This article has been duplicated from its original content in Texas A&M University-Kingsville’s, South Texan, Newspaper, Volume 91, Issue 4. The original and published copy can be found on southtexannews.com. This article has been modified to fit the pages on perceptionofplaz.wordpress.com. Plaserae Johnson is the original writer of this article.
Kamau Bell, a political comedian, cracks jokes about subject’s people don’t normally joke about. America’s racist history, the Ku Klux Klan, and Colin Kaepernick are all current themes in which Bell purposely seeks to touch a nerve with audiences. Performing inside Jones Auditorium Tuesday night, Bell did what most expected he would – put a humorous spin on sometimes uncomfortable topics. “A couple times I felt like some of his jokes shocked people, but I think that’s what he set out to do… he wants people to think about the issues going on,” said student Mark Hinojosa. Kamau even gave the opportunity for people to ask questions before and after his show. Bell’s point of some of his jokes and references was to make people think and evolve. “I think I am a good writer but where I like to express my opinions most is on stage… people tell me they like my writing, I would like to write more but if writing was as lucrative as being on stage I might shift into writing more,” Bell responded to a question. “I was never a journalist, I am an opinionist, I want to do comedy and writing, I want to do both unless I have to take a break for something”.
Bell’s show United Shades of America started up last year and will continue with season two this spring. “I want to do everything I did in season one, in season two but better,” Bell said. His show will be on CNN and he will continue to travel doing his stand up and promoting it. Bell will never forget his opportunity to meet a KKK member because it’s something most people do not get to do. TAMUK students couldn’t wait to ask him what he felt after the show when he met a KKK member. The KKK is known for its harsh feelings towards black lives where Bell took the liberty to speak about the interaction.
“I was nervous and scared,” he said. “I wanted to impress him so he could take me to his house, there was a lot of complicated feelings. “I guess I did enjoy it because I wanted to see if I could do that but it isn’t something that I would do again… It was something people from the production of the TV show had set up,” Bell said about his feelings during the sit down. Colin Kaepernick has received attention for his protest during the national anthem, even from Bell. Bell didn’t hesitate to bring up why during the show. Bell says that Colin’s move was practically saying that “we need to have a national talk about racism specifically around police brutality.”
Bell states that since Kaepernick has done his protest, it has caused some police to act brutally toward black people. “if we don’t have these conversations soon there will be more,” Bell said. Bell refers to the third verse of the National Anthem of America and how racist it sounds. “People that are upset with Kaepernick do not really care about the anthem” the comic said. Bell even furthers his points of view, on sports. He brought up slides showing the Washington Redskins, Golden State Warriors, and a couple others. He explained that you can’t just generalize a whole race, and if you are going to do so— make sure you’re right. He talked about the #BlackLivesMatter movement and where it came from. He mentioned that some people feel uncomfortable simply because they do not understand. He went on to explain why it is said #BlackLivesMatter. Bell came to talk about politics and race and that is what he did. Many students agreed that he made them think about things in a different war. Student Jamal Foote said he looked at subjects differently after the show, “I felt his jokes made us look at things that otherwise make us uncomfortable,” Jamal Foote said leaving the auditorium. Other students didn’t know what to expect before the show. “yeah, I looked him up and I did expect him to be funny,” said James Passley. Bell was on campus as part of a Student Activities lecture series.