Practice English Speaking&Listening with: W. Kamau Bell: America Was Built On White Supremacy. It Won't Go Away Until We Redesign The System

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>> STEPHEN: WELCOME BACK.

JOINING ME IS AN EMMY AWARD WINNING COMEDIAN WHO HOSTS THE

SERIES "UNITED SHADES OF AMERICA," PLEASE WELCOME BACK TO

"THE LATE SHOW," W. KAMAU BELL.

THANKS FOR BEING HERE.

HOLD FOR THE APPLAUSE.

( LAUGHTER ) HOLD FOR THE APPLAUSE, PLEASE.

AS PERFORMERS, IT'S ALWAYS UP HERE.

WE'RE ALWAYS HEARING THE APPLAUSE.

>> YES.

>> Stephen: NICE TO SEE YOU.

YOU'RE IN CALIFORNIA, CORRECT?

>> YES.

>> Stephen: HOW IS EVERYTHING OUT THERE?

HOW ARE YOU RIDING OUT THE THE CORONAVIRUS.

>> WE'RE ALL RIGHT.

BUT NOW FEELS LIKE WE'RE FLORIDA JUNIOR, I WOULD SAY.

>> Stephen: THAT'S SURPRISING BECAUSE CALIFORNIA GOT A LOT OF

PRAISE FOR HOW THEY BROUGHT THE HAMMER DOWN FIRMLY, FULLY.

THEY WERE A MODEL FOR EVERYBODY ELSE.

WHAT HAPPENED?

>> ORANGE COUNTY IS WHAT HAPPENED.

ORANGE COUNTY IS NOT SAN FRANCISCO OR LAMB.

I THINK WE HAVE A LOFT ORANGE COUNTY SPREAD THROUGHOUT THE

STATE.

I THINK OUR GOVERNOR FELT PRESSURE FROM THEM AND OTHER

WEIRD GOVERNORS WHO ARE OPENING UP.

I LIKE TO THINK MAYBE THIS IS A YEAR OR TWO BEFORE THE

APOCALYPSE.

WHEN YOU SEE A MOVIE ABOUT THE APOCALYPSE, YOU NEVER SEE THE

YEAR OR TWO LEADING UP TO IT.

THAT'S WHAT THIS FEELS LIKE.

>> Stephen: THINGS ARE ALMOST NORMAL.

>> YOU NEVER SEE "MAD MAX" GOING, A YEAR BEFORE, MAN, GAS

IS EXPENSIVE!

( LAUGHTER ) YOU NEVER SEE DENZEL WASHINGTON,

I CAN'T FIND BIBLES ANYWHERE!

SO WE'RE MAYBE IN A PRE-APOCALYPTIC MOMENT WHICH

MAKES ME FEEL BETTER FOR SOME REASON.

>> Stephen: I'M JUST GOING TO KNOCK WOOD FOR NO PARTICULAR

REASON.

I KNOW YOU'RE A FATHER OF THREE KIDS.

DO YOU MIND IF I ASK HOW OLD THEY ARE?

>> NINE, FIVE AND A HALF AND TWO.

>> Stephen: OKAY.

O YAY!

>> Stephen: SO THE TWO IS A LITTLE YOUNG, BUT THE FIVE AND A

HALF AND THE NINE CERTAINLY SCHOOL-AGE KIDS.

I KNOW ALL AROUND THE UNITED STATES BUT ESPECIALLY IN

CALIFORNIA, SOME SCHOOL DISTRICTS ARE HAVING KIDS COME

BACK, SOME AREN'T.

AS A PARENT, HOW DO YOU FEEL ABOUT THAT?

I MEAN, EVERYBODY WANTS KIDS TO BE ABLE TO GO GET EDUCATED, BUT

THERE'S ANXIETY.

>> YEAH.

I MEAN, I DON'T BELIEVE OUR KIDS ARE GOING BACK TO SCHOOL.

