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tv   The Late Show With Stephen Colbert  CBS  December 30, 2020 11:35pm-12:37am PST

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>> can, dear read grow their antlers from spring to late captioning sponsored by cbs >> for secretary of treasury, i am really pleased to be able to nominate janet yellen. we might have to ask lin-manuel miranda, who wrote the musical about the first secretary treasury, hamilton, to write another musical about the first woman secretary of the treasury, yellen. so that's what i'm working on right now, janet.
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>> but sometimes the bolt that connects the rod to the van itself can just snap off without any warning at all. >> what's her name, man?
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>> announcer: it's "a late show with stephen colbert." tonight: beg your pardon. plus, stephen welcomes: kate winslet. and michael eric dyson. featuring jon batiste and stay homin'. and now, live on tape from the ed sullivan theater office building in new york city, it's stephen colbert! >> stephen: welcome. welcome to "a late show," ladies and gentlemen. i'm your host, stephen colbert. tomorrow marks one month since the election. and the president has spent that entire time throwing a loud, pants-filling tantrum. if we don't change presidents soon, he's going to get a rash. i'll tell you all about it in tonight's installment of our never-ending segment... >> ♪ dump, dump, dump! illegal massive dumps! ♪ dump, dump, dump! i'm a dope ♪ proud boyeeee!
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>> "the road from the white house!" >> stephen: whoo! ( evie laughing ) the president's complaints about fake election fraud are more than just recreational whining. in fact, his refusal to concede is seen by some of his followers as a call to arms, which has made for a dangerous situation down in georgia, where there have been many threats of violence, including against a 20-year-old voting system contractor who was targeted by someone who hung a noose and declared that the worker should be "hung for treason," and caravans of horn-honking m.a.g.a. supporters constantly parading past secretary of state brad raffensperger's private residence. well, that caravan finally showed up, and the president was right-- it's full of bad hombres looking to destroy our country. well, in response, yesterday, one of georgia's top election officials, gabriel sterling, a republican, gave an emotional press conference. >> i'm going to do my best to3 keep it together, because...
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it has all gone too far. all of it. a 20-something tech in gwinnett county today has death threats and a noose put out, saying he should be hung for treason, because he was transferring a report on batches from an e.m.s. to a county computer so he could read it. it has to stop. >> stephen: thank you for speaking up. unfortunately, we know how things end when you tell the president to stop: $130,000 check, but only if the entire state of georgia signs an n.d.a. anyway, the speech blew up yesterday and this georgian election official was praised for his courage, his clarity, and his call for civility. and the president heard that and popped open a can of suck it. because today, around 4:00 eastern crazy time, the president posted a conspiracy
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theory-filled rant on facebook-- no press, no questions. not even the mediating lower- third graphics of cable news. just uncut, blue flake crazy packed into straw and blown right into the brain stem of the kamikaze m.a.g.a. dead-enders. and he started with this: >> this may be the most important speech i've ever made. >> stephen: i think you misread one word, mr. president. it may be the most impotent speech you've ever made. because it was just another rambling mass of lies that lasted a full 46 minutes. my big complaint: he should have done this a week ago, not because he said anything worth hearing, but at least the people who canceled a big family thanksgiving could have prtended they were still eating with their racist uncle. and he brought props! >> in wisconsin, as an example, where we were way up on election night, they ultimately had us
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miraculously losing by 20,000 votes. and i can show you right here that, wisconsin, we're leading by a lot. and then, at 3:42 in the morning, there was this. it was a massive dump of votes. >> stephen: again with the massive dumps? but, given his cheeseburger at bedtime, 3:42 in the morning sounds about right for him. the president also laid out some pretty interesting theories. >> also, in arizona, the attorney general announced that mail-in ballots had been stolen from mailboxes and hidden under a rock. >> stephen: "hidden under a rock"? in arizona? in the desert? did a fast bird going "meep meep" do this, and you tried to chase the bird, and you ran into a painting of a tunnel on the side of a mountain? by the way, if you run off a cliff, you'll be fine, as long as you don't look down.
