Yesterday CNN and Sesame Street announced that they would be holding a Town Hall-style-program this Saturday to address racism. The idea seems a little silly at first. How are you going to explain to Elmo why the cops planted cocaine on his person after pulling him over? You also might be thinking, "Since when did CNN and Sesame Street start holding town halls together?" The answer is a little over a month ago when CNN and Sesame Street teamed up to explain Coronavirus to kids.
So while it might be easy to imagine Grover getting stumped after some kid asks why his daddy got tear-gassed outside the shopping mall, this isn't the first time Sesame Street has tackled tough issues. In fact, Sesame Street explains delicate topics better than anyone out there. There's that time, for example, when they talked kids through the concept of death to Big Bird after cast member Will Lee (Mr. Hooper) passed away.
Damn, Big Bird went through an existential crisis and back again without even having to spend 60 grand on a Cadillac-ATS. There's even the episode touching on 9/11, where Elmo learns all about the responsibilities and dangers of being a fireman.
There are probably some of you who hear this news and think, "Keep your damn racial politics out of my children's television programming!" before slamming your dick between the area where the door meets the door hinge to suppress your rage boners. But there probably aren't many of you, because if you watch Sesame Street for even a moment, you'll quickly realize where the program stands on race. Sesame Street was started as a way to challenge institutional racism. It's no accident that the show features an incredibly diverse group of characters who "lived, worked, and played together on a street in an inner-city neighborhood, similar (if in an idealized way) to the streets in which many minority children were growing up."
So, while it might seem like a daunting task for Cookie Monster to explain to your kids why businesses are closed and there is rioting in the streets as he hooks himself up to an IV bag full of chocolate chips, you can also rest assured that there's no better program that is up to the challenge. That said, you're going to want to keep them away from the Muppets. There's just too much subtext for Miss Piggy to handle.
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