I THINK IT'S JUST A DOMINO EFFECT.

I THINK IT'S JUST ONE SCHOOL DISTRICT AT A TIME UNTIL THEY

ALL GO.

I'M SORT OF PREPARING FOR THE FAC THAT ME AND MY WIFE ARE

REALLY GOING TO HAVE TO BONE UP ON HOW TO EDUCATE OUR KIDS.

AT THE SAME TIME, I KNOW THAT THE TEACHERS AT OUR SCHOOL WILL

BE PLUGGED IN AND TRYING TO HELP THEM.

IT'S JUST WHAT WE SHOULD HAVE DONE IN THIS INTERIM IS WE CAN

SEE HOW SCHOOL WORKS BECAUSE IT'S NOT GOING TO WORK THE WAY

THESE WORKED FOR A LONG TIME, YOU KNOW.

>> Stephen: NOW, YOU'RE A COMEDIAN, BUT YOU'VE GOT A CNN

SHOW.

DO YOUR KIDS WATCH THE NEWS?

I MEAN, DO THEY -- >> MY KIDS WATCH A LOT OF NEWS.

MY KIDS DEFINITELY -- I WOULD PUT MY NINE-YEAR-OLD UP AGAINST

ANY OTHER NINE-YEAR-OLD ABOUT DONALD TRUMP KNOWLEDGE AND

WHAT'S GOING ON CURRENTLY IN THE WHITE HOUSE.

HE WOULD WIN THAT CONTEST.

>> Stephen: DOES SHE EVER SET YOUR BACK ON YOUR HEELS WITH

SOME OF HER QUESTIONS?

>> I MEAN, SHE'S LIKE ME.

WHEN I WAS A KID, I JUST SORT OF LISTENED TO WHAT ADULTS WERE

SAYING AND LATER WOULD ASK QUESTIONS OF MY MOM.

I CALLED MY DAUGHTER AN OLD-SCHOOL EAR HUSTLER.

SHE'LL COME IN IN AN HOUR AND SAY, I HAVE THINGS I WANT TO

DISCUSS, AND WE'LL HAVE A WHOLE CONVERSATION ABOUT GEORGE FLOYD

AND POLICE BRUTALITY WHILE WE'RE ON A TIRE SWING.

I WAS JUST SPINNING AROUND IN THE TIRE SWING, AND SHE WANTED A

FULL EXPLANATION OF WHAT HAPPENED WITH GEORGE FLOYD AND

POLICE BRUTALITY IN AMERICA.

AND I WAS JUST LIKE, AAAHHH!

>> Stephen: WOW.

WHAT DOES IT FEEL LIKE TO HAVE THAT CONVERSATION?

>> I MEAN, WEIRDLY, IT FEELS GREAT BECAUSE I WOULD RATHER

HAVE THAT CONVERSATION WITH HER OR HAVE MY WIFE HAVE IT WITH HER

THAN HER TO GO THROUGH THE WORLD AND NOT HAVE HAD THAT

CONVERSATION AND HAVE SOMEBODY ELSE SPRING IT ON HER.

>> Stephen: WELL, YOU HAVE BEEN HAVING THIS CONVERSATION

PUBLICLY ON CNN WITH YOUR SHOW "UNITED SHADES OF AMERICA" NOW

GOING INTO ITS FIFTH SEASON FOR YEARS NOW.

IT'S CELEBRATED, EMMY-WINNING.

HOW WERE YOU SO PRESCIENT TO KNOW THAT THE UNITED STATES

WOULD EVENTUALLY HAVE RACIAL PROBLEMS?

( LAUGHTER ) >> I HAVE BOOKS IN MY HOUSE THAT

HAVE THE WORD "HISTORY" ON THEM AND I SORT OF READ THEM.

>> Stephen: ALL RIGHT.

I BUY THE BOOKS, AND THEN I TRY TO READ THE BOOKS, AND THEN

OFTEN I'M, LIKE, HEY!

