Last week, Samantha Bee took her Full Frontal staff on a road trip to the Republican National Convention in Cleveland, and this week, we got to see what the inside of the RNC was really like for the comedian and her team of writers. Bee had three on-camera correspondents on the floor at the RNC talking to attendees about hot-button issues like nominee Donald Trump’s famously controversial rhetoric and even Black Lives Matter.
Full Frontal closed the show with a segment on Black Lives Matter. And what began as an embarrassing compilation of Republican voters condemning Black Lives Matter as an organization akin to the KKK soon changed into a surprisingly civil dialogue between Full Frontal writer Ashley Black and various RNC attendees. Black, a black woman, spoke to many people at the RNC who were surprisingly open-minded about BLM, despite the fact that they were initially quick to dismiss the movement. In a series of interviews, Black was able to do the impossible: Communicate efficiently with people who might not share her political views.
One woman she spoke to got to the real heart of the issue: She just didn’t know how, as a white woman, to talk about race without offending someone. Even, she said, when speaking about African Americans, she felt unsure of the terminology — should she say “African American” or “black”? With people so afraid of even broaching the conversation, is it any surprise so many people, mostly not people of color, struggle to understand the Black Lives Matter movement?
The segment wasn’t just an exposé on how out of control the “us versus them” narrative in politics has become, it was also a subtle statement supporting more diverse voices in media. As Bee noted in her voiceover during the segment, it seemed that people became more open to learning about BLM when faced with an actual black person asking the questions. Like it or not, journalists are not completely neutral, especially in an interview setting, and this Full Frontal segment is a perfect example of how diverse journalists can only enhance the conversation.