Trevor Noah: “How Does a Black Person Not Get Shot in America?”
On The Daily Show, Trevor Noah asks the question we’re all thinking after the not guilty verdict in the horrific shooting death of Philando Castille.
The first part of Noah’s “Ain’t Got Time For That” segment is in good fun, as he tries to summarize all of the recent head-scratching news. He comedically picks apart the Trump administration’s ridiculous reversal on Cuba policies, as well as Trump’s lawyer’s non-denial denial that the President is under investigation for obstruction of justice. But then it’s time for the Castile part of the segment. It’s worth reading the entire text of what Noah says in full, especially if you can’t watch the video right now:
“Every time I watch that video [of Castile’s murder, which was livestreamed on Facebook by his girlfriend] the question I ask myself is how,” Noah begins. “Just how. How does a black person not get shot in America? ‘Cause if you think about it, the bar is always moving. The goal posts are always shifting. There’s always a different thing that explains why a person got shot. Oh, the person was wearing a hoodie. Oh, the person was running away from the police officer. Oh, no, the person was going towards the police. Oh, no, the person was running around at night. Oh, no, the person had an illegal firearm. The person didn’t have a firearm. But at some point, you realize there’s no real answer, right? And you see this video, and then you see the verdict, and you go, “How?” And there’ve been a lot of these shootings, right? We talk about this a lot. So many things to say. Racism, classism, you know, systemic violence in a police force that oppresses people.”
(warning: graphic video)
— deray mckesson (@deray) June 20, 2017
“But this story is interesting because there’s something different. And that is, Philando Castile wasn’t just a man shot at a traffic stop. He was a legal gun owner whose family was in the car and who had committed no crime. At all. In a story of a man being shot because he was lawfully armed, you would think that one group, one powerful group in America, would say something about it. This is one group that you would expect to be losing their goddamned minds about this: the NRA. But, for some strange reason, on this particular case, they’ve been completely silent. Completely silent. And yet, according to their rhetoric, this is everything that they stand against, right? An officer of the state depriving a citizen of his life because he was legally carrying a firearm? I mean, listen to how vocal and fired-up the NRA gets when nothing has happened.”
[Noah plays a clip of NRA executive vice president Wayne LaPierre saying, “There is no greater freedom than the right to survive and protect our families with all the rifles, shotguns, and handguns we want.”]
Noah: “Unless you’re black. Is what he should have said. Like, it’s interesting how the people who define themselves by one fundamental American right—the right to bear arms—show that once race is involved, the only right that they believe in is their right to remain silent.”
Noah’s words on the subject are powerful and should send every silent NRA member into a spiral of hypocritical shame. While I wait for that to happen, I’ll be paying tribute to the life and memory of Philando Castile.
— Caroline O. (@RVAwonk) June 17, 2017
(via Comedy Central, image: screengrab)
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