W. Kamau Bell, the host of CNN’s United Shades of America, wonders if the United States is a “country worth fighting for” because of the cavalier killing of Black people by cops and the lack of a comprehensive solution to stopping the carnage.
Bell shared his thoughts with SiriusXM radio host Dean Obeidallah on Friday’s edition of The Dean Obeidallah Show.
Obeidallah asked Bell to opine on the ripple effects of police violence:
How is your human reaction seeing yet again, it’s like weekly lately, we’ve been seeing this?
Bell’s response should make any concerned citizen take pause:
I mean I’m definitely not numb to it, I think it’s really become like, I don’t know how to explain it in a way that sounds respectful, but it is really like — Because first of all, you mourn for the person, you mourn for that family’s loss, and every time you see some family member have to become a spokesperson for their dead family member, I have pain for these people. Two days ago you were living your life, whatever your life was, now you have to in some ways professionalize your mourning in order to get the message out.
And you have to sort of deal with it the crush of the media, we’re not the crush of media if the media doesn’t hear about these stories right away like in the case of Elijah McClain. He was killed in Aurora Colorado. You have to professionalize your mourning in order to get to some semblance of justice. And so I certainly am not numb to it, but it really does feel like the thing that is hardest for me is, it feels like, and me and Pastor Michael McBride, who’s in the episode, it feels like I don’t know, what are we fighting for in this country as black folks? Are we, is this country worth fighting for?
Bell added that the COVID-19 pandemic’s disproportionately disastrous impacts on communities of color highlights his point:
And I think especially through Covid and through Trump, and Trump’s response to COVID, and through the fact that COVID has made the lives of Black, Latinx, indigenous, brown folks worse, and made it so that we — whatever hole that our communities were in, the whole is deeper now, we’ve lost a ton of people, we’ve lost a ton of people through Covid — that you go, ‘Is this all worth fighting for?’
And that’s the place where I’m at now is like, in a very really profound way to go ‘Yeah I don’t know how much more that I can personally do, and I don’t actually know that you see somebody,’ and that’s why, I use Barack Obama in the episode, but when you see the Democratic leadership, like Joe Biden said it too, like ‘We’re definitely not defunding the police.’
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Brandon is a political writer for the Hill Reporter specializing in current events, breaking news, and scientific discovery. Brandon holds a Bachelor of Music degree from Indiana University. He lives in New York City.