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showing a surprising amount of self-awareness, the president even knew how poorly his stupidity would be received. >> even what i'm saying now will be demeaned and disparaged, but that's okay. >> stephen: well, as long as it's okay. you're a petty, angry man, desperate for validation you will never receive and have never deserved. and in 50 days, you'll be out of the white house, without the protections of executive power, and no court is going to uphold you pardoning yourself. plus, you're ugly and your mother dresses you funny. and here's the thing: all the contested states are now certified. it's over. and yet still, still, republicans are terrified to speak that basic truth. take g.o.p. senator and orville redenbacher after lasik, ron johnson. in a phone call two and a half weeks ago, johnson reportedly confessed he knows biden won but won't admit it, because it would be "political suicide." really?
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i would say the real political suicide is refusing to distance yourself from a president who has lost and is willing to destroy democracy and your party out of spite. it's like the g.o.p. is saying, "hey, let's play 'hands on a hard body' on this running pickup truck inside this closed garage. do not open the door to let the oxygen in. that would be political suicide. and it would hurt the truck's feelings. so sleepy!" plus, the president knows he lost! you know how i know? because he is taking legal precautions. we have just learned that he has discussed pardons for his three eldest children and rudy giuliani and his son-in-law, jared kushner. now, thus far, we don't know the crimes that these people are guilty of, and neither does the president. he would be shielding them from prosecution with what are known as preemptive pardons. it's a classic move. ( as husband ) "honey, i will certainly tell you what i did with the neighbor last night, after you forgive me. do you forgive me? good. now i won't tell you, because
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you've already forgiven me, and if i have to tell you, is that really forgiveness?" but it does lead to one obvious question: what are they guilty of? for some of them, it's pretty easy. jared kushner has long been suspected of shady financial dealings, plus he's obviously slender man. ( evie laughing ) prosecutors are investigating don jr. for first-degree douchebag with intent to distribute. i believe it goes nickel bag, dime bag, douchebag. and ivanka looks like maybe she shoplifts for thrills. how else did she get that can of beans? i don't believe eric has violated any laws, but he's still grateful to get a pardon. ( as eric ) "this is the best christmas gift that my dad has ever given me. also, the only christmas gift." now, as someone who hasn't committed a lot of crime-- that i know of-- a preemptive blanket pardon for everything you might have done seems a little
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excessive. crime-ing is like drinking: it's a red flag if you don't know exactly how many drinks you've had or how many crimes you've done. or in rudy's case, how many crimes you've done while not knowing how many drinks you've had. speaking of which, unlike the kids, rudy is facing specific allegations. the f.b.i. is reportedly investigating giuliani's ukraine efforts, including his possible ties to russian intelligence. although, rudy believes he can prove it's actually the f.b.i. that's corrupt, based on some documents he got from his friends in russian intelligence. it's fun to guess which member of the administration did what, which is why we at "the late show" have created this fun "criminal activity page." for you to download. on the left, you can see all of the potential pardon-getters, and on the right, there's a list of crimes, like money laundering, tax evasion, and snorting coke off the last living black rhino. ( evie laughing ) you have to match the person to their crime. and there are no wrong answers. of course, it's not just rudy and the kids. several of the president's
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allies have begun a campaign to petition the west wing in hopes of securing pardons. one white house source says, "you won't believe the amount of calls, some insane, we've gotten." oh, i believe you're getting a lot of calls. what i don't believe is that only some of them are insane. because it's not just members of this administration. "'tiger king' joe exotic's attorney said he believes they are close to getting a presidential pardon." oh, come on. a ridiculous, washed-up, paranoid, obviously guilty reality star might pardon joe exotic? (♪ "groove is in the heart" ♪) >> ask carole about this slam! >> stephen: exotic submitted a formal application for a pardon, where he told the president, "if i have ever looked up to anyone, it would be you." yeah, joe exotic has modeled his career on the president. i mean, they even get their hair from the same cadaver. ( evie laughing ) we've got a great show for you tonight. my guests are kate winslet and michael eric dyson. but when we return, it's orgy
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♪ ♪ >> stephen: hey, everybody. welcome back to "a late show." let's say hello to jon batiste. jon, hello. >> jon: ( whistling ) >> stephen: i love your-- your musical bird-like language. jon, i got to give you a warning here. what we're about to talk about in this act of the show is for mature audiences. >> jon: oh. >> stephen: and not that you're not a mature person, but i know you're pure as the driven snow.
