Panel - President Obama Calls Out Black Lives Matter Activists

April 26, 2016 - Matt McGorry 04/26/2016 Views: 1,313

Matt McGorry, Jordan Carlos and Robin Thede weigh in on whether it was appropriate for President Obama to criticize Black Lives Matter protesters during his visit to the U.K. (7:44)

Welcome back.I'm here with my panel.

First up-- Nightly Show contributor Jordan Carlos.

-(cheers and applause)-THEDE: Yes, Jordan!

And Nightly Show contributorRobin Thede.

(cheers and applause)

And he stars in How to Get Away with Murder,

as wellas Orange is the New Black.

Season 4 premieresJune 17 on Netflix.

-Actor and activistMatt McGorry. -CARLOS: Yeah!

-(cheers and applause)-Yes.

And for everyone at home,join our conversation right now

on Twitter @NightlyShow,using the hashtag #Tonightly.

Okay, so,I want to talk about this.

Obama appeared to criticizethe Black Lives Matter movement

this past weekend duringa town hall meeting in London.

Uh, and while talking aboutsocial justice movements,

he said--I'm paraphrasing here...

he said, uh, onceyou've highlighted an issue

and brought itto people's attention,

and elected officials are readyto sit down with you,

then you can't justkeep on yelling at them.

Of course, it took Obama aboutfive minutes just to say that.



I personally thinkhe was speaking up for Hillary,

who's had someBlack Lives Matter moments.

It's like he was saying,"Stop yelling

at that scared white lady."That's what it seemed like.

-Um... -McGORRY: Right.-(laughter)

Am I wrong?

Well, I mean, a couple points,like, off the bat.

-Yeah. -You know, obviously,the Black Lives Matter movement

is not for me or about me.

-Mm-hmm. -You know,I like to consider myself

hopefully an ally to...

-Mm-hmm.-help raise awareness for that.

-(Thede whoops) -Mm-hmm.Right. -CARLOS: Yeah, man!

It's also not my placeto tell a black man,

especially the presidentof the United States,

what he shouldor shouldn't be saying about...

WILMORE:Well, he's a Halfrican American.

-Yeah. Yeah.-You could tell his white side.

CARLOS: But you're gonna do it.I want you to do it.

-But I'm gonna do it anyway.-THEDE: But do it. Yeah. Do it.

WILMORE: I love the..."It's not for me to say, but..."

McGORRY: No, no, I mean,like, I think any movement

requires people who are outside,who are not going

-to sort of be politicalabout it. -Mm-hmm.

We're going to yell,and that's sort of how...

we keep people honest--you know, like,

that's what happened sort ofwith the Clinton, uh...

when-when Bill... you know, whenBill Clinton gave his answer

-Yeah. -to the activists,you know, about the crime bill.

-And, you know, it is important,because, you know... -Mm-hmm.

I-I can't say, you know, howangry I would or wouldn't be,

and, you know, I think people...some people are there

to make the compromisesand to be in the room,

and some people need to justkind of do what they need to do.

CARLOS: I had a problem with it,you know?

-You had a problem with...-Yeah. -I had a problem

with Obama doing that--I just, like,

why are you putting,uh, BLM's business

on Front Street like that,you know what I mean?

He's just, like,giving us, like...

WILMORE: On Front Street,on Fleet Street?

On Fleet Street, more like.It's, like,

he could have said that to themin the, like,

through a letter or an e-mailor something like that,

and he's just like, "They'rejust yellin' all the time,

and, uh, I don't likethat (bleep), you know?"

-Like... i-it's, like...-(laughter)

I guess I'm notthat cynical about it,

thinking that it was a, like,this ploy to help Hillary.

-Like, he was speaking...-WILMORE: I know,

I'm very politically cynical.

Yeah. I mean, he was speakingto a bunch of teenagers

in London-- he might as wellhave been at Hogwarts.

-Like, it didn't have anythingto do with Hillary to me. -Yeah.

And who's gonna yell in England?It's England.

-Right. -You know what I mean?They're, like, very...

-If you look at the crowd,they were very subdued. -Uh-huh.

-Right, right. -They're like,"Yes, Mr. President, go on."

You know?"It's almost time for toppins."

You know?Like, things like that.

-(laughter)-WILMORE: Wait. Toppins?

I have no idea.I don't know what they...

THEDE: That's a thing, no, no,that's a thing. Go with it.

Do they eat that?I'm thinking clotted cream.

-Ah, yeah.-THEDE: Oh, yeah.

-(laughter) -Yeah, let's...let's not get stuck there.

WILMORE: Yeah. Uh, he also said,you can't refuse to meet,

because that might compromisethe purity of your position.

referring to when one activistrefused to meet with him

in October,they refused to meet with Obama.

Saying it would do a disserviceto her greater goals

as an activist to participate.

What is"purity of your position"?

-What is... what do you thinkhe means by that? -Hmm.

Do you... Like, why would younot meet with the president?

Well, it's your street cred,I guess, in a way, right?

Like, you're like, "Look,we're Black Lives Matter.

If we meet with you, maybewe're compromising our goals."

-Mm-hmm. -But to me,this statement is just Obama

in "dad mode."Like, you know what I mean?

He's just like... he's like,"Stop all that yellin'

-Uh-huh. -if you're not gonnahave a mission behind it."

