Politically Re-Active with W. Kamau Bell & Hari Kondabolu

Politically Re-Active with W. Kamau Bell & Hari Kondabolu

W. Kamau Bell and Hari Kondabolu are comedians who take politics seriously — and longtime friends, trying to help keep each other sane. Join them as they pull the alarm on the dumpster fire that is American politics, and talk to the creators, thinkers, and leaders doing the work to defend and reinvent our democracy.

Episodes

April 8, 2021 83 min
Hari and Kamau face up to their mistakes before it's too late. And we all learn so much. Rosa Clemente calls bullshit on Puerto Rican statehood—and gives a crash course on the Puerto Rican people’s historic struggle for self-determination. Yasmin Benoit unpacks the basics of asexuality and shares asexual perspectives on libido, attraction, romance, and kids. And Oren Nimni talks Cargill v. Doe and Nestle v. Doe—the Supreme C...
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LaLa B Holston-Zannell invites Hari and Kamau to let go of the shame and have a real conversation about sex work, white supremacy, and why decriminalization is a matter of life and death for trans Black women. Then Ilana Glazer talks about mobilizing young voters during a pandemic, the pros and cons of baby modeling, and how to make a horror movie about fertility treatments. And yeah, "Yas queen." Find our guests: LaLa B ...
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Three powerful, absolutely-nothing-like-one-another conversations on this week's jam-packed mega-episode: The ACLU's Chase Strangio blows open the absurdity and cruelty of state legislation targeting trans youth who want to play sports—and agrees with Hari about Rodney Dangerfield's relevance to the conversation. Dr. Connie Wun lifts up the humanity of the victims of the spa killings near Atlanta and connects their mu...
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March 18, 2021 71 min
Desmond Meade, who led the campaign to restore voting rights to the formerly incarcerated in Florida, returns to talk about Gov. Ron DeSantis's decision to deny him a pardon and renewed threats to democratic participation in his state. But in spite of it all, Desmond's excitement about people exercising the franchise is infectious. Then, Emmy-winning journalist Soledad O'Brien is ready to Disrupt & Dismantle struct...
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Do Black people have an attitude problem about the COVID-19 vaccine? Dr. Rhea Boyd says absolutely not—the problem is lack of access to the vaccine and to real information. So she's launched BetweenUsAboutUs, a national campaign with Black doctors, scientists, and health care professionals (and a certain podcast host), to give Black communities the resources they need to make informed choices and get vaccinated. Then Kamau and...
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Amber Ruffin's career is really taking off (FYI, The Amber Ruffin Show is now on NBC), and she and her sister Lacey Lamar are as close as ever, trading stories about the crazy everyday racist behavior Lacey encounters in their hometown of Omaha, Nebraska. Their book You Won't Believe What Happened to Lacey is necessary reading for anyone who doesn't understand how enough microagressions and you'll want to flip a tab...
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February 25, 2021 90 min
Can we talk about Palestine? Dr. Marc Lamont Hill (who, admittedly, calls himself "a prisoner of hope") says we can, and that Americans are ready to even if our government isn't. He joins Hari and Kamau for a conversation that encompasses Michael Che, Bill Clinton, the Fourth Geneva Convention, and the Columbia House record club. Then Kamau's Mom, Janet Cheatham Bell, talks about structural racism in healthcare and ...
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February 18, 2021 79 min
Historian, journalist and hero-of-Hari Vijay Prashad analyzes the Farmers' Protest in India and makes a powerful case for why their struggle is our struggle. And while he's at it, he salutes Rihanna, defines Marxism, and makes quick work of Dinesh D'Souza. Comic duo The Lucas Brothers give the backstory for the new film Judas and the Black Messiah and their 15-year journey to making a movie about Black Panther leader Fr...
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February 11, 2021 86 min
What does cancel culture have to do with defunding the police? How do we liberate our attention? Can better orgasms improve public policy? Hari and Kamau get answers—and Valentine's Day advice—from pleasure activist and abolitionist adrienne maree brown, author of We Will Not Cancel Us. Plus: Adam Jentleson lays out the Jim Crow roots of the filibuster and gives a Senate insider's view on why even Joe Manchin might be convi...
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February 4, 2021 64 min
Hari and Kamau debate the morality of Super Bowl-watching before being joined by legendary poet Nikki Giovanni. She's out with a new collection called Make Me Rain, and ready to talk about everyone from Kwame Alexander to Tupac, James Baldwin to Colin Kaepernick. Hear why Nikki Giovanni is inspired by the women who launched Black Lives Matter—and the prospect of traveling to Mars. Find our guest: Nikki Giovanni https://nikki-g...
