Elmo’s father gave him a timely lesson about racism that didn’t sugar coat what was going on in the world today.
CNN hosted a Sesame Street Town Hall on Saturday, June 6, that was both a kid and adult friendly special focusing on anti-racism. One of the characters that popped up during the 60-minute program was the beloved Elmo, who had a very educational discussion with his father Louie about the issues going on in the world after George Floyd‘s death. The clip started with Elmo in a state of confusion over why people were protesting outside his window. “What’s happening? Why are all these people together?”, he asked his dad.
“They’re gathered together to protest,” Louie responded to a still very bewildered Elmo. “A protest is when people come together to show they are upset and disagree about something. They want to make others aware of the problem. Through protesting people are able to share their feelings and work together to make things better.” Louie then showed him how protesters make signs just like the one he was holding up.
Elmo started to understand and then asked further questions that dove much deeper emotionally. “Are the protesters sad?” Louie was very direct in his response. “They are sad. And upset. And they have every right to be Elmo. People are upset because racism is a huge problem in our country.” Racism, just like protest, is another word that Louie had to educate Elmo on.
“Racism is when people treat other people unfairly because of the way they look or the color of their skin,” Louie revealed. Elmo was stunned by what he said because he has friends with “different types of skin. And color too.” That’s when his dad had to drop yet another truth bomb on his son with this very blunt sentence: “Not all streets are like Sesame Street.”
“On Sesame Street, we all love and respect one another. Across the country, people of color, especially in the black community, are being treated unfairly because of how they look. Their culture, race and who they are. What we are seeing as people saying ‘enough is enough!’ They want to end racism.” The video ended with Elmo saying that he wants to end racism too after his father educated him on the topic.
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