Jon Stewart on Thursday night’s Daily Show put the jokes aside in light of the Charleston Church massacre.
Following the massacre in one of the nation’s first African American churches on Wednesday night that left nine people dead, Stewart said he simply didn’t have any jokes, “nothing other than just sadness” over what happened,
“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,” he said. “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 yet we pretend doesn’t exist.”
“I’m confident that by acknowledging it, by staring into that…we still won’t do jackshit,” he continued to say. “Yeah. That’s us. …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.”
“I heard someone on the news say, ‘Tragedy has visited this church.’ This wasn’t a tornado. This was racist,” Stewart said. “I hate to even use this pun, but this one is 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.”
“That’s insanity. That’s racial wallpaper,” Stewart said.
“You can’t allow that. Nine people were shot in a black church by a white guy who hated them, who wanted to start some sort of civil war. The Confederate flag flies over South Carolina, and the roads are named for Confederate generals. And the white guy’s the one who feels like his country’s being taken away from him.”
“We’re bringing it on ourselves. And that’s the thing: Al Qaeda, all those guys, ISIS, they’re not shit compared to the damage that we can apparently do to ourselves on a regular basis,” Stewart concluded, then apologized to the audience, “Sorry about no jokes.”
Two flags atop the statehouse in Columbia, South Carolina, were lowered to half-staff on Thursday.
According to reports, they will stay there for nine days in honor of each victim, as they should be.
But the Confederate flag on statehouse grounds is still flying high.
Take it down.
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