Anderson Cooper wasn’t part of CNN’s coverage of the White House Correspondents’ Dinner. Instead, the primetime news anchor went to Phoenix, Arizona, where he was the keynote speaker for the second annual Delivering Democracy Lecture. He spent hours speaking to over 3,000 Arizonans about race.
The Examiner reports:
Cooper’s first step towards improving race relations is acknowledging that some are privileged. People, who do not appreciate their privileges, remain resentful and non-empathetic about others. He is aware that being a WASP afforded him many favors in the US (e.g., that he never had to hear “the talk” about how to avoid getting beat up by cops).
But life has not been without challenges for Cooper. He could not get a job after Yale. So he had to get a fake press pass, borrow a camera and journey to Burma on his own to find stories. Though he admits he can “pass” (as a gay person that is not effeminate), he shares many of the struggles of the LGBT community. He feels there is more camaraderie in this community than the straight one because of these shared hardships.
He also added:
Cooper was open about his opinions on everything from police shootings of Black males to his own ancestry (he was glad to learn his slave-owning ancestor was killed by someone had enslaved) to teams with Native American names. He said, despite all the gloom that television emphasizes for ratings, all the metrics about our quality of life are improving, and he is optimistic about humanity. He, Whitaker, and everyone in the audience seemed to agree that, only by discussing problems, like racial inequality, can we hope to solve them.
(H/t Johnny Dollar)