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that i don't want to scandalize you, okay? better a mill stone should be tied around my neck and cast into the deepest part of the river-- >> jon: the deepest part of the river! >> stephen: --than one should scandalize his band leader. >> jon: oh! i like the twist on that. i like that! come on, man! >> stephen: just keep it in mind. how are you feeling? >> jon: i'm-- i'm feeling like i have whiplash. this whole year has felt-- it's just so much to process. it's felt like a quick spin, and now the inertia is just-- my body has landed right here. >> stephen: i have done some sailing where you go to sea for a week and you come back and you're still, but the whole world is moving? that's what it feels like right now. >> jon: exactly, that's right. >> stephen: even the chance that this could be over, like, he could be leaving, and the vaccine is coming. i'm swimming with the possibilities. >> jon: i'm really hoping that it is over, whatever that means, and that this is a new beginning. but, you know, we just got to just take it one day at a time.
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>> stephen: do you have anything-- do you have something calm that could-- that could turn my soul into a still ship on a silent sea. >> jon: i like what you were dealing with when you hit me up. you said... (♪ fur elise ♪) 250 years. ♪ ♪ >> stephen: wow. ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ >> stephen: i didn't know beethoven could swing. >> jon: oh, yeah, he got it now. it's been 250 years. he learned a thing or two, you know. >> stephen: jon batiste, everybody. thank you, jon. >> jon: of course. >> stephen: of course, the pandemic continues to rage, but there's hope on the horizon. and i'll catch you up on trying not to catch it in tonight's installment of third... >> this will be a december to fuhgeddaboutit! hey, i'm-- >> stephen: good enough.
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two companies, moderna and pfizer, have vaccines that are tantalizingly close to market, just in time for the holidays. so this year's favorite stocking stuffer is going to be hypodermic needles. in preparation, yesterday, the c.d.c. came out with guidelines that say once they're available, the first people to get the vaccine will be healthcare workers and people in nursing homes. that's great news, because these days, everybody's sitting on the couch in their soft clothes watching "wheel of fortune," so, technically, we're all in nursing homes. then, in february or march, the next priority groups are likely to be people over 65. finally, by april, or june, healthy, nonessential workers younger than 65 will begin receiving the vaccine. you know what that means. according to the c.d.c., i'm young! woo! time to fortnite an electric scooter while vaping a dab! who's wap, now? me? because i seriously do not know.
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what a wap is. now, we've all heard the stories of people flouting c.d.c. guidelines to come together en masse for traditional late- november get-togethers and i don't mean thanksgiving. i'm talking about orgies, though-- what is that image? ( evie laughing ) what-- oh! oh, my. both involve stuffing. ( laughter ) because apparently, a "new orleans swingers event became a 'superspreader' after 41 attendees tested positive for coronavirus." technically, every orgy involves "super spreading." also, let's look at that number again. "41?" that's interesting, an odd number. that means 20 couples and karl. ( laughter ) the event in question was the annual "naughty in n'awlins" swingers gathering. oh, no! but if this can happen at "naughty in n'awlins," it can happen anywhere! i'm looking at you, dirty in
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detroit, domination in des moines, fleshfest in flagstaff, bone jam in birmingham, and butte stuff. ( evie laughing ) who could have seen this coming? everyone, except the organizers of "naughty in n'awlins," who thought they could create guidelines to make the safe sex event safe for sex. for example, there was no dance floor, so attendees instead swayed in place at their tables. eliminating dancing to keep your swingers' convention safe is like leaving the sprinkles off your ice cream cone before you rub it on your junk. ( laughter ) participants were also asked to keep detailed diaries of everyone they had contact with for more than ten minutes at the convention, regardless of whether that contact involved sex, because nothing sets the mood at an anonymous flesh pit like detailed written records. plus, it would be fun for your grandkids to find. surprisingly, the city was on
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board with the event. one new orleans spokesman said they expected "full compliance" with safety guidelines. there's your mistake: not everyone's into full compliance. some people are only compliance curious. and some just like to stand in the corner and watch other people comply. like karl. unfortunately, attendees got a little tired of complying. according to the event's organizer, "they were super diligent on the first two days, and then they said, "( bleep ) it, it's our last day." really, on the last day of an orgy convention is when people said "( bleep ) it"? i assume that's when they say when they fire the starter pistol. ( evie laughing ) and i assume there's a starter pistol, because you would have to put one to my head to get me to got to an orgy. turns out, it's not so easy to maintain proper social distancing in the rub room, because just one day after the event ended, they had their first reported covid case. the event organizer said, "it was a wife who tested positive, but her husband tested negative." ouch.