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Porsha Williams, star of The Real Housewives of Atlanta and granddaughter of civil rights legend Rev. Hosea Williams, talks about why she put her body on the line to demand justice for Breonna Taylor. ACLU Racial Justice Program Director ReNika Moore breaks down the immediate and long-term agenda for racial equity after Trump. And Kamau tries to explain Garth Brooks to Hari. Find our guests: ReNika Moore (@ReNikaMoore) https:/...
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January 21, 2021 50 min
Hari and Kamau explore the pressing questions: What would Martin Luther King Jr. have been like on Twitter? Can live-streaming a federal crime boost your real estate business? And how many ways can Donald Trump end up in jail? They're joined by CNN analyst and former FBI special agent Asha Rangappa. Plus: Listeners bid a fond farewell to our 45th President. Find our guests: Asha Rangappa (@AshaRangappa_) https://asharanga...
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January 14, 2021 91 min
Hari and Kamau can't help noticing that Blue Lives Matter, except when they try to defend the Capitol. Cat Brooks of the Anti Police-Terror Project and Dr. Phillip Atiba Goff of the Center for Policing Equity unpack what it means to "defund the police" — and why it's so damn hard. Plus, the ACLU's Kate Ruane is concerned about Twitter's Trump ban, even though she thinks he deserves much worse. Find our gues...
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January 7, 2021 64 min
Just when Kamau and Hari thought they could breathe and take in the Democratic victories in Georgia's Senate runoff, an armed right-wing mob storms the Capitol. Hear their reaction to the chaos in DC and their conversation with Nse Ufot of the New Georgia Project and The Intercept's Ryan Grim about how Democrats can make the most of their power (and not fuck it up this time). Find our guests: Nse Ufot (@NseUfot) https...
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December 17, 2020 66 min
The multitalented Daveed Diggs joins Hari and Kamau to talk about translating Blindspotting for TV, James McBride's liberating take on Frederick Douglass, and rich people loopholes in the time of COVID. Plus: Advanced-level Oakland shit, from Dope Era to Children's Fairyland. Find our guest: Daveed Diggs (@DaveedDiggs) And mentioned in the episode: Deconstructed: Inside Biden's Meeting With Civil Rights Leaders ...
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December 10, 2020 58 min
Hari and Kamau are ejected from their post-election malaise by LaTosha Brown, the unstoppable co-founder of Black Voters Matter. She's on fire to build electoral power in Black communities and has her sights set on Democrats winning both seats in the Georgia Senate runoff. She's also got a message for progressives: If you want to win, time to root out structural racism. Plus: Hari confronts the inconvenient truth about John...
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December 3, 2020 74 min
Ijeoma Oluo breaks down the costs of catering to underwhelming white guys in her new book Mediocre: The Dangerous Legacy of White Male America – and describes what it’s like to be a target for harassment from people who’ve never read a word she’s written. Sarah Silverman can’t wait for there to be a vaccine so she can get back to stand-up, but in the meantime she checks in about scumbag artists, relearning comedy for her new podcas...
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November 19, 2020 64 min
Comedian Sarah Cooper shares the secrets she's learned lip-syncing to our most toxic president and making her Netflix special Everything's Fine. Then, Dr. Peter Hotez talks about surviving the COVID-19 spike, fighting anti-science propaganda, developing a dollar-a-dose coronavirus vaccine — and why Kamau should settle his beef with Surgeon General Jerome Adams. Find our guests: Sarah Cooper (@sarahcpr) https://sarahcp...
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Jesse Wegman dives into the extortionate history of the Electoral College. Indivisible's Meagan Hatcher-Mays outlines the prospects for the pro-democracy agenda without the blue wave. And Hari and Kamau kick back with Dope Queen Phoebe Robinson to talk publishing, Black Frasier, and texting with Michelle Obama. Find our guests: Jesse Wegman (@jessewegman) https://jessewegman.com Phoebe Robinson (@dopequeenpheebs) http...
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November 4, 2020 54 min
Hari and Kamau check in with Alicia Garza of Black Futures Lab about the hope and confusion of Election 2020, what Joe Biden owes popular movements, and why this is no time for Democrats to follow the rules. Plus, Alicia's take on BLM going mainstream and becoming the target of all kinds of weird misinformation. Find our guest: Alicia Garza (@aliciagarza) https://blackfutureslab.org Find us: Hari Kondabolu (@harikon...
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