W. Kamau Bell: The one thing these 101 colleges have in common

June 5, 2018

(CNN)As part of the “United Shades” episode about historically black colleges and universities, known as HBCUs, I talked to Howard University grad and tech innovator Jewel Burks, whose startup Partpic was acquired by Amazon a few years ago. Among all the folks I talked to, Jewel perfectly encapsulated the importance of the history of HBCUs and their relevance today. She said she felt like an HBCU campus was the only…


‘Roseanne’ reboot is damn good. The star deserves none of the credit

April 5, 2018

(CNN)Originally, I had decided not to watch the reboot of “Roseanne” because of Barr’s vocal and bizarre worship of Donald Trump. However, when I heard that Wanda Sykes, one of the greatest comics of our time, was a head writer on the new “Roseanne,” I decided to give the show a chance. In addition, the very idea of the reboot came from “The Talk’s” Sara Gilbert (Darlene), who clearly isn’t…


The needs of the politicians and those of the people are on a collision course

January 23, 2018

(CNN)The federal government shutdown is an expensive, demoralizing inconvenience felt all across the nation, not just in Washington. So why didn’t legislators work overtime to arrive at a compromise? Source: Senate Democrats ‘united’ against House GOP plan On average, any president, Democrat or Republican, sees his party lose 36 seats in the House if the president’s popularity falls below 50%. With an anemic 37% approval rating, Trump is on track…


Nothing affects Trump more than what people say about him

January 7, 2018

(CNN)With his latest tweetstorm, addressing everything from North Korea’s nuclear threat to the mythical “Deep State” inside the Justice Department, Donald Trump has fallen through the floor of comedy and into the basement of tragedy. From his earliest days, when he fashioned himself into a character worthy of the stage, he was guided by dramatic impulses. Referring to his life as a “comic book” and “show,” Trump anointed public figures…


Do we love our guns more than our children?

November 25, 2017

(CNN)When I was 12, in the sixth grade in El Cerrito, California, one of my classmates brought a gun to school. She was a bright fellow student — flamboyant, funny, sometimes moody — occasionally in trouble, fun to play kickball with. I still remember her throaty laugh. I also remember the awful day while we stood on the play yard, as she pulled a gun out of her backpack and…


Harvey Weinstein and his enablers

October 17, 2017

(CNN)Viewers of Saturday Night Live noticed something missing this weekend. NBC’s late night sketch show sets out to skewer the cultural zeitgeist. And what showbiz story captured the cultural zeitgeist this week better than the tale of Harvey Weinstein, the Hollywood titan who has (finally) been accused in print of decades of sexual harassment? Michaels was serving up flat-out nonsense about our interest in the case, of course, but also…


The thing ‘SNL’ does to Trump

August 12, 2017

(CNN)Trump’s “locked and loaded” standoff with North Korea has Americans in high anxiety, hair-pulling among White House officials may be stalling his agenda, Robert Mueller’s Russia campaign-interference probe appears to be heating up with the recent FBI raid of President Donald Trump’s former campaign chairman Paul Manafort, and Trump faces the lowest-ever approval ratings for a president at this time in his first term. The first episode served as a…


Congressmen: Our bipartisan plan for health care

August 11, 2017

(CNN)People are sick of politics and politicians. They have had it with the finger-pointing and blame games while the world is engulfed in chaos. We’re freshman members of Congress from different political parties, but we know there is more that unites us than divides us. That’s why we’re part of the Problem Solvers Caucus: a group of more than 40 lawmakers, split evenly between Democrats and Republicans, committed to —…


Spare us the shock over Scaramucci

August 4, 2017

(CNN)It was in the final years of the 1990s that British columnist David Aaronovitch experienced that inevitable moment that befalls all parents of small children. Watching a news program on the unprecedented spectacle of an American president facing impeachment over his lies about liaisons with a White House intern, he heard the presenter utter the phrase, “oral sex in the vestibule.” Turning nervously to his adolescent daughter by his side,…


Congress’ message to Donald Trump is tough

July 29, 2017

(CNN)Even by the standards of Donald Trump’s presidency, this week has been extraordinarily chaotic and, more importantly, disastrous for the President’s agenda. Just hours before Senate Republicans failed to choke the life out of the health care program known as Obamacare — a top domestic priority for the administration — the entire Senate, Democrats and Republicans, voted on imposing new Russia sanctions, effectively tying the President’s hands on dealing with…