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i think i know who got naughtier in n'awlins. "ooh, yeah, honey. ( faking coughs ) i think i have it, too. must be the equal amounts of crazy cool sex we both had at the orgy." ( faking coughs ) given the outcome, the "naughty in n'awlins" organizers admit they do have regrets, with one saying, "if i could go back in time, i would not produce this event again. ( laughter ) "one, because of the virus. two, because i'd use my time machine to produce 'getting freaky with the greeky: full release in greece! tap that, athens!'" ( laughter ) we'll be right back with kate winslet. smooth driving pays off you never been in better hands allstate click or call for a quote today
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♪ ♪ >> stephen: welcome back, everybody. she is an emmy, grammy, and academy award-winning actress
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you know from "titanic," "the reader," and now, "ammonite." please welcome back to "a late show," kate winslet! hello, kate. >> it sounds so weird, grammy. i always think, oh, yes, okay-- >> stephen: what is it for? >> it's actually for spoken word. >> stephen: sure, i got one of those. >> it's for spoken words, you know, because they give those out a lot. >> stephen: sure. >> i'm very grateful. yes, i do have a grammy. you are correct. anyway, moving on. >> stephen: i don't know if you've been bingeing anything, but we're coming up to the holiday season, and of course watching movies on tv during the holidays means watching "the holiday." >> "the holiday," i know. >> stephen: like, whenever it comes on, it just sucks you right in. there's no escaping the story of you and jack black and jude law and cameron diaz. you have to. it is constitutionally-- >> no, no-- i know. >> stephen: responsible for americans to watch "the holiday" whenever it comes on. do you watch your own holiday movie? >> no, i don't, stephen, no.
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>> stephen: god bless it! ( evie laughing ) come on! >> but you clearly watch "the holiday," stephen. >> stephen: every year, every year. >> god, you poor thing. >> stephen: no, my wife insists- - "we're watching it. we're watching it." i always enjoy it. it's always a pleasure. >> oh, my goodness. >> stephen: you've, i've been thanksgiving in london. i want to ask you about the holidays over there, because not this year but the year before that, we went over and spent thanksgiving in london visiting some friends. i cannot believe-- and i've said this before-- but i cannot believe the level to which you brits celebrate christmas. much higher than we do over here. do you-- because you don't have thanksgiving to get in your way. you can ramp up earlier. how-- >> i guess so. i mean, yeah, we-- we do-- christmas is a big deal here. and i think it's-- it's-- i don't know. it's good, old-fashioned tradition. you know, people sit around and eat a lot and drink a lot and generally eat a lot and drink a lot and sing a lot-- >> stephen: do you do, like, mulled wine and the figgy pudding and all that stuff, like the classic dikensian stuff?
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>> yes, we do, yes, we do. we do the classic dickensian stuff. that's just how we are. we're all dickensian over here. yeah, we do mulled wine. and actually in our family, we have a tradition with the figgy pudding which is we stir it with a spoon that has been in our family for a number of years. and actually, we're doing that this weekend. it's a lovely thing to pass on to the children because it belonged to their grandmother and to her mother before her, and so it's lovely. >> stephen: i have-- i need to ask you about a photograph, if you don't mind. >> okay. >> stephen: this is... this is you in a dream moth ballet, apparently. what is going on here. why are you under water with a man in scuba gear wearing moth wings? >> ( laughs ) they were really heavy. can i just tell you? >> stephen: yes. >> they were really heavy. because to create definite movement under water with a piece of fabric that doesn't roll into a sort of nasty bit of
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towel, they had to really weight everything down. so i've got weights around my waist, as well as my neck, actually. a neck weight to hold me down. >> stephen: what? >> that's "avatar." that's "avatar." >> stephen: so this is the james cameron-- you were in 2 and 3, right? >> yes, correct, yeah, 2 and 3. and that is a-- that's actually, i think-- that's a sort of a-- that's actually a birth-giving ceremony that my character, who is a water goddess, is essentially hosting. and, yeah, we all held our breath and went under water and gave birth. >> stephen: how long do you have to hold your breath? how long can they do this shot? how long are you holding your breath, kate winslet? >> well, that shot, that particular scene, i think we all of us that were down there got up to about four minutes. but my longest breath hold actually was seven minutes and 14. yeah, people! >> stephen: seven minutes and 14-- that's david blaine-level stuff.
