Black Eye on America - The Struggles of African-American Journalists

October 20, 2016 - Mike Colter 10/20/2016 Views: 41,536

Roy Wood Jr. examines the pitfalls that black journalists face when covering racially charged issues like police brutality and Donald Trump's divisive presidential campaign. (4:53)

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TV journalism is easy.

You sit there, people say stuff,

you pretend you understand,

you make some faces. Big deal.

But apparently some journalistsdon't have it so easy,

as Roy Wood Jr. blacksplainsin his new s...

Can I say "blacksplain"?Is that a...

Okay, well,I already said it. Roy?

2016 been a stressful yearfor black folks, man.

You got two candidatesnobody want to vote for.

You got chaos in the streets.

And, for the most part,most black people get to emote

the way they want to.

But there's one groupthat can't,

the black journalists.

(blows landing,indistinct crowd chatter)

When you're black and on TV, people say awesome stuff to you

-like this. -The postcolonialvictim (bleep)--

-I don't get it. Sorry.-(bell rings)

Yeah, no (bleep) you don't, fake Gary Busey.

And that ain't even the worst of it.

Say you're a cocaine dealer--and you kind of look like one

-a little bit-- uh... -He just said that out loud.

Most people would've cussed that dude out,

but if you're a black journalist,

you got to keep your cool.

As do you. You look like...you look like a cocaine user,

-so we're even. (laughs)-Yeah.

Black journalists constantlyhave to bite their tongue.

They come close to the line,but-- God bless 'em--

they never cross it.'Cause if they do,

then they'll be labeledan angry black man.

You can't be emotionalabout anything,

especially if you're a black anchor.

Look at Lester Holt.

This brother had to sit rightacross from Trump and not react.

He had a front row seatto the bull(bleep).

African-Americans, Hispanicsare living in hell.

-What makes your... -I didnot support the war in Iraq.

-The record does not show that.-Why was... is-is your judgment

-any... -The record showsthat I'm right.

Look right there.Look, look, look.

The man blinked 87 times.

-(echoing): ...record showsthat I'm right. -(screaming)

If I was moderating that debate, oh, please believe

it would have gone down differently.

African-Americans, Hispanicsare living in hell.

-Wait, what? Wait...(stammering) -You walk down

-the street, you get shotin Chicago. -No, no, no. Uh-uh.

I'm out. Better get Billy Bush.

Arguing on TV back in the day used to be simple.

You are wrong, I am right.

I am right, you are wrong.

How do you defend yourselffrom these people

fighting all new styles?And Trump, (bleep)!

All lives matter!Republicans freed the slaves!

You can't defend yourselffrom all that (bleep)

just doing this. You'd getyour ass whupped on TV.

-One second! One second! Onesecond! -(indistinct arguing)

One second! One second!

"One second! One second!One second!"

How you let somebody yell at youon Skype?

I would've closed my laptop.Get out of my face.

The best of black journalistsare being pushed to their limits

during this election,

sometimes even by your own people.

-These people preach vile...-Well, if you'll let me get a...

Are you gonna let me get a wordin? We'll be right back.

We're gonna go to break.And we'll be right back.

Are you gonna let me talk?

Don Lemon wanted to slapthe (bleep) out of that dude.

And what's worse than beinglabeled an "angry black man"?

An angry black woman.

CNN's Angela Rye never breaks on TV,

but you damn sure know what she's thinking.

That girl could have her own emoji keyboard.

Donald Trump's done great thingsin his private time, too.

RYE: I am a black woman. I do roll my eyes.

If someone says something,frankly, that's crazy as hell,

I don't think that you shouldhave to remain composed.

WOOD: And that's just her silent game. Her verbal game--

oh, man, that's a whole other level.

Tell me about those tax returns,Corey, while you're at it.

WOOD: Why don't you take down Trump's campaign manager

with a Beyoncé lyric?

Corey, in this moment, I'm gonnaBeyoncé you. "Boy, bye."

You wouldn't even see it coming.

You'd just be having aconversation, and pop! Beyoncé!

You need to just be glad she didn't hit them with Solange.

-(bell clangs)-(crowd cheering)

Nobody's come closer to the edgethan Marc Lamont Hill,

and for good reason.

Racist Mr. Magoo...

I mean, CNN pundit Harry Houck--

he ain't to be messed with.

This not gonna beno easy win for Hill.

-It's non-systemic. -But yousaid that black people are prone

to criminality. I wasn't ableto respond to that, okay?

-Well they are.-But you think

black people are proneto criminality?

-The statistics here show this.-You don't mean to say that.

I'm gonna give you a chanceto correct it.

Oh, this... What does this say?

You don't mean that black peopleare prone to criminality.

If Harry's here,I was, like, right here.

Like, he almost got them hands.

He almost got them hands?

And I would reinforce the thingthat he's saying,

which is that we're proneto criminality.

I'm telling you, 75% of allshootings are black.

I'm hopingyou just don't know...

WOOD: He's literally praying to God on national television.

HILL: It's like,

"light bill,car note, mortgage."

Jesus was the only thing

that saved Marc Lamont Hillthat night.

(angelic singing)

Black journalists keepingtheir (bleep) together

is one of the few things

moving the conversationon race forward.

So I salute the brave men and women of cable news

'cause, best believe, if I was in your shoes,

I wouldn't be able to hold myself back.

I'm just tired of the policegetting the brunt of everything

that's going on insidethe inner city of Chicago.

You peoplewho live in Chicago...

-No. No, it's not "you people."-What?! You people?!

Harry, now, come on.