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W. Kamau Bell’s ‘racist’ Berkeley birthday

An employee from Berkeley's Elmwood Cafe pounded on a window at Bay Area comedian W. Kamau Bell.

Jesse Garnier

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  1. Who cares? I’m black, and I hate when black guys who marry white women complain about racism all of the time.

    Of course you are going to be profiled and experience racism! YOU HANG OUT WITH WHITE PEOPLE! What do you expect? It’s like running with a pack of wolves and being surprised when they finally turn on you and attack you. They’re wolves! That’s what they do.

    Quit whining and leave the real racism problems to those who have a legitimate gripe. GTFOH

      • How?! B/c I know if you marry into another race and is around the race a lot that you are going to experience minor incidents of racism? Or b/c I am just not to fond of white people? LOL This was nonsense. Bell should have blown this crap off. He should have just sat down by his wife and gave her a kiss. The waitress would have just looked stupid.

        Real racism deals with jobs, income, education, criminal justice, health care, etc. This guy looks like a bum. I am not kidding you that I probably would have pegged him as a panhandler, too. She probably had seen guys who resembled Bell. I am not just talking about the color of his skin but his overall appearance. The guy looks like the stereotypical bum. Was the woman wrong for what she did? Maybe! But, I don’t believe she had any ill-will towards BLACKS!

        • Black guys that marry white women can’t experience racism?? What kind of BS is that?! One does not have to befriend or be affiliated with white people to experience racism.

          And no he doesn’t look like a bum! He looks like an adult black man with hair that’s a tad wild.

          He should have “blown off” being eject from a restaurant where he wife and daughter were brunching?! Maybe all those black folk that got ejected from lunch counters in the 50’s and 60’s should have just blown it off as well. Imagine how peaceful those decades would have been without those pesky civil rights activists DEMANDING to be treated equally. The nerve!

          And regardless of the racial aspect to this situation, the server was still wrong! PLUS, Bell’s own account of the situation says that there was a white man begging there all morning, yet that server did not eject him!

        • LOL Actually, I said the EXACT opposite of your first sentence.

          Yea, he should have blown it off. But, if he wasn’t, he shouldn’t have ever written about it on a blog. And, don’t compare Kamua Bell to the people in the 50’s and 60’s. This wasn’t even close.

          And, he does look like a bum.

        • No, it’s not OK. But, he wasn’t thrown out. She was probably being racist. But, this is minor. He shouldn’t be having a pow wow over it.

        • He is perfectly justified shedding light on this incident. It’s like you’re saying that what she did was bad, but him saying what happened is worse! It isn’t worse….it’s necessary! Ignoring it won’t make it go away.

        • At least this way it got addressed. Action was taken. And hopefully such a situation is not repeated by neither that server nor that establishment. If that happens, then I say Mr. Bell’s actions were justified and useful.

        • Wow, man… you’re really hung up on his appearance. That’s pretty pathetic. I mean, he’s a successful person, yet you dig at him for “looking like a bum” when he most certainly does not. Maybe if you stopped being smug for a few moments, you could see just how bigoted you’re being.

        • Yea, he looks like a bum. I never said he wasn’t a good guy. I believe he is.

          I don’t care if I am being bigoted. I am telling you that this guy is pathetic. And, most blacks don’t care about what he has to say on this situation. He is a joke.

  2. I’ve known & loved & lived in Berkeley for a long time, & am absolutely flabbergasted that this sort of thing could happen there. Berkeley borders Oakland, a city that is largely Black and with healthy admixtures of other ethnic groups, although Berkeley tends to be largely white itself. But this is unbelievable. Thank you for this story.

  3. Kudos on the management of the store being very open, or at least being visibly open and transparent about the incident. Again, not giving them credit because they will lost serious business if they try to act like it didn’t happen, but they’re taking a proactive approach to this and its refreshing. Maybe they should give the employees a refresher course on how to treat people with some modicum of respect.

  4. Not only was this racist (if you read Bell’s blog, there was a white panhandler who stood for over an hour hassling customers who they didn’t chase away) but it is idiotic customer service. Bell and his wife had eaten breakfast there a few hours earlier. Is it so large a restaurant that the staff didn’t recognize them as repeat customers? It sounds like there were at least two employees that questioned his presence and so some retraining is necessary at this point. Even so, I doubt Bell’s family will ever return to this restaurant.