Earlier today, CNN aired an hourlong joint Sesame Street special intended to help kids understand what racism is and why people are protesting against police brutality through the magic and power of Muppets.
The special, titled Coming Together: Standing Up to Racism, featured a bunch of those furry and/or feathery puppets and even some notable real people unpacking what’s going on at an age-appropriate level. Abby Cadabby (puppet) discussed how unfair it was to once see Big Bird (puppet) get bullied for his yellow feathers, while Atlanta mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms (real person) answered questions about racism and the Black Lives Matter protests from viewers. Authors Jennifer Harvey (real person) and Beverly Daniel Tatum (real person) were also present, unpacking white privilege and the basics of raising racially conscious kids.
In one segment, Elmo (puppet) asked his dad, Louie (puppet), why people were protesting outside his window. Here’s what père d’Elmo said:
They are sad and upset, and they have every right to be. People are upset because racism is a huge problem in our country.
Elmo then asked his dad what racism is. Louie explained:
Racism is when people treat other people unfairly because of the way they look or the color of their skin… Not all streets are like Sesame Street. On Sesame Street, we all love and respect one another. 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.
“Elmo… Elmo wants to end racism, too,” the scarlet furball said with conviction.
Same, Elmo. I Elmo want to end racism, too.
Watch the full clip below.