The 2016 Republican National Convention was not very kind or welcoming to Black Lives Matter — many of the convention speakers denounced the social justice movement as a racist hate group. But comedian Samantha Bee discovered that many Republicans at the convention didn’t actually know all that much about what Black Lives Matter stands for.
On TBS' “Full Frontal with Samantha Bee” Monday, Bee broke down the many questionable and controversial statements on race that came out of the RNC. From Iowa Rep. Steve King’s assertion that non-white groups have not made significant contributions to civilization to Milwaukee County Sheriff David Clarke cueing the crown to cheer the exoneration of Baltimore police officers in the death of Freddie Gray, there was a lot for the comedian to parse.
“Just a reminder that Donald Trump didn’t bring the racist potato salad to the GOP church picnic,” Bee joked. “Well, he did, but they were like, ‘Oh, man, we already have so much potato salad.”
Bee’s reporters interviewed dozens of convention-goers, nearly all of whom refused to say the phrase “Black Lives Matter.” Some even went as far as to say it was destroying America.
“Any group that distinguishes people by their race is by definition a racist group,” one convention attendee said. “[Black Lives Matter] has no more place in our body politic than the KKK and skinheads.”
However, one phrase Republicans at the RNC were willing to say was “All Lives Matter,” the popular rebuke of the Black Lives Matter movement. Despite an admitted lack of knowledge about what Black Lives Matter stands for, the people Bee’s reporters interviewed were not willing to acknowledge the group as a legitimate political cause.
“I don’t know what they are saying,” said a Republican woman. “I just know there is a lot of anger there.”
“I wouldn’t have a clue,” said another Republican when asked what Black Lives Matter wants.
Bee is covering the Democratic National Convention this week, which is expected to provide a counter-argument to the sentiments expressed in the RNC. Donald Trump, the GOP’s presidential nominee, is currently polling at zero percent among black voters.