The Colbert Report

Season 5 Episode 102

Kevin Baker

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Aired Weekdays 11:30 PM Jul 29, 2009 on Comedy Central
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Tonight Stephen welcomes the contibuting editor for Harper's Magazine, Kevin Baker.
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      • Stephen: Tonight: What's the state of racism in America? I'm gonna go with Alabama: Then: Lance Armstrong comes in third in the Tour de France. That guy's a total failure. And my guest Harper's Magazine's Kevin Baker says Obama is the new Hoover. That's ridiculous, Hoover wasn't born in Kenya. Today's Colbert Kids Club activity, color in more of my hair. This is the Colbert Report!

      • Stephen: As you know I don't see race. People tell me I'm white and I believe them because my fridge is filled with drinkable yogurt.

      • Stephen: That is the kind of thoughtful restraint that brings us to tonight's Word: He Who Smelt It, Dealt It. Look folks, nobody thinks racism is good. (Racism bad) No, it stinks, but it doesn't happen all the time, right President proof it doesn't happen all the rime?

        [Video: President Obama: And I believe that overall their probably is less discrimination than there is today.]

        Stephen: Admittedly we set a high bar with slavery. (Slaves id actual bar setting) But at this point folks, racism is nothing more than an unpleasant nuisance that is best to ignore. It's like a fart. (In that grandpa does it a lot) Now if you're in a crowded elevator and someone lets one rip, I mean a real hair curler, this thing gives you a perm, you don't turn around and yell: My God, who did that! (Ask not for whom the smell tolls) No, you hold your breath and sprint for safety on the next floor. Same thing with racism, we wish it didn't happen but it's perfectly natural and everybody does it. (Except girls) Let's say you're a Cambridge cop in close quarters with someone, there's some rumbling between the parties, a lot of pressure is building up, you're trying to keep control, but suddenly…[Fart noise] The head of African American studies at Harvard University is in handcuffs. It just squeaked out. (You have the right to remain silent but deadly) Or, let's say, you're the head of African American studies at Harvard University. You've spent forty years digesting your troubled racial history and it's not agreeing with you. Then a white cop shows up at your door demanding ID and: [Fart noise] Suddenly that cop is a nationally known racist. (Hey, that's Rush Limbaugh's job) Oops, what are you gonna do, somebody light a match.

        The last thing we should do is start a national conversation about it. What do you think about farts? Is there more or less farting than there used to be? Do you think this is a teachable fart? No! When someone passes racial gas, you don't call a press conference, you crack a window. [Clip from Do the Right Thing where the trash can is thrown into a window] Or not. You could try a nice potpourri. Cover it up with a more pleasant issue in the news. (Healthcare reform will kill old people?) The point is racism happens and we all need to stop being so sensitive about it. Especially Irish cops and over educated black guys. [Fart noise] That was him.

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