Trevor Noah Responds to the Claim That He Can’t Comment on Gun Control Because He’s Not American

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After the mass shooting in Las Ves Vegas last weekend, Trevor Noah was one of many late-night television hosts to address the tragedy. He specifically focused on those who would demand we don’t “politicize” shootings.

“I feel like people are becoming more accustomed to this type of news,” he said. “Every single time. I almost know how it’s going to play out. We’re shocked, we’re sad, thoughts and prayers, and then almost on cue, people are gonna come out saying ‘Whatever you do when speaking about the shootings, don’t talk about guns.’”

After that aired, Fox News contributor Larry O’Connor wrote a piece on Mediaite, which he then discussed on Fox, expressing outrage at the idea that Noah and other “foreign-born” hosts like James Corden would dare speak about a specifically American issue like the 2nd Amendment. (Full disclosure: Mediaite and The Mary Sue both operate under the same parent company of Abrams Media.)

The video, which you can watch above, was a web-only segment, appearing to happen during a commercial break. In it, Noah says that he doesn’t “take that for granted,” and that this isn’t the first time he’s heard this sort of thing.

He goes on to say, “It’s interesting because I remember when I first got to The Daily Show, in the first weeks that I was here, there was a shooting. People were like ‘Oh, I don’t think he cares enough.'” He said he would respond by saying he’s an honest person, and will respond honestly, not with manufactured outrage or emotion. “And when you live in a place for a while, when you call it home, you feel things that happen, because it’s happening to us.” He points out that “there are certain things that connect you beyond just where you’re from.”

But the conversation around immigration and what is deemed appropriate behavior from immigrants is a total catch-22. The same people that criticize immigrants for not committing to life as an American are the same people who condemn immigrants fro “getting too involved,” expressing opinions or “taking” jobs.

In his original article, O’Connor goes into some in-depth apartheidsplaining, ending his history lesson on guns in South Africa by saying, “But those issues are for South Africans to discuss, debate and solve. I wouldn’t presume to tell them what they should do based on my experience as an America.” Except many Americans and others from around the world did protest the South African apartheid. And as Noah points out, South Africans weren’t complaining about that. They weren’t questioning why Americans had a stake in the well-being of those in other countries.

“If anything,” he says, “I would argue most of the problems we face in the world come from the fact that people don’t deal with issues that they ‘don’t have to deal with.'”

(image: screengrab)

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Vivian Kane
Vivian Kane (she/her) is the Senior News Editor at The Mary Sue, where she's been writing about politics and entertainment (and all the ways in which the two overlap) since the dark days of late 2016. Born in San Francisco and radicalized in Los Angeles, she now lives in Kansas City, Missouri, where she gets to put her MFA to use covering the local theatre scene. She is the co-owner of The Pitch, Kansas City’s alt news and culture magazine, alongside her husband, Brock Wilbur, with whom she also shares many cats.