Sesame Street teamed with CNN for a town hall on the Black Lives Matter protests around the county, with Elmo’s dad explaining that “across the country, people of color, especially in the black community, are being treated unfairly because of how they look.”
Shouts of “Black Lives Matter, Black Lives Matter!” kicked off the CNN-Sesame Street Town Hall for Kids and Families segment, which focused on “standing up to racism.” Elmo, on a split screen with his dad, Louie, asked, “Why are these people together?” followed by a serious of other questions. Louie ultimately told his son that protesters are upset because “racism is a huge problem in our country.”
“They’re gathering together to protest,” Louie said, explaining the meaning. “A protest is when people come together to show they are upset and disagree about something. They want to make others aware of the problem. Through protesting, people are able to share their feelings and work together to make things better.
“They make signs, like this,” he said, holding up a sign reading, “Love, Justice, Peace.” Louie also revealed himself as a protester, telling Elmo of his plans to bring the sign to a protest at the community center “later.”
“They look upset,” Elmo said. “Are the protesters sad?”
“They are sad and upset and they have every right to be, Elmo. People are upset because racism is a huge problem in our country,” Louie continued, explaining the concept of racism to Elmo.
“Racism is when people treat other people unfairly because of the way they look or the color of their skin,” he said, spurring confusion with Elmo.
“The color of their skin? Elmo doesn’t understand, daddy. Elmo has friends with different types of skin, oh, and fur, too,” Elmo said.
“I know Elmo, but not all streets are like Sesame Street,” Louie added. “On Sesame Street we all love and respect one another. Across the country, people of color, especially in the black community, are being treated unfairly because of how they look, their culture, race and who they are,” he continued, adding, “What we are seeing is people saying enough is enough. They want to end racism.”
Elmo concluded that he “wants to end racism too” and asked how he could support his friends. Louie told him he could start by learning, talking about what is happening, and taking action.
“Not all streets are like Sesame Street. … What we are seeing is people saying 'enough is enough.' They want to end racism.”@Elmo’s dad Louie explains why people are protesting across the US. https://t.co/icV04F4FNW #CNNSesameStreet pic.twitter.com/1efrMAzZ8V
— CNN (@CNN) June 6, 2020
Notably, Elmo and his father did not discuss the violent riots — dominated by assault, looting, vandalism, and arson — that have permeated many of the protests over the weeks.
Fox News’s Tucker Carlson unloaded on the segment and “decades of relentless propaganda” that has been relentlessly presented to so many.
“A children’s show,” Carlson said of the town hall segment. “Got that, Bobby? America is a very bad place, and it’s your fault. So no matter what happens, no matter what they do to you when you grow up, you have no right to complain. That’s the message and it starts very young.”