Wednesday watch: United Shades of America


I’ve been a fan of W. Kamau Bell for years and lamented the loss of his show Totally Biased on FX, a comedy news show that devoted much-needed attention to racism and featured interesting debates like this conversation about rape jokes. Bell, who performs stand-up and also co-hosts the Denzel Washington is the Greatest Actor of All Time Period podcast, brings intelligent and incisive takes on politics to everything he does. And he’s incredibly funny while he’s doing it.

His newest project is United Shades of America on CNN. He’s described it in some interviews as a black man going places he shouldn’t go, and he delivers on that concept in the first episode by spending some time with members of the KKK. He’s taken on other important issues like immigration and prison reform so far. This clip comes from an episode where he explores community policing in Camden, examining his feelings about the police while observing an effort to change the model of policing that has led to so much violence against people of color.


Author: Rebecca Griffin

I am a passionate advocate for progressive causes with over a decade of experience organizing for social change. That organizing experience informs the way I look at the world and the challenges we face in working toward social justice. I started Of Means and Ends to write about social issues I care about and share my thoughts on how we organize in a smart, strategic way. Please visit and join the conversation.

Leave a Comment

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s