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how do you hold-- how do you hold your breath for seven minutes and 14 seconds? did you have to train? >> i trained. i trained with the gentleman who i think you can see, actually, in that picture to my left. he's, like, hovering with a regulator. >> stephen: yes. >> yeah, so that was a wonderful, wonderful instructor named curt crock, and he taught me how to hold my breath for that long. what else can i tell you? it's not the kind of thing i could jump into a bath tub and do right now. you have to prepare your body for it. it'steicat. but i did it. i thought i died. i mean i surfaced and i was like, "am i dead?" am i dead? i've died." i'm dead, i'm dead, i'm dead." >> stephen: what's complicated about it? what's complicated about holding your breath? what do you do? >> well, so typically-- god, i can't believe i'm talking about this on your show. so typically, when you take a big breath. ( gasps ) we breathe from here, but actually to take a proper deep breath is called a peak inhalation. you have to breathe right from
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the base of your stomach, and even the process of taking that peek inhalation can take 25 seconds, just the process of breathing in. but you have to get your body to adjust, and it's a complicated process. and i loved it, though. i mean i found the whole thing very meditative. it was amazing. i mean, what a great thing to be able to learn for your job. i was very lucky. >> stephen: the new movie is "ammonite." which i've seen. and it's a beautiful film. >> thank you. >> stephen: it's you and saoirse ronan, and others, but you're the two main characters. and you play a woman named mary anning. this is a real person. who was mary anning? >> so, mary anning, she lived from 1799 to about 1847, and she was-- she was a woman of scientific brilliance in the world of paleontology. she was self-taught. she was uneducated, and very, very working class from a poverty-stricken background. and she-- she was the unsung hero of fossil discovery. she found the first icthyosaur when she was only 11 years old, and later on in her 20s found
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what was then discovered to be the first remains of a pterodactyl. she was also responsible for finding the coprolite, which is fossilized poo. >> stephen: sure. >> so, so from that discovery, scientists were able to identify what dinosaurs had eaten. but she lived in a world of geology that was dominated by men and who would buy her finds and claim them as their own discovery. so that's why i say she was an unsung hero. and it was an enormous privilege to play someone like her. she was a formidable character. >> stephen: it's a beautiful film. a bit bleak at times. it's the 1840s on the seaside in england. i think before happiness was invented. and your character and-- am i giving anything away when i say that you and saoirse ronan fall in love? >> you're not giving anything away. >> stephen: okay. and it's a beautiful, hesitant...
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eventually passionate love story. but it's-- it builds in-- amidst such fear and unknown between their relationship. but the whole time i'm watching it, as beautiful as it is, i'm thinking, "god, that must have been so uncomfortable to have all of that sea water on top of all that wool you're wearing." what was that like? ( laughter ) >> yeah, i mean, it was-- you know, it was all very challenging, i'll be honest. the experience of making the film was very hard. mary anning had lived a very harsh life. and, yeah, as you say, at times very bleak. and she was isolated. she worked alone. she lived largely alone with this quite difficult, cantankerous mother. and on meeting saoirse's character, charlotte murchison, some gentle joy comes into her life. and it was a real privilege to be able to give mary, i think, a relationship that felt-- that
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felt worthy of her and to pair her with an equal, with a woman, was just a really wonderful experience. and i had to live a sort of strange, isolated life, though, when i was playing her. because you know, when you're an actor, they put you up in hotels and they make it comfortable for you, and i just knew that i couldn't really do that. because i had to-- i had to do everything i could to sort of be mary. and i got a bit method. i lived in a little cottage by myself from monday until friday on the beach. and it was so-- it was so isolated and cold and rattly, that when there was a big storm the waves would hit the windows of the house and the power would go down, and i'd lie there thinking, "kate, why are you doing this? go to the hotel with everybody else." >> stephen: club sandwich and an order of fries. >> i mean, honestly, i would eat this weird soup and i would walk around sketching things and trying to live by candlelight. i mean, it was ridiculous, actually. it was ridiculous. >> stephen: we have a clip here.
