Sesame Street is a staple in a lot of our childhoods. The kid-friendly series has been providing educational content since the Civil Rights era.
CNN aired a town hall Saturday morning to help explain the cause of the nationwide protests in a simple way that a child can understand.
The special was hosted by CNN’s Van Jones and Erica Hill, Coming Together: Standing Up to Racism alongside the show’s beloved characters, Elmo, Big Bird and other Sesame Street favorites to talk and explain what racism is in the United States, and answer any important questions from children watching across the country.
At the start of the clip, you hear the crowd chants “Black Lives Matter” while Elmo looks out the window and tells his dad that he doesn’t understand what’s happening. Elmo then asks his father “Why are these people together?”
Elmo’s dad Louie explains to Elmo, “Not all streets are like Sesame Street.” He continued, “On Sesame Street, we all love and respect one another. But across the country, people of color, especially in the Black Community, are being treated unfairly because of how they look, their culture, race and who they are. What we are seeing is people saying ‘Enough is Enough.’ They want to end racism.”
Louie also explains to Elmo that sometimes protestors make signs, sharing an example of one that says “Love Justice Peace” that he shows he will be bringing to a protest at the community center later in the day.
When Elmo asks his dad for the definition of racism, Louie replies, “Racism is when you treat other people unfairly because of the way they look or the color of their skin.”
The video ends with the furry red muppet telling Louie that he wants everyone to be treated fairly and wants to end racism. Elmo asked his father, “What can I do daddy? How can Elmo support his friends?”
This touching special was a reminder that everyone, regardless of age, has a voice that deserves to be heard. Just check out this little girl passionately chanting, “no justice, no peace!” during a protest in the viral video below: