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Daily Show's Jessica Williams and Samantha Bee Eviscerate White Privilege

In a hilarious segment about race, the two female correspondents examined the differences between white and black perceptions.
 
 
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Last night on the Daily Show, Jessica Williams and Samantha Bee led a segment about "The R Word" -- you guessed it, race -- tackling how "terrifying" it is for many to talk about white privilege racism in Ameria. So, Williams and Bee got together two panels -- one black, and one white -- to hash it all out. Hilariously, they revealed the stunning differences between white and Black Americans when it comes to perceptions of racism, as well as how each group's experiences (and privilege or lack-thereof) affect their understanding of racism's severity.

An awkard Bee, in front of the black panel, explained how  "Incredibly uncomfortable" she was asking African Americans about race. Williams, who is Black, lead the white panel, and found that Obama's presidency made one white woman so confident racism was on its way out, that she would say we have made it "75%" of the way to eliminating racism. As a counterpoint, a man on the Black panel said that Obama's presidency erased only "7%" of racism, but otherwise, prejudice is alive and well. 

A white panelist told Williams "The fact that we keep talking about the problems exacerbates the problems, while the black panel noted that "Black people talk about race all the time. It's something we have to deal with all the time."

"Part of the privilege of being white is you don't have to feel uncomfortable just for existing and thinking a police officer is gonna profile you for what you look like," said a female in the Black panel.

Meanwhile, a woman on the white panel said race had never affected her ability to get a job, but that she had never been interviewed by a black person before Williams. "Maybe black people just aren't interested in my job," she said," I mean they should be 'cause I work in fashion."

The two separate panels ended on the topic of stop-and-frisk, a policing tactic commonly used by the NYPD to racially profile and stop or search young, Black and Latino men. 4/5th of black panel had been stopped, while only 1/5 of white people had -- and that woman said it was at the aiport, by the TSA.

"See, it's not that the conversation's so difficult. It's just that it's going to take a very, very long time," Williams and Bee concluded. 

Kristen Gwynne is an associate editor and drug policy reporter at AlterNet.  Follow her on Twitter: @KristenGwynne

 
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