"The Daily Show" host Jon Stewart was made for times like this. He's the hero we both need and deserve. So of course he's leaving. Sigh. When Jon stops joking and gets on a soap box, people listen -- and he cut through the BS last night, kicking America a new one for more than five minutes in the wake of the Charleston, South Carolina church massacre. Jon's speech really hit home and was powerful enough to keep him trending on Twitter the next day.
Jon launched the diatribe in a way that left the audience unsure of what was happening, but they appreciated the message by the end. Here are highlights:
This is the best part:
I have one job and it's a pretty simple job. I come in in the morning and we look at the news and we write some jokes about it. And then I make a couple faces and a noise, and then it's just ka-ching and I'm out the door. But I didn't do my job today, so I apologize. I got nothing for you in terms of jokes and sounds, because of what happened in South Carolina. And maybe if it wasn't so near the end of the run, or this wasn't such a common occurrence, I could have pulled out of the spiral — but I didn't. So I honestly have nothing, other than just sadness, once again, that we have to peer into the abyss of the depraved violence that we do to each other, and the nexus of a gaping racial wound that will not heal, yet we pretend doesn't exist. I'm confident, though, that by acknowledging it, by staring into that and seeing it for what it is, we still won't do jack sh-t. Yeah. That's us. And that's the part that blows my mind."
Just watch it all:
What blows my mind is the disparity of response between when we think people that are foreign are going to kill us and us killing ourselves. If this had been what we thought was Islamic terrorism, it would fit into our -- we invaded two countries and spent trillions of dollars and thousands of American lives and now fly unmanned death machines over like five or six different countries to keep Americans safe. We've got to do whatever we can - we'll torture people! -- we've got to do whatever we can to keep Americans safe. Nine people shot in a church! What about that? 'What are you going to do? Crazy is as crazy is, right?' That's the part that I cannot for the life of me wrap my head around. And you know it. You know it's going to go down the same path: 'This is a terrible tragedy'. They're already using the nuanced language of lack of effort for this. [...] I heard someone on the news say, 'Tragedy has visited this church'. This wasn't a tornado. This was a racist. This was a guy with a Rhodesia badge on his sweater. So I hate to even use this pun, but this one is black and white. There's no nuance. And we're going to keep pretending like, 'I don't get it, what happened? There's one guy lost his mind.' But we are steeped in that culture in this country and we refuse to recognize it, and I cannot believe how hard people are working to discount it..."
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