North Texas Daily

W. Kamau Bell delivers comedic speech about racism for Fine Arts Series

W. Kamau Bell delivers comedic speech about racism for Fine Arts Series

W. Kamau Bell delivers comedic speech about racism for Fine Arts Series
February 29
12:55 2016

Victoria Monteros | Staff Writer


Comedian and CNN correspondent W. Kamau Bell graced the stage of the large Union ballroom the evening of Thursday, Feb. 25 with a strong message.

Titled “How To Get Rid of Racism In About An Hour,” his presentation covered the trending topic of racism and how to free society of it. Bell used comedic antics, images, statistics and videos.

In some moments the audience burst out into laughter, but other moments were more serious.

“It was really nice to be able to laugh about some of these issues,” health sciences senior Vivian Ma said after the show. “At the same time, recognizing [the issues], recognizing that they’re real… [and] that we should be talking about them more.”

Bell pic

Courtesy | W. Kamau Bell

Bell started out by warning the audience that some words used in the show would include minorities, colorblindness, people of color and the “N word.” He would tackle the subject of racism enthusiastically, holding nothing back.

Race, Bell said, is merely a concept created by society.

“In a lot of ways, as any minority, everybody can relate to any sort of discrimination, like anything he was talking about.” speech attendee and UNT student Kayla Percy said.

Bell said that in order to eliminate the concept of race, we must start by eliminating racism.

“There are so many structural institutions that racism is a part of how they do their work,” Bell said. “It’s a big, huge mega-deal that has to happen, and I don’t know exactly how to do it, but we have to start having the conversation. We have to start push[ing] institutions to do the right thing.”

Throughout his speech, Bell would not shy away from stories on race-related issues. Among these were a recent story of how he believes he was racially profiled at a café in the Bay Area and the topic of the lack of minorities in the Academy Awards nominations. He also mentioned a few celebrities and noteworthy people, such as Raven-Symoné, Barack Obama and Donald Trump.

The speaker heavily emphasized the need to start talking about racism more to get rid of it, even if it starts with simply starting a conversation with friends despite ethnic differences.

“I think you have to start having those conversation interpersonally,” Bell said. “And then you can have them structurally and institutionally, and then the conversation is always being had.”

Featured Image: Courtesy | UNT

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