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do you know what's happening in this clip? >> i think this is a clip when-- this is in the early stages of charlotte and mary's romantic relationship beginning, and they're out on the beach, and together they discover-- they discover a fossil together. >> stephen: great, jim? >> mary, look what's fallen down. the rock thing. >> it's too big. impossible to move. you're wasting your time. >> stephen: well, kate, it was great to see you again. >> great to see you, too. thank you.
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>> stephen: you can see "ammonite" in elect theaters now and on video on demand this friday. kate winslet, everybody! we'll be right back with the author of "long time coming: reckoning with race in america," michael eric dyson. thanks, kate. ♪ ♪ these both have the same amount of potassium. only one of them is always ripe for the picking. v8 the original plant powered drink. veg up. ♪ oh, oh, (announcer)®! ♪ once-weekly ozempic® is helping many people with type 2 diabetes like emily lower their blood sugar. a majority of adults who took ozempic®
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♪ ♪ >> stephen: welcome back, everybody. my next guest tonight is a professor at vanderbilt university and a "new york times" best-selling author of over 20 books. his newest is "long time coming." please welcome back to "a late show," michael eric dyson! professor dyson, good to see you again. >> always great to see you. >> stephen: now, you've authored 20 books, as i said. we've been talking for almost 15 years now, since the first time i ever interviewed to you. this new book "long time coming" uses a slightly different form that you've used in the past. this is written in the form of letters to black victims of police brutality and racism in the united states. why did you want to write these letters to these people, rather than about them? >> yes, sir. it's a great distinction. i didn't want to further objectify them. i didn't want to exploit their death as a way to sell books. i wanted to commune with them. it's not in a loosey-goosy
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abstract sense. i mean, learn from their wisdom, draw from their recently ancestral status. and i wanted to say by talking to them, by communing with them, i'm thinking out loud. it's forcing me to talk about how they died. what are the reasons for which they were killed? how do we stop the train of incessant killing of black people, especially at the hands of cops, but also by vigilantes? and what can we do to derive wisdom from their journey so that we can prevent others from suffering a similar fate? >> stephen: the books, in some ways, is a response to the protests this summer over police brutality. they were massive, some of the largest protests in history, not only in the united states but around the world. of course, one of the-- one of the questions that arises after a social moment like that is-- how is that sustained? and how is that turned into something lasting? >> yeah, that's a great question.
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and that's what all social organizers try to figure out-- how do you take a moment and make it a movement? you know, martin luther king jr. surfaced, became famous, and then was killed, what, 12 years later. it's not long, the trajectory of transformation that you have at your disposable. so what you want to do is to leverage the moment in a way by thinking how can we replicate what we saw on the streets in the corporate suites? how can we make it work in schools? how can we make it work in our jobs that we enjoy every day, the opportunity to talk to one another? so you want to translate the tremendous power that we saw in those streets-- and make no mistake. not only was one of the largest histories around the globe, but white brothers and sisters who saw george floyd die, because they were at home, because the pandemic said, we've all got to be our screens. so we're looking, so it came across as a very powerful moment. and then white brothers and sisters, among others, saw that
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the covid, you know, pandemic had already assaulted black bodies, so they were more empathetic. so as a result of that, george floyd got to them in a way that, say, eric garner had not, in a way that other black deaths, of walter scott and mike brown had not. so take this moment of reckoning and then use it as an opportunity to reflect more critically upon our lives and figure out how we can extend it beyond the yahoo, and the celebration, and the right on, to something deep and sustained. >> stephen: one of the rallying cries-- i want to get to another one. i want to get to "i can't breathe" in just a moment. but one of them was "defund the police," calls to defund the police. barack obama said this week that "defund the police," he called it-- let me get this right-- a snappy slogan that lost a big audience. do you agree with him that that-- while the attention may be right, calling for defunding the police can turn off a wide swath of the populace? >> well, there's no question about that. and then, i know people who are
