyd’s death.
“Frankly, the words that he speaks aren’t the words of a president, they’re the words of a dictator,” Harris added, before revealing she had walked in the D.C. protests this week. Harris then said she protested with her parents growing up, adding that she believes demonstrating leads to real change.
O’Brien discussed the Black Lives Matter movement with comedian W. Kamau Bell, who suggested ways white people can connect their lives to the movement and encouraged the host to continue using his platform to have conversations about race.
Corden invited Congresswoman and former Orlando Police Chief Val Demings to talk about America’s path forward following Floyd’s death, during which suggested ways that communities and police officers can work towards change together.
“We are to represent all that is good about America, but what happened to Mr. Floyd is disgraceful,” Demings said, addressing the police force.
“So to my fellow brothers and sisters in blue, because I am one of you, what in the hell are you doing? And how do you we change it? It starts James with hiring the brightest and best men and women to do the job.”
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