Sesame Street To Give Tucker Carlson Another Anti-Racism Special To Cry About
Conservatives in America have long felt attacked by "Sesame Street" and other children's programming that teach them liberal values like "sharing" and "not being mean to people because they are different" and "generally being a nice person." This is at least partly why Republicans have been trying to defund PBS since the 1970s, and why the Trump administration has been pushing for that as well in recent years.
Now they will have a brand new reason to be mad at "Sesame Street" — the fact that the children's program is hosting a special, titled "The Power of We," meant to teach children to stand up against racism.
The special defines racism for younger viewers and shows how it can be hurtful. It urges children who encounter racism or hear someone else be the victim of it to call it out. "When you see something that's wrong, speak up and say, 'That's wrong' and tell an adult," 6-year-old Gabrielle the Muppet advises.
The special, composed of little skits and songs in a Zoom-like format, will stream on HBO Max and PBS Kids and air on PBS stations beginning Oct. 15.
In one animated skit, a Black Muppet is told by a white Muppet that he can't dress up like a superhero because they're only white. Though hurt, the Black Muppet nevertheless refuses to stop playing superheroes, saying they can come in all colors. The white Muppet soon apologizes. "Racism hurts and it's wrong," is the message.
These kinds of messages are very hurtful to conservatives, who believe that children should be taught that racism — especially systemic racism, which I am told Vice President Mike Pence said was fictional just last night — does not exist and that people of color who say it exists and that they have personally experienced it are either lying or delusional. Also that it is not racist to think that the vast majority of people of color are liars or are delusional, or to think that white Republicans are the only people who can objectively determine whether a thing is racist. Why can't we teach children that, huh?
Earlier this year, Tucker Carlson raged against Elmo, the bright red puppet known to enjoy being tickled and speaking of himself in the third person, for his participation in a CNN/Sesame Street Town Hall in which his Dad explained to him what was going on with the Black Lives Matter protests.
Carlson did not think that children should be taught that Black people are mad about racism, because then, hypothetical white children named Bobby will think that America is bad and that it's their fault.
Tucker: The rise of left-wing rage mobs in America youtu.be
"It's a children's show! Got that, Bobby?" Tucker cried. "America is a very bad place and it's YOUR FAULT. So no matter what happens, no matter what they do to you when you grow up, you have no right to complain." Yes. Even if they murder you, which is very clearly what he is suggesting here. And that would be super poignant if that were at all true or if the protests were not about Black people themselves being murdered by police.
In 2011, Cool Kids Philosopher Ben Shapiro dedicated a large portion of his book Primetime Propaganda: The True Hollywood Story of How the Left Took Over Your TV, to the many ways he had been personally hurt by Big Bird and Elmo.
One of the examples he used to illustrate this was the fact that, in an early episode of the show, Grover was supposedly seen "breaking bread" with a hippie. Yes, a hippie. I could not find that particular sketch, but I did find this one in which Grover and some hippies demonstrate the meaning of the word "walk" — a word Real Americans don't even need to know because of how they just drive cars everywhere they need to go.
Oh, the horror.
In an interview with Sean Hannity, Shapiro explained some of the more horrific aspects of the pinko commie brainwashing going on at the Children's Television Workshop:
I talked to one of the guys who was originally at Children's Television Workshop originally, and he said that the whole purpose of Sesame Street was to cater to black and Hispanic youths who don't have reading literature in the house. […] If you go on the Sesame Street website, it talked about 'when you're bringing up your child, make sure that you use gender neutral language. Make sure that you give your boys dolls and make sure that you give your girls firetrucks.
Well, that would be terrible.
Here is a clip of that interview that I am presenting both because it is ridiculous and also in case you, too, forgot that Ben Shapiro used to have bangs.
Fox News - Elmo & Big Bird Are Too Liberal & Make Gay Boys Want To Be Prom Queens youtu.be
Given all of this, we can be sure that when the "Sesame Street" special does air, rightwing talking heads are going to have a lot to say about it. But perhaps if it bothers them so much, they can make their own children's specials all about how real tolerance means not telling people that things are racist, because of how that might hurt their feelings.
Robyn Pennacchia is a brilliant, fabulously talented and visually stunning angel of a human being, who shrugged off what she is pretty sure would have been a Tony Award-winning career in musical theater in order to write about stuff on the internet. Follow her on Twitter at @RobynElyse