Don Cheadle: ‘Let’s be real this is us, this is America’

Series premiere 'Black Monday' in Los Angeles
Don Cheadle was on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon in an interview that was recorded on Wednesday, right after the historic storming of the Capitol Building by armed white supremacists. He was prescheduled of course and Fallon thanked him for still showing up. Of course Cheadle was the perfect guest to talk about this. I love following him on Twitter because he’s a standup guy and he remains unproblematic and decent. Plus he will call MAGAs out. Cheadle told Fallon that he found the terrorist attack on the Capitol building unsurprising because Trump told us he was going to do it and has been telegraphing it for years. He also said that he understood why Biden said that “this isn’t us,” in his speech afterwards, but that’s not true.

“Did you ever think we’d be seeing the president denying the outcome of the election?”
Yes. 100% He was denying it before it started. He said ‘I believe if I lose it will have been rigged.’ This is what I’m saying. I’m surprised that people are surprised in some ways. This was not something that wasn’t foreshadowed by the president already. He spoke about how he would react to this. This behavior has been consistent. This is a culmination of the behavior and the attitude that’s been happening over the last four years. There was never any question that he would contest the results – unless he won.

On Biden’s speech Wednesday
I was glad and I was heartened by the forcefulness of his words. This idea that ‘this isn’t us’ – I know why people say it and I know where that sentiment comes from but let’s be real this is us, this is America. This is, in many ways, a consistent throughline from what we have seen. It reaches a tipping point and these are the things that happen. We’re always in this process where we’ll get three steps forward two steps back. This is the dance that we have to do in this country when we have been unable to deal with injustice. This is the outcome. This is what happens when that boil is lanced.

We’re going to have to require that this new leadership really step up and deal with the inequities that we’ve had… and that continue to come to fruition. We’ve really got to get down into the weeds to make any kind of substantive change.

[From The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon on YouTube]

I left the part out of the excerpt where Cheadle said he’s happy we’ll have more competent people in charge soon but that we still have a lot of work to do. I agree with him so much and appreciated the way he explained it. He is underrated as an actor and a person. Whenever I cover his interviews I’m impressed and want to see more. He was like that on the Avengers Biden fundraiser zoom with Kamala Harris for her birthday too! My absolute favorite interview with Cheadle is from a couple of years ago. He said that he likes to talk smack about people presenting at awards shows but that you can’t do that at the Oscars because the camera might catch you.

Cheadle is promoting Black Monday on Showtime, which has two full seasons available and has been renewed for season three. It looks really fun I need to watch it! Plus the fashion is true 80s glamour and Regina Hall is in it.

Here’s that interview!

It took me too long to get this:

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71st Annual Primetime Emmy Awards - Arrivals

Photos credit: and Getty

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19 Responses to “Don Cheadle: ‘Let’s be real this is us, this is America’”

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  1. Shells_Bells says:

    You should definitely check out Black Monday. He and Regina (all the cast actually) are excellent. And the fashion is amazing!

  2. Freddy says:

    Have loved Cheadle since “Boogie Nights” and he’s sooo on point here. I’ve been dizzy for the past 48 hrs hearing “this isn’t us”…uh..yes it is. And the coup was the most American of coups–storm the Capitol…but then take selfies…

  3. Sayrah says:

    He’s so right

  4. Smile says:

    He is so on point!

  5. lucy2 says:

    He’s completely right. I had the same thought. I know why Biden said that, but the truth is it is us, always has been.

    I haven’t watched his show yet but it’s on my list. He’s a great actor.

  6. NTheMiddle says:

    He’s absolutely right. The election of Trump and disturbing emboldened continuation and uprising of his supporters merely exposed how f’d up this nation is.

  7. Watson says:

    More Cheadle, less of any of the Chris’ (Evans or Pratt).

  8. windyriver says:

    Slightly OT, but Don Cheadle’s background was one of the most interesting stories on Finding Your Roots. His Cheadle ancestors were among those enslaved by Native Americans.

    America is a complicated place.

  9. JayBlue says:

    I’m glad somebody finally said it! This IS America, and that’s a huge part of the problem. In a few weeks I wouldn’t be surprised if this is all swept under the rug until next time, like all American tragedies that were perpetrated by Americans.

  10. Case says:

    I agree 100%. This is who we are, who we have a history of being. This is EXACTLY how other countries have viewed us since we elected Trump, certainly (I literally had European colleagues ask me on a business trip if I’m “okay and safe in America” in 2018 bc of Trump), and I imagine this has been how marginalized communities have seen this country since its founding. None of this is new and I’m somewhat bothered by the people who are so shocked by what went down Wednesday. How could you NOT see this coming?

    • MarcelMarcel says:

      Trump is an agent of chaos who weaponises hatred by sowing discord amongst racist white people.
      I’m concerned for all BIPoc in the US right now. I worried for the safety of trans people of colour because Trump loves punching down on the trans community. And trans womxn of colour already face statistically higher rates of violence.
      (Anyhow long story short I’m a white womxn from Australia who agrees with you. I’d be more surprised if Trump hadn’t tried to gain a false victory with a terrorist attack. Naturally, Trump failed at it because a successful coup it requires building relationships with powerful political allies and he is lazy.).

      • Veronica S. says:

        Every minority in America should be scared – BIPOC, LGBT+, religious, ethnic, disabled, etc. All of them. Fascism in America will go for racial minorities first, but we know from history it never stops there. It’ll always go down the line (and yes, white women will be part of that lineup, they just delude themselves otherwise) until it has no choice but to start eating itself. The story of fascism is that it cannot thrive without an enemy that is both imminently terrifying and dangerous but also easily destroyed.

  11. Lenn says:

    America has always been in denial about and hidden its true self. This is America. It is just coming to the surface. I try to see this as maybe a good thing. The only way to get rid of those weeds is to bring them up first. Let’s hope change will come, true change. Not glossy, superficial change. Sometimes I wonder if Biden is the man for that job. Let’s hope he is.

  12. Indywom says:

    He is absolutely right. America has always hidden its dark side from the rest of the world. Now it is out there for the world to see.

  13. Annabel says:

    I really appreciate his statement. He’s absolutely right.

  14. Veronica S. says:

    I really hope the magnitude of what Biden’s inheriting is finally starting to hit him. I know he’s still talking unity, but I’m like…you literally just watched your own presidency nearly get waylaid by a coup, there are senators doubling down on disenfranchising entire states’ votes (ooh, do we keep our taxes then? No taxation without representation!!), our stability is threatened by a massive racial divide that is eating us alive, and you’ve got misinformation radicalizing people to insanity. Lots of things to clean up, and we have a very short time frame to try and fix things before we have a midterm election to try and push people out to.

  15. Erin says:

    This isn’t who we want to admit to be, but this is obviously who are.

  16. Tammy says:

    Huge crush on him.

  17. Thirtynine says:

    I think all of this is true. BUT I also think it is true that it is not who you have to be. Change is not going to happen overnight and will not happen easily and there will be a price to be paid, but I honestly believe if accountability is enforced at every level every time at the same time that social inequalities and the educational system are honestly addressed, there is no reason why things cannot improve. Stacy Abrams gave us proof this week that we can see our preferred future and work for it. Ball is in Biden’s court now.