Watch: Colbert Learns What It's Like to Hang Out With the Ku Klux Klan
So, why is W. Kamau Bell spending time with America's most prominent hate group?
“I’m a comedian. I live in the Bay Area. I know that there are lots of different people out in the world and I think it’s important to try and sit down with as many people and have as many conversations as possible,” Bell told "Late Show" host Stephen Colbert.
“Well, the way I heard this [show] described is ‘a black goes where he shouldn’t.’ Where is that?” Colbert asked Bell.
“Basically, if you leave your house as a black person in America, you’re probably in dangerous territory,” Bell said. “But I’m going further outside my house.
Traveling around the country as a comedian, Bell gets to witness firsthand the good, the bad and the ugly of America. And there’s some real ugly behavior that doesn’t seem to be changing anytime soon.
“I will go to towns to do comedy and as soon as I walk in, they go, ‘You must be the comedian.’ Just because I look like somebody who should be there. So they’re like, ‘You better be funny or else you’re in the wrong place.’”
But recently, Bell went to what Colbert described as “specifically the wrong place": the Ku Klux Klan.
One Klan member told Bell that he believed “the Klan can be just a tool to reach people.” But the same Klan member also told the comedian that his “personal belief is that black people cannot maintain law and order on their own."
“Was that tough to sit there and listen to that?” Colbert asked Bell. “It was tough to sit there and try to eat. We were supposed to have lunch, but I really couldn’t take in the hatred and eat a burger at the same time,” Bell admitted.
And Bell’s ultimate goal?”
“I’m basically going for a Nobel Peace Prize,” he explained, adding “You know, Obama got one [and] I’m two weeks into my show… I think it’s on the way.”