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W. Kamau Bell On The Meaning Of Patriotism

W. KAMAU BELL: My name is W. Kamau Bell. I'm a stand-up comedian and host of CNN's "United Shades Of America." And I'm a dad. For me, you know, I don't think of myself as a patriot first. I think of myself as someone who's fighting for the ideals that America has promised that it is about. So as a black man in America, I come from a long line of people who are fighting for what America had promised them. Some of those people are my family. And some of those people just share the same skin as me. And so, for me, it's part and parcel who I am as a black man in America - is that one of my jobs is to continue to fight for the rights that this country promised us and has yet to totally deliver on.

So, you know, I know that the word patriotism really rubs a lot of people the wrong way. And it's certainly not even something that I think of myself as when I get out of bed. I don't get out of bed and go, good morning, patriots (laughter) so - but that doesn't mean that when you're a person who gets out of bed in the morning and spends a majority of your day or part of your day fighting to make America a better version of itself that you're not engaging directly in patriotism. It's not just about the flag. It's not just about the anthem. It's about what you do in the world.


That was W. Kamau Bell who is host of CNN's "United Shades Of America." Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

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