Lil Rel Howery is not making jokes about America’s summer of police brutality.
The comedian guest-hosted Jimmy Kimmel Live, and his opening monologue was all about politics and social issues, including the Republican National Convention and the latest police brutality victim, Jacob Blake, who was shot seven times in the back by Kenosha, WI, police and is currently hospitalized.
During his dialogue about the RNC, Howery talked about one of the convention’s speakers, Nick Sandmann, a teenager who, as Mashable reported, was “canceled” by the internet for accosting Nathan Phillips, a Native American protester in 2019.
“I thought about all the teenagers who didn’t get a chance to tell their side of any story,” he said. “I can name a couple of Black teenagers who I would love to hear their side of the story. One in particular [is] Trayvon Martin. I’d have loved to hear waht Trayvon Martin’s side of the story was when he and George Zimmerman had a crazy moment in time where ended up dead.”
“It’s a lot going on in this country…and if I can be honest…everything is just not funny right now. I’m more tired and annoyed most of the time,” he continued, congratulating the NBA and WNBA for boycotting their games in protest of Blake’s shooting.
“[Jacob Blake] got shot in broad light, in front of the community and in front of his babies, and I bring up that to say this: the police love to say that ‘we think he was going after something, we felt in danger,'” he said.
“The next night after that, [there were] protests going on because of that particular shooting. A young man drove from Illinois to Wisconsin with a gun and decided that he wanted to take matters into his own hands,” he continued. “This young man ‘allegedly’ shot two people and killed them…But this is what’s not allegedly. He got up, with a full-blown gun on, with people yelling at the police ‘Hey, that guy just shot some people,’ with his hands up like this, walked right past the police. Wasn’t touched, wasn’t stopped, wasn’t yelled at, any of that. With a full-blown gun on, and the day before, an unarmed man who was breaking up a fight…was shot seven times in his back in front of his children.”
Howery discussed defunding the police, and how the money allocated to the police could be better allocated to other statewide initiatives, programs and needs.
“That funding could go somewhere else especially if you’re not going to use that funding to protect or do your job properly. They get billions of dollars every year…these same cities, these same states are crying that they don’t have money for education. ”
Howery brought up his family members who were educators, including his aunt who recently died from the coronavirus, and how they would advocate for more money from their state, only to be told there wasn’t enough for education purposes. Meanwhile, Howery continued, “They’ve been giving the police billions of dollars to not do their job correctly.
“As taxpayers, we have the right…to select the right people in office,” he said. “I know we’re always focused on the presidency, but it starts from the bottom…so voting is so important. I know we want to downplay voting, but voting is [ridiculously] important. So get out there and vote–I promise you we’re going to make change. I can feel it–I can feel it happening.”
“I’m seeing a lot of us come together even in this [ridiculous] time,” he continued. “People are really starting to open their eyes, Black and White. Let’s stick together on this, for real.”
Watch the full video below.
Photo credit: ABC