Comedian/CNN Host: The KKK is 'The Core' of the Republican Party

On Wednesday's CNN Tonight, W. Kamau Bell claimed that white supremacy is the new ideology of the Republican Party: "If the Republican Party is a gumbo...the roux of that gumbo is white supremacy, and the core of that is the Ku Klux Klan." Bell later asserted that the Obama birther issue was when white supremacy supposedly became dominant in the GOP: "It came from the first four years of Barack Obama's presidency...where they allowed Donald Trump to demand the President show his birth certificate — and they just stood by and went, maybe he's not born here." [video below]

Host Don Lemon brought on the comedian to preview his upcoming CNN series, United Shades of America. Lemon first asked, "It's 2016. We're arguing about the KKK's role in the presidential election. Would you have ever thought — imagined that?" Bell bluntly replied, "With the direction the Republican Party's been going for the last few years, absolutely." The guest gave his "gumbo" answer when the anchor prompted him to explain why.

Lemon followed up by pointing out that "the leaders of the Republican Party...are disavowing anything to do with the Ku Klux Klan." He then wondered, "Are they saying that because they have to, or do you think that they believe that...and shouldn't you given some credit for that at least?" Bell replied, in part, by underlining that "they're also thinking about starting a new party, from what I understand — like, they are, in some way, acknowledging that the party has gotten out of their control."

The United Shades of America host raised the Obama birther issue later in the segment, and added, "They allowed that to happen, and this is the result of that. This is like the pimple coming home to roost."

Back in August 2015, Bell and Lemon made fun of the Iowa State Fair as "one of the whitest places in America." The comedian cracked that attendees of the fair were "taking pictures of me. I don't think it's because I'm famous. It's because I'm a black dude."

The transcript of the relevant portion of the W. Kamau Bell segment from CNN Tonight on March 2, 2016:

DON LEMON: Kamau, it's 2016. We're arguing about the KKK's role in the presidential election. Would you have ever thought — imagined that?

BELL: With the direction the Republican Party's been going for the last few years, absolutely.

LEMON: Why do you say that?

[CNN Graphic: "America In Black & White: Inside Look At The KKK"]

W. KAMAU BELL, UNITED SHADES OF AMERICA: The Republican Party — if the Republican Party is a gumbo — the modern Republican Party — the roux of that gumbo is white supremacy, and the core of that is the Ku Klux Klan.

LEMON: Do you — now, the members of the Republican Party would say — and if you listen to the — the leaders of the Republican Party, they are disavowing anything to do with the Ku Klux Klan. Is — are they saying that because they have to, or — or do you think that they believe that? Is that — and shouldn't you given some credit for that at least?

[CNN Graphic: "KKK And The Presidential Election"]

BELL: But they're also thinking about starting a new party, from what I understand — like, they are, in some way, acknowledging that the party has gotten out of their control; and they're thinking about running a candidate — they're thinking about waking Mitt Romney up. You know what I mean? Like, they are aware that the party has gotten out of control, and there's not — I feel like they're saying there's nothing we can do about it, other than reconvene somewhere else.

LEMON: Well, to Frank Bruni and Gloria Borger — I had them just on — and I was like, is this a surprise to them? Was this an epiphany to them — that they've realized that, somehow, their party is out of control, especially when it comes to these issues — you know, addressing racism and the Ku Klux Klan? And to you — it sounds like, to you, that you believe that, all of a sudden, they're like, wow! Where did this come from?

BELL: Yeah, and it came from — it came from the first four years of Barack Obama's presidency — President Barack Obama — where they allowed Donald Trump to demand the President show his birth certificate — and they just stood by and went, maybe he's not born here. We don't — how would we ever know? Hawaii, we don't know that's a state. They allowed that to happen, and this is the result of that. This is like — this is like the pimple coming home to roost.

Matthew Balan
Matthew Balan
Matthew Balan is a news analyst at Media Research Center