Kamau Bell: Ending racism in an hour


Kain Piyanuluk

The social political comedian W. Kamau Bell speaking to DVC students about racism in the Performing Arts Center on April 8th, 2015

Marcel Scott, Staff member

Ending racism in an hour. Sounds impossible, and it probably is, but comedian Kamau Bell attempted to unify the students of Diablo Valley College through comedy.

On April 8, Bell spoke in the Performing Arts Center about racism in today’s culture. Bell, who was host of the FX talk show “Totally Biased”  is now touring different colleges speaking about his hilarious view of a controversial topic.

Bell was given a warm reception by the DVC students and faculty which he acknowledged by saying, “This is why I live in the Bay Area, because when I talk about this kind of stuff in other parts of the country they don’t always laugh.”

The Bay Area, more or less, is one of the more respectful areas in the United States, but that doesn’t mean it’s perfect.

In 2012, the United States Census showed that 49 percent of San Francisco was still white, with the other main demographic being 30 percent Asian.

As the census shows, SF is actually one of the least diverse cities in the U.S. It seems as though the city that thought it was above racism, still isn’t completely unified. 

Racism, is a difficult subject to talk about for everyone, but it needs to be discussed. With Bell’s satirical show, people were able to relax and laugh about this made-up thing that we call race, while still being educated about the unfair treatment of certain groups that still persist today.

“Race is not a real thing, it’s an invented social construct that we now just can’t ignore,” Bell said.

We’re all just human. None of us belong to a different group.

Bell came to make students laugh, and he did. But he also pointed out some of the inconsistencies that we find today, like in our congress, “We find a lot of the time in the 21st century that racism is gone, but congress is still 79 percent white. That’s almost a B in Whiteness!”

The show went on in this factual and comical fashion for (you guessed it) an hour. By the end, the DVC community was educated and entertained.

Students seemed to be pleased with Bell’s performance. Theater major Rosie Tyler, 18, said, “It was really awesome. I thought it was poignant and true.” 

Psychology major John Michelson, 22, said,”I liked the political commentary and enjoyed the relatable pop-culture references.”