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upset with him, but if you read his entire interview, the way the question was set up, he's trying to answer it based upon the presumption that using that phrase would already lose people. but remember this: martin luther king jr., said, hey, the moderate, white ministers in birmingham wrote me an open letter, and they accused me of being an extremist. and he said, first it got to me. but then i thought, wait a minute, jesus was an extremist for love. amos was an extremist for justice. martin luther for reformation. so i got used to that term and then embraced it. the question is, what are we talking about here? if barack obama rightly says, hey, do you want the commercial or the product? do you want to sell it and celebrate it, and say, hey, we're all doing it? or do you want to quietly move up to the bar and say, look, this is the stuff we need to happen. that i agree with. but here's the problem-- if you're using your particular moment, mr. obama-- and you have one of the biggest platforms in
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the world-- besides stephen colbert, you've got the next biggest one-- figure out how to say, look, but i stand with those who want to reform the police. in fact, i stand with those who want to abolish some of the horrible practices here. abolition was not a big thing that white peoples liked in the mid-1800s in this country, but guess what? it was the right thing to do. so yeah, i believe in being self-critical and being introspective. use words that won't turn people off, but at the same time, don't use your platform to make the vulnerable more vulnerable. if, in your moderation, you are strong against the weak but you are weak against the strong, your moderation is worse than expedient. it's cowardly at that point. and we don't want to use a platform to reinforce the power of those who already are mighty and undercut those who have a real issue here. the police have harmed and hurt people for so long, that maybe reformation is not enough. and let me say this, too. defund simply means this-- you want to put money in the accounts of those who are mental health experts, so that when the
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police are called, you can send them out. so, yeah, find a different word, find a different phrase, but i think obama could stand behind those who want to find new ways to encounter old problems. >> stephen: we have to take a quick break. but when we come back, i'll ask professor dyson what gives him hope. stick around. ♪ ♪ itchy? scratchy? family not getting clean? get new charmin ultra strong. it just cleans better, so your family can use less.
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♪ ♪ >> stephen: hey, everybody. we're back with the author of "long time coming: reckoning with race in america," michael eric dyson. what do you say to those people out there who say that basically america is on a demographic trajectory to change our attitudes about a lot of things, race being one of them, that basically, the next generation will replace the present generation that will not accept the changes that need to be made? >> yeah, the only problem i have with that is that when you look at the tiki torch bearers, they were young, well coiffed, had nice hairdo's, but they were here promoting neo-fascism and neo-nazism. martin luther kind jr. said, progress doesn't move in on the wheels of inevitability. in other words, just because you're younger doesn't mean you're more enlightened. you have to have a real intention to change the world as we see it. a pew report study said, that except for interracial marriage,
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millennials think the same thing about race as the boomers did. so stop with the "okay boomer," stuff, because you think the same things that they did. and at the end of the day, besides interracial relationships, they're pretty much on the same page. that means we've got real work to do, and just being young ain't enough. >> stephen: the book ends with a plea for hope. how do you stay hopeful? what gives you hope right now? well, you know, look, besides watching your show and seeing you directing the most edifying venom against the most vicious presidency we've ever seen, i dig into my faith. and i say, look, howard thurman, one of the great mistakes in my tradition, said you can't reduce your dreams to the event you're confronting right now. the thing you're confronting right now may look like a huge obstacle you can't overcome. but he said, our slave foreparents imagined a different world. so he said, you can be a prisoner of the event or you can be a prisoner of hope. i choose to be a prisoner of hope. no matter how dark it gets, it can be brighter. no matter how horrible things
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look, they can be made better. and no matter how we have given in to the worst angels of our souls, we can appeal to the better angels of our nature. >> stephen: well, "long time coming" is available now. michael eric dyson, everybody. we'll be right back. michael, thanks so much for being h ere.
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>> stephen: well, that's it for "a late show," everybody. james corden is next, everybody. good night.
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captioning sponsored by cbs >> why don't we just do a musical together? that will be brilliant. >> stephen: that would be great. we're writing a musical about the new treasury secretary, janet yellen. >> great, just call me. i'll be there. captioned by media access group at wgbh ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ captioning sponsored by cbs ♪ sunday, monday, happy days tuesday is a happy day ♪ biden won, so happy days no more trump, just happy days ♪ it's really true the map is blue ♪ unless he stages a coup these days are ours ♪ no more trump tweets o, happy days


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