In “Chelsea Does Racism,” Chelsea Handler spends this third episode of her docuseries exploring racism and its effect on society. As part of her mission to expose racism, she meets with a group of people from various groups representing minorities. The representatives speak to her about what she can do as a famous comedian to help make a change in race relations. She is told that sharing positive stories is a good way to make a change. When Chelsea asks how she can uncover positive stories about minorities, she attempts to answer her own question by suggesting she could look for minorities on Tinder. The representatives respond that she should hire a consultant. Apparently, finding positive stories about minorities requires hired help.
The list of organizations that sent representatives to speak with Handler are:
- Media Action Network for Asian Americans
- Anti-Defamation League
- National Association for the Advancement of Colored People
- National Hispanic Media Coalition
- American Indians in TV and Film
- Council on American-Islamic Relations
Around this part of the discussion, the Native American representative asks her when she last visited an Indian reservation. She admits that she only visits reservations when she is performing at Indian casinos, so her only experience of them is in a casino setting. She says her understanding is that Indian reservations are “pretty modernized.” The Native American representative responds with a simple, “No.”
So, Chelsea takes the time to visit Campo Indian Reservation and uncover a positive story. She speaks to Harry Paul Cuero, Jr., the Vice Chairman of the Campo Kumeyaay Nation. The meeting takes place outdoors and not near a casino. She notices a lot of oak trees on the reservation. He says they are important to the tribe, because his people eat the acorns that grow on them.
He was married under an oak tree, rather than in a church, for a few reasons. Two of his reasons were to recognize the oak tree’s importance in providing both food and shade. Also, the oak tree he chose to be married under is next to a burial ground where his deceased relatives have been buried. It was a way for him to have his whole family present while utilizing an important part of his tribe’s reservation.
He went on to say his tribe’s philosophy has historically been about “us” and not “me,” which he considers to be an important value in the modern world. When looking at America in general, people tend to be very self-centered about their lives. But his tribe has a history of surviving as a group, and so they value thinking of others and not just about themselves. He said, “We’ve been here 10,000 years because we know how to survive.”