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Ellen DeGeneres and Van Jones discuss police killings

Ellen DeGeneres (260565)
Ellen DeGeneres
Van Jones (260566)

Talk show host and comic Ellen DeGeneres spends a lot of her airtime telling jokes, playing gags on guests and interviewing celebrities. But last week, she stepped away from that format to talk with Black news commentator Van Jones about the alarming rate of police killings of Black males. At one point, the normally gregarious comedian admitted to Jones and her audience that the situation makes her “ashamed” to be a white person. “I’m furious,” she said on the April 2oth show. “As a white person, I’m ashamed.” Jones and DeGeneres talked about some of the most current cases, including the shooting of Diante Yarber in California and the incident in Michigan of a Black 14-year-old being shot at with a shotgun when he asked a white person for directions. She pointed to the incidents as “blatant racism.” Jones said a lot of people have a “glitch” in their minds of how they perceive Black and white people. He said while he was attending Yale University, a lot of the white students were doing drugs, while just a few blocks away, Black kids were being arrested and sent to prison for doing the same thing. “Because we have this brain glitch that says, if a white kid does it, eh, maybe they need a little bit of help. If a Black kid does it, we’ve gotta punish them.” Jones said a major problem with law enforcement is that our culture has a “default unwritten rule” that police are always right. “Any human system that doesn’t have adequate checks and balances is going to tend toward abuse and corruption. Watch the video of the segment here.