W. Kamau Bell Explains How White Media Ownership Hinders Discussions on Racism
Brian Stelter had W. Kamau Bell on Reliable Sources yesterday, where the CNN host/comedian gave a thorough perspective on how and why much of the media is too hesitant when it comes to addressing racism in America.
Bell has tackled many different subjects on his United Shades of America series, especially race. Bell explained that there is a major trepidation for white people in the media to talk about race issues for fear of stirring up passions and unintended offense, and that it’s affected everything from Donald Trump coverage to discussions in the media workplace.
“America is always afraid of a race conversation,” Bell said. “Not all of America. I mean, if you read Jamelle Bouie or TheRoot.com, there’s lots of media covering it. But mainstream media, which is in large part owned by white people, is always afraid of an honest and open race conversation.”
— Reliable Sources (@ReliableSources) May 30, 2016
Panelist Tim Wise opined that a lot of Trump media hesitation is due to fear that calling out his incendiary undertones and any blatantly racist Trump supporters will be taken as an attack on everything he stands for. Bell noted that the Trump campaign’s underlying racism is addressed quite casually among black people, and that the media’s approach to issues in general would be much more productive if achieves real diversity.
“Even on my show,” Bell said, “I was the only person of color on that show when we were in production. Sometimes I would say things and everybody around me would look at me like I was crazy, and I’d be like, ‘Can I go get a black person to step into the room right now so you guys know I’m not crazy?'”
Watch above, via CNN.
[Image via screengrab]
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