THAT'S WHAT'S HAPPENING NOW.

APPARENTLY, ACCORDING TO THE HISTORY BOOKS I'VE READ.

THE UNITED STATES WAS FOUNDED ON WHITE SUPREMACY AND RACISM.

>> Stephen: OKAY.

AND THE FUEL OF AMERICA IS RACISM, AND THAT'S WHAT KEEPS

WHITE SUPREMACY GOING.

UNTIL WE REDESIGN TO WHOLE SYSTEM, THIS IS WHERE WE'RE AT.

>> Stephen: THAT TAKES ME TO YOUR FIRST EPISODE.

ON THIS SUNDAY, IT STARTS.

THE FIRST EPISODE'S TITLE IS WHERE DO WE EVEN START WITH

WHITE SUPREMACIST?

W. KAMAU BELL, WHERE DO WE EVEN START WITH WHITE SUPREMACIST?

>> FIRST, I LIKE THAT TITLE BECAUSE IT'S LIKE A B SIDE FROM

"HAMILTON" OR SOMETHING.

>> Stephen: SURE, SURE.

WE START BY SAYING AMERICA IS BUILT ON WHITE SUPREMACIST, THAT

THE WHOLE HISTORY OF THIS COUNTRY STARTED ON GENOCIDE AND

SLAVERY AND EVERYTHING WAS BUILT ON TOP OF THAT AND TO MAKE SURE

THE PEOPLE WHO CREATED THE GENOCIDE AND SLAVERY THAT THEM

AND ALL THEIR DESCENDENTS COULD BENEFIT FROM IT.

AND WE SAY DON'T GET CONFUSED BETWEEN WHITE SUPREMACISTIST AND

WHITE SUPREMACY.

WHITE SUPREMACISTIST IS THE KLAN, BUT PR WHITE SUPREMACY IS

WE'VE HAD ALL BUT ONE WHITE PRESIDENTS.

>> Stephen: WE WERE TALKING ABOUT HOW RACISM STARTED ABOUT

500 YEARS AGO AND IT WAS ALL MOTIVATED ECONOMICALLY.

IT WAS SELF-INTEREST.

IN ORDER TO SET UP, THE EUROPEANS WERE TAKING OVER THIS

LAND AND CAPTURENNED AND ENSLAVING THE PEOPLE IN AFRICA.

YOU HAD TO HAVE A RATIONALE.

RACISM WAS CREATED, AS WE KNOW IT, FOR THAT ECONOMIC

SELF-INTEREST.

>> YEAH.

BEFORE THAT, I THINK IT WAS NATIONALISM AND TRIBALISM.

LIKE NOBODY SAW ANYBODY AS A RACE OF PEOPLE.

THEN WHEN THEY DECIDED -- THE ONLY WAY THEY COULD SORT OF

JUSTIFY -- BECAUSE IN OF THEM WERE CHRISTIANS -- THAT THIS WAS

THE RIGHT THING TO DO WAS TO DEHUMANIZE PEOPLE AND SAY THEY

WERE SAVAGES LIKE THE NATIVE AMERICANS OR ANIMALS LIKE BLACK

FOLKS.

SO THEY HAD TO COME AWAY WITH AN IDEA OF WE'RE DOING IT AND IT'S

THE RIGHT THING TO DO.

MANY MODERN DAY POLITICIANS SAID SLAVERY WAS NOT THAT BAD, PEOPLE

HAD THREE MEALS A DAY AND ENJOYED IT.

THAT'S STILL A JUSTIFICATION.

>> Stephen: WHY WAS IT IMPORTANT FOR YOU TO GET YOUR

MOM INTO THIS SEASON.

>> MY MOM IS AN 84 BLACK WOMAN WHICH MAKES HER AN EXPERT ON

RACISM.

