'Key & Peele' Imagine A World Without Racism In A Sketch Slamming Everything From Police Brutality To Stop-And-Frisk — VIDEO
The issue of race is a hot button one in the United States of America on any given day, but it's become even more so in the past year between things like #OscarsSoWhite and the shooting of unarmed black men that seem to be happening weekly across the country. Thus, it should come as no surprise that Comedy Central's Key & Peele imagined a world without racism in a musical short that describes a utopia that gets rid of issues like stop-and-frisk, police brutality, and being a token black friend — aka a world without while people. Unsurprisingly, considering it airs on the same network that gives us the uber feminist Inside Amy Schumer, the hilarious sketch was incredibly on point when it came to examining the obvious and subtle reach of racism across America.
It opens with Keegan-Michael Key being wrongfully arrested by a police officer for the simple act of walking down an alleyway at night. The officer slams his head against the car door while attempting to get him in the backseat of the police car, and Key envisions a world that Jordan Peele musically narrates as being a safe haven for black people: "You won't get followed when you try to shop. You can wear your hoodie and not get shot. No white folks to cross the street in fear. No trigger-happy cops or scared cashiers."
Of course, the song doesn't take itself too seriously or politically. It also spares a moment to praise being free from being someone's token black friend, having white people try to touch your hair, and getting a cab to actually stop for you when you need one. Far from simply ripping issues from recent headlines, Key & Peele highlight what African-Americans will recognize as just being part of their unique experience being a person of color in America — things like being the only one of your skin color in many rooms and having to deal with many different forms of cultural appropriation in popular culture. Sadly, racism is an institution, which means it isn't just about overt acts of violence or exclusion, but can come in more insidious and internalized forms (many of which also get a highlight in the video).
Quite honestly, focusing on the fact that Key and Peele describe a world without white people as a utopia would be missing the point of the video entirely. It's less about the fact that there are no white people in this utopia and more about the fact that there are no racial issues to deal with in this utopia. It's more about the fact that common points of racism that African-Americans have to deal with from friends and strangers alike have been eradicated. It's more about the fact that Key and Peele collected a humorous song of very real issues African-Americans have to deal with in this country. (Well, mostly.) In the guise of humor, they are educating everyone, and that's the best kind of comedy.
Check out the video below and beware of strong language.
Image: Comedy Central (2)