Jimmy Kimmel is confronting the hard truth
Jimmy Kimmel confronted his own racial blind spot, white privilege, and how he is trying to help the cause on Tuesday's episode of Jimmy Kimmel Live!.
After leaning into the U.S. President Donald Trump, Kimmel took a moment to reflect on his own privilege, and furthermore, his own ignorance towards the racial disparities.
“I know that a lot of white people bristle when they hear the word ‘privilege,’ as in ‘white privilege.’ Because there are millions of white people who did not grow up with money, or a good education, or a solid family background, or maybe even a family at all,” Kimmel started his statement.
Kimmel continued, "So when they hear the word ‘privilege,’ they go, ‘What privilege? I grew up with nothing. I work hard, I earn what I have, nobody gave me anything.’ You hear the phrase ‘white privilege,’ and it’s easy to get defensive."
“The first time I heard it, I did. I did. To me, white privilege was what Donald Trump had: a wealthy father and a silver spoon in his mouth. It wasn’t what I grew up with. So I rejected it because I didn’t understand what white privilege meant. But I think I do now. I think I at least understand some of it," he said.
Kimmel said to his viewers, "People who are white, we don’t have to deal with negative assumptions being made about us based on the colour of our skin. It rarely happens, if ever,” he said.
“Whereas Black people experience that every day. Every day. And please don’t tell me you don’t ever make assumptions about people based on the colour of their skin because I just don’t believe it. We all do. I know I have. I’m embarrassed to say it but I have," he confided.
He then went on to show his audience how LAPD officers were treating a group of African American store owners. The clip shows the store owner getting handcuffed and arrested when he was simply trying to protect his store from looters.
In the clip the commanding officer stated, "They [the cops] don’t know if they’re good guys, bad guys, and so we have to get it under control first and then sort everything out.”
When the clip ended, Kimmel then said to his viewers, "So imagine, if you can, how frustrating it must be to have to prove yourself to be something other than what people assume you probably are, every day."
He continued, "Imagine how frustrating it must be to get handcuffed, or frisked, or pulled over, just because you’re Black. Even if the cop looks in the car and goes, ‘Okay, everything’s fine, have a nice day.’ How do you swallow that and move on with your day? I don’t know about you but that would make me furious.”
Finally, Kimmel left his audience with a powerful message.
"So if you’re wondering why people are angry, and why they can’t just march nicely in the street, holding up their signs in a single file line, maybe that’s why."
"I read something last night that I think makes a lot of sense. It’s this: ‘White privilege doesn’t mean your life hasn’t been hard. It just means the colour of your skin isn’t one of the things that makes it harder.’ Wherever you stand, I don’t see how you can argue with that," he concluded.
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