I PUT MY DAD IN EPISODE OF SEASON THREE, AND MY MOM'S BEEN

CLEAR THAT SINCE HE WAS IN, SHE NEEDS TO BE IN THE SHOW, AND

IT'SNOT TOGETHER SO IT REALLY CREATES PROBLEMS WITH ME.

SO I SAID, I THINK YOU WILL FIT INTO THE WHITE SUPREMACY EPISODE

MORE THAN THE EAST L.A. EPISODE, SO THAT'S HOW WE GOT HER IN.

>> Stephen: I KNOW YOUR MOM IS VERY INFLUENTIAL ABOUT HOW YOU

SEE THE HISTORY OF THE UNITED STATES AND HOW THE BLACK HISTORY

HAS BEEN IGNORED.

HOW WOULD YOU EXPLAIN HER TO SOMEBODY WHO HASN'T MET HER

BEFORE LIKE ME.

>> I HAD A JOKE IN MY ACT WHERE I SAID Y MOM WAS SUCH A HARD

CORE BLACK WOMAN THAT I WAS ELEVEN YEARS OLD BEFORE I

REALIZED A CRACKER WAS ALSO A DELICIOUS SNACK

( LAUGHTER ) MY MOM WAS ALWAYS TALKING ABOUT

RACISM AND WH WHITE SUPREMACY AN IN THE '70s IT WAS "THE MAN."

AND SHE DIDN'T SHY AWAY TALKING TO ME ABOUT THIS.

MY MOM TOOK ME TO THE STORE AND SAID THIS IS WHAT'S GICT HAPPEN

WHEN YOU'RE IN A STORE AS A LITTLE BLACK BOY.

MY MOM WOULDN'T LET ME OUT OF THE HOUSE BEFORE LETTING ME KNOW

WHAT IT MEANT TO BE BLACK AND IN THE WORLD.

>> Stephen: YOU HAVE BEEN DELIBERATE ABOUT HOW YOU DEFINED

RACISM.

WHY DO YOU THINK IT'S IMPORTANT TO BE SPECIFIC ABOUT YOUR

DEFINITION AND WHY ARE YOU SHARING?

>> IT'S THE DEFINITION THAT MAKES THE MOST SENSE.

FOR MOST TO HAVE THE COUNTRY, THE DICTIONARY DEFINED RACISM AS

WHEN ONE RACE HATES ANOTHER RACE.

BUT THAT DOESN'T MAKE A SENSE OF DEFINITION OF RACISM BECAUSE

THIS COUNTRY, IF A BLACK PERSON HITS A WHITE PERSON THAT'S JUST

HATE FOR THE MOST PART, BUT THE SYSTEM IN PLACE OF WHITE

SUPREMACY MEANS WHEN WHITE PEOPLE HATE BLACK PEOPLE, THE

SYSTEM ENCOURAGES THAT BEHAVIOR AND PUTS BLACK PEOPLE ON THE

BOTTOM.

PREJUDICE IS I DON'T LIKE THAT WHITE GUY STEPHEN COLBERT.

THAT'S ME HATING YOU.

BUT TRUE RACISM HAS POWER BEHIND IT.

THIS ISN'T JUST ABOUT FEELINGS.

YOU CAN MOVE ALL THIS STUFF.

RACISM AND WHITE SUPREMACY IS STATISTICAL, YOU CAN LOOK AT IT,

IT'S SCIENTIFIC.

RACE ISN'T SCIENTIFIC, WE MADE IT UP, AS YOU SAID, BUT ALL THE

THING THAT GOES INTO RACISM AND WHITE SUPREMACY YOU CAN SEE.

>> Stephen: SEASON FAOV "UNITED SHADES OF AMERICA"

PREMIERES THIS SUNDAY ON CNN.

W. KAMAU BELL, EVERYBODY.

THANKS FOR BEING HERE.

WE'LL BE RIGHT BACK WITH THE CHICKS.

The Description of W. Kamau Bell: America Was Built On White Supremacy. It Won't Go Away Until We Redesign The System