The iconic public television children’s show Sesame Street is airing a 30-minute special aimed at teaching children (and families) how to be “anti-racist.” The special helpfully defines “racism” for its young audiences and urges kids to call out others who they suspect of being racist. That will help bring the country together! We desperately need four and five-year-old children running around hurling accusations at others.
“You’re racist, Jimmy!”
“No, you are, Johnny!”
“Am not, but your dad is! And he’s homophobic, Islamophobic and sexist, too! And your mom is a slut! So there!”
The half-hour “anti-racist” TV special, entitled, “The Power of We,” is streaming on HBO Max and PBS Kids, and first aired on PBS stations on October 15.
In one skit, a white Muppet tells a Black Muppet that he can’t dress up like a superhero because superheroes can only be white. Of course. The Black Muppet nonetheless courageously refuses to stop playing superheroes, averring that they can come in all colors. The white Muppet proceeds to apologize and the message “Racism hurts and it’s wrong,” is delivered. (And then the Black Muppet tells the white Muppet that only whites can be racist. Just kidding, but that’s what’s happening in real life.)
In another vapid vignette, Tamir, a Black 8-year-old Muppet, sings a song entitled, “How Do You Know?” The song’s lyrics include, “Hey, Elmo, how would you feel if I said, ‘I don’t like you ’cause I don’t like the color red?'”
Elmo replies by singing back to Tamir, “Elmo wouldn’t care what you said ’cause Elmo is proud, proud to be red!” (Would they let him say, “Elmo is proud, proud to be conservative!?)
In yet another nod to political correctness and group-think, all the puppet Muppets wear masks during the special. (It’s essential that one piece of cloth wear another, I guess.)
But that’s not all. Viewers are offered tips for helping their communities fight racism, using tools like chalk drawings and sing-a-long songs. These should work wonders!
And there’s more. Sesame Workshop offers online resources for parents to help guide racial conversations with their child, including suggestions for talking, singing, and even breathing together! With masks on, of course…and observing proper social distancing guidelines! Feel good yet?
If the special were to be true to today’s values, however, it would show Elmo demanding red-only safe spaces, Tamir pleading for reparations, Big Bird decrying habitat loss and sizeism, Bert & Ernie leading a gay PRIDE! Parade, Miss Piggy decrying ubiquitous misogyny, and Kermit the Frog ceaselessly whining about how hard it is to be a green amphibian in this country, due to systemic racism and speciesism. All characters would appear at the end of the show to “figuratively join hands in taking a stand against racism,” while ritually chanting “All colors are good. Except orange. Orange Man Bad!”
We would expect nothing less from PBS, the Progressive Broadcasting System.