Review: The United Shades of America

While scrolling through Hulu, I became acquainted with a new show that has always seemed to miss my line of vision. It’s called: The United Shades of America. It is a documentary series following comedian, W. Kamau Bell as he travels around America to learn about the different cultural groups this country houses. It airs on CNN. The first episode had me drawn in from beginning to end. In the first episode of the series, Kamau Bell ventured to where no black man has ever went before and came back alive, A Klu Klux Klan meeting. He met and sat with several KKK members from across the state, to hear what they had to share about the KKK pride and belief system.

Many of what I heard was shocking. It was amazing that Kamau Bell could remain so poised and calm throughout the interviews. Several things that were said, were outrageously racist and discriminating. However, it is interesting how the Klu Klux Klan members were insulted when referred to as bigots or racist for their way of thinking. In their eyes, white supremacy is nothing to be ashamed of; that nonwhite citizens and white citizens should be segregated to enhance an optimal lifestyle. One klan member was behind the erecting of a sign that read: NON-RACISM MEANS NON-WHITE. In other words, they are bashing the fact that the white race is always associated with racism. You can only imagine how many minorities were deterred from moving into the town, with that sign hanging at the border.

The passion for their belief system was so apparent. One man that sat with Kamau Bell in a diner, bluntly told him that because he was a black man, Kamau Bell would never be invited to his home. The KKK member also went in to disclose that he would also, never want to go to Kamau Bell’s house.  Their belief system was also warped. It appears like the KKK members like to take scriptures from the bible, and twist it to make sense in their own context. For example, one member proclaimed that God said interracial marriage and dating was abominable, and seen worse than committing murder. Nowhere in the bible does it say that. Its deplorable that the klan uses Christianity as their mainfront; especially when they are the furthest example from Jesus Christ.

What’s scary, is these groups infiltrating these beliefs into the youths’ mind from infancy. They have a daycare center in which they teach klan values. There are also broadcasts that they fund to share KKK news, messages and ideals. What’s laughable, is that several of these Klu Klux Klans refer to themselves as progressive. Seems like quite the opposite actually…..

The first episode was difficult to chew, but it was very interesting and informative. So far, the series itself seems to tackle social topics that Americans enjoy sweeping under the rug. In the next episodes I’ve watched, he visits a San Quentin prison, Latin cultures, low-income communities, and minimalists who live in tiny homes. The Current Scoop gives the United Shades of America a 8/10.

Only complaint, is I wish the host had more personal knowledge to give whenever interacting with the people on the show. There was so much he could have said when he was speaking with the klan members that did not get brought up. He should have reminded them that they are just as much as immigrants as the blacks are. Also, he should have challenged them to why they believe diversity equals white genocide.

What do you think? Comment below with any insights on United Shades of America.


 “United Shades of America.” CNN, Cable News Network, 27 Jan. 2016,

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