Which, I mean, I get his point,

-Mm-hmm. -but it still feelsvery dad-like.

But I don't blame themfor not meeting with him

-to some degree. -For notmeeting with the president?

-To some degree. -You don't wantto have the president's ear?

-He has the biggest ears.-So, so, okay. So...

-CARLOS: I don't know...-THEDE: No, that's a fair point.

But, like, imagineif you're trying to...

you're trying to still getyour movement together,

you know what I mean, and you'restill organizing in this way,

and the president's like,"Okay, cool,

come meet meat the Oval Office."

That's nota little intimidating?

-You think he said it like that?-Yeah, he called them out.

Yeah, I can imagine them,like, probably, like,

huddled in somebody's room,just like, "Oh, my God,

get the notes, get the notes,"you know what I'm saying?

-Aah! (bleep) -Like, "Justcancel it! Just cancel it!"

McGORRY:Also, I feel like, you know--

and it's different--I feel like...

I think too many white peopleoften talk about, like,

"Oh, they're yelling tooloudly," or something like that,

-and that's a problem, too,because... -Right. Right.

Ultimately, as white people--and I think that's my place

in the movement is to talkto other white people

about these things--but ultimately, if our problem

is more with the tonethat people are taking

or that they're yellingtoo loudly

than the racial, you know,problems themselves,

-Right.-that's the problem.

And you kind of haveto look at that instead.

-Yeah. -THEDE: Right.You're missing the message.

You're missing the messageand you're missing...

You know, I think, you know,the realization

I've sort of come to is that,you know, silently disapproving

of racism doesn't do anythingto change it.

WILMORE: That is a fact.That is a fact.

-THEDE: Amen. -And systemicracism, too, you know?

And I think historically,white people,

we kind of suck at realizing it,you know, and, you know...

Like, it took hundreds of yearsfor, you know, slavery to end

and all these other things, andthere are plenty of issues still

-that happen now...-Yeah. Well, so right now

disruption seems to bethe thing.

But does it seemlike it needs to evolve

into, like, policy prescriptionor that sort of thing?

I mean, uh, listen, I-I thinkmovements do... they change.

I mean, at one time the NAACP--w... they were like...

-they didn't accept women,you know? -Right.

So I think that's changed. Uh...

You know, that-that's changed.You... A-And at Seneca Falls

-I did some, uh, researchon this. Uh... -Oh, here we go.

During Seneca Fallsthey-they were, like,

going back and forthlike, "Should we ask

-for the vote or not?"-Mm-hmm.

You know? I mean, think aboutit. Like, that-that was

the wom... that was the-the...

the nadir ofthe women's movement.

-I can't believeI just used that word. -Nice.

You know, as-as obviousas it may seem to some people...

I'll tell you, my conversationswith white people,

it's not that obviousto a lot of people.

Or at least the extent to it,and before, frankly,

I became, you know,interested in this stuff, like,

which was only like a year ago,I didn't know.

-And I'm someone who clearlycares about it... -Really? that I know.Yeah. But reading

The New Jim Crow byMichelle Alexander, you know...

-Boom. -...understanding...You know, when you-when you

-have a white lens...-I saw you read

-Ta-Nehisi Coates, too.-Yeah.

Yeah, yeah. I...I follow your Gram, man.

Oh, all right. Follow back,I'm gonna follow back.

-Yeah, I'll follow you back.-She opened more...

What, you just watch himwhile he's reading?

No, man, it was on... Yes.


No, she...Michelle Alexander put, uh,

that whole era on blast,but she opened eyes

-for a lot of blacks, too,who... -Yeah, sure.

...who, you know,did not... was not aware

of a lot of the issuesthat she brought up.

Yeah, I believe that. I... Yeah.

Yeah, so-so that bookis a disruption in and...

in and of itself,which arguably...

It seems like the blackintellectual class

has kind of startedthis movement in some ways.

Or at least they've...

they've been kind of the,uh, fuel underneath it.

Yeah. It's called,uh, staying woke.

-You know, we call it stayingwoke. -Right, staying woke.

-Right? -Staying woke.-That's right.

And that's what...You want to read these things

and be a part of this in any waythat you can to help stay woke.

And it-and it takes peoplefrom every side to do that.

He woke, he woke.Is Black Lives Matter

gonna matter in the fall?

I think it's gonnamatter always,

until we have,you know, equality.

-Mm-hmm. -Yeah.-Yeah, it should. I mean...

And plus, I thinkBLM is an idea.

And, like, that-that'sthe most important part.

I mean, they-they have a sloganthat has... that's done as well

as, you know, like,"Make America Great Again".

-It's... People know that... I'mnot saying... -They need hats.

Just relax. I'm not sayingI like it as much.

Yeah, that's the problem-- weneed hats, young people, okay?

-That's so true. We need hats.-Can we get some hats?

-(bleep).-Those hats would be amazing.

-I... (exhales)-There are hats.

-There are hats?-No, I'm sure there are hats.

We just... We should get some.That's on us-- we don't have

-the hats. That's on us. -I lovehow Matt comes and tells us

-about BLM, too. That wasamazing. -He was real serious.

He was like, "No, no, though,there are hats."

-Yeah. -There are hats.-Not my responsibility.

That's what happenswhen you get woke, okay?

-We'll be right back.-Yeah!

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