The Daily Show's Jon Stewart opened his show this Thursday with an emotional speech discussing the shooting at a South Carolina church, the hypocrisy in our varied responses to these sorts of incidents depending on whether it's domestic terrorism or foreign and the race of the attacker, racism in America and the response by those on the right and the likes of Fox "news" who have done their best to try to pretend that racism had nothing to do with the killer's motives.
“I didn’t do my job today. I apologize,” Stewart said, after explaining how his primary daily duty is to mock the daily news. “I’ve got nothing for you in terms of jokes and sounds, because of what happened in South Carolina. Maybe if I wasn’t nearing the end of the run or this wasn’t such a common occurrence, maybe I could have pulled out of the spiral. But I didn’t. And so I honestly have nothing other than just sadness once again that we have to peer into the abyss of the depraved violence we do to each other and the nexus of a gaping racial wound that will not heal but 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 jacksh-t,” Stewart continued. “Yeah. That’s us. That’s the part that blows my mind. I don’t want to get into the political argument […] 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.” [...]
“We invaded two countries and spent trillions of dollars and thousands of American lives and now fly unmanned death machines over five or six different countries, all to keep Americans safe. ‘We gotta do whatever we can – we’ll torture people. We gotta do whatever we can to keep Americans safe,’” Stewart said. “Nine people. Shot in a church. What are you going to do about that? ‘Hey, what are you going to do. Crazy is crazy is, right?’ That’s the part 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.”
Stewart pointed out how the media has already shied away from calling the murders a “terrorist attack.”
“I heard someone on the news say, ‘Tragedy has visited the church.’ This wasn’t a tornado. This was racist,” Stewart said. “I hate to use the pun, but this one was black and white. There’s no nuance here. But we’re going to keep pretending. We are steeped in that culture in this country and we refuse to recognize it.” [...]
“Nine people were shot in a black church by a white guy who hated them who wanted to start some kind of civil war,” Stewart said, before laying into South Carolina for still having the Confederate flag flying over its state capitol.
“The Confederate flag flies over South Carolina. And the roads are named for Confederate generals. And the white guy is the one who feels like his country is being taken away from him. We’re bringing it on ourselves,” Stewart said. “Al Qaeda, all those guys – ISIS. They’re not sh-t compared to the damage that we can apparently do to ourselves on a regular basis.”