“Do you not understand that life in this country is inherently different for White people than it is Black people?”
“The Daily Show” returned this week after Jon Stewart’s vacation and personally, I couldn’t wait to hear his commentary on the tragedy in Ferguson. He didn’t disappoint. Stewart dedicated nearly the entire episode to taking the media to task for the way they’ve been covering Michael Brown’s death. The show began with Stewart doing the “Ferguson Protest Challenge” – which traded out the Ice Bucket Challenge’s cold water for mace and tear gas.
Stewart passionately admitted, “This isn’t all about just one man killed in one town; it’s about people of color, no matter their socioeconomic standing, face obstacles in this country with surprising grace. I guarantee you that every person of color in this country has faced an indignity, from the ridiculous to the grotesque, to the sometimes fatal and some point (I’m going to say) in their last couple of hours, because of their skin color.”
However, in typical Jon Stewart fashion, he managed to pour so much sarcasm into his chastising of the media, I literally laughed the entire segment. When done right, humor is not only hilarious, but educational and Stewart has a brilliant way of making us laugh, but also making us reflect.
Check out his best lines from the show:
1.”The shooting by police of teen, Michael Brown has sparked a series of protests, which in turn sparked a stern response by police, who appear to be auditioning for ‘Robo Cop.'”
2. When a news outlet claimed that describing Brown as an unarmed teen who was shot by a White officer “colors” the way we talk about this story. Stewart said, “Yes, describing the actual facts of the case really does color the way we look at it. White cop shoots unarmed Black teen does sound terrible. Whereas hero cop kills alien-hunting human for sport, would put a completely different spin on things.”
3. Many outlets asked why other stories like Black on Black crime aren’t being covered, to which Stewart replied, “Yes! Why all the interest in holding police officers to a higher standard than gangs? They both flash colors and yes, one of them has been sworn to protect and defend…”
4. A news anchor challenged civil rights leaders, Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton, claiming they’re not rallying around the violence issues in Chicago. Jon quickly showed a clip of Rev. Sharpton at a Chicago church on July 10, and the news broadcast talked about him planning a summit around the violence there. Stewart said, “What could explain the lack of outrage on Al Sharpton not doing anything about Black on Black violence in Chicago…oh, because African-American leaders did hold a summit about that back in November, and have met at least three times in the last 13 months. They are trying to do something. You being ignorant of those attempts doesn’t mean the issue itself is being ignored. The same as when it snows where you live doesn’t mean the world isn’t getting hotter.”
5. Sean Hannity explained on his show that anytime he is pulled over by police, he explains that he’s got a registered gun in the car or if it’s on him, he’ll step out of the car and show the gun to the officer. Stewart said, “If only Michael Brown, instead of holding his hands over his head, had reached down ot his waist and lifted up his shirt to show the gun he didn’t actually have, this whole tragedy could have been avoided.”
6. A talking head said on a Ferguson news broadcast, “You know who talks about race? Racists!” Stewart said, “Did you just, ‘he who smelt it, dealt it, racism?!
7. There was a man who was beaten by Ferguson police and then charged with damaging government property because his blood had gotten on the officers’ uniforms. Stewart said, “You guys got tanks, but you can’t keep a couple of Tide sticks around?”
8. Perhaps the best part of the show was when Stewart showed clips of news broadcasts of White anchors outraged over trivial things like Festivus and nativity scenes not being displayed, Stewart says, “Imagine that instead of having to suffer the indignity of a Festivus pole blocking something you could have just set up in your own yeard anyway, instead of that, on a pretty consistent basis, you can’t get a f*cking cab, even though you’re a neurosurgeon, because you’re Black.”
The bottom line here is of course another amazing Stewart quote, “Race is there and it is a constant. You’re tired of hearing about it? Imagine how f*cking exhausting it is, living it.” Now this is how you cover Ferguson!
Check out the clip from “The Daily Show” where comedian, Michael Che goes to outerspace is search of a place where a Black man hasn’t been shot by police:
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