On Thursday, W. Kamau Bell, the host of CNN’s “United Shades of America,” appeared on a few of the network’s programs to discuss his show’s season premiere, as well as his new book.
On “The Situation Room,” Bell spoke to host Wolf Blitzer about the recent Ann Coulter speech cancellation at the University of California, Berkeley. Bell disagreed with the idea that free speech was being suppressed, instead arguing that there was a much different reason for the cancellation.
“The reason why people’s speeches are being cancelled is because it’s a safety issue,” he said. “If your free speech leads to hate speech, and it makes people feel unsafe, then universities have the right to protect the kids on campus.”
Earlier Friday morning, on “New Day,” after a clip of Bell interviewing self-proclaimed “alt-right” personality Richard Spencer, Bell discussed the current racial climate with the hosts before segueing into a conversation about Coulter. He said:
“I live in Berkeley, like I said earlier. And right now, in my neighborhood, where I live, there are, like, a weekly fight, you know? A weekly riot,” explained Bell.
“Yes, I believe [Coulter] should have been able to speak. I also believe she should be responsible for the fact she knows she’s a flamethrower. People who are flamethrowers generally travel with lot’s of security, because they know they are flamethrowers.”
From there, Bell moved onto a theory he has: that Coulter never wanted her speech to happen, instead desiring the controversy that a cancellation would draw.