The Daily Show host Jon Stewart took to the airwaves the day after the Charleston Church massacre and offered a bleak assessment of life in the United States of America. Stewart, who leaves the show on August 6, told viewers that he had no jokes about the days news and summed up his feelings about the events in South Carolina by saying that “this one is black and white.”
Ironically Stewart’s guest on the show was Nobel peace prize-winner Malala Yousafzai, who was herself shot in the head by a Taliban gunman after she became a vocal campaigner for female education in her native Pakistan.
According to the Guardian Stewart opened his show by telling viewers that “some people were already working hard to discount the idea that racism was the motive behind the massacre.” Stewart has long been an outspoken critic of racism in the U.S. and claims that the problem is simply ignored.
Stewart said, “I have nothing other than just sadness that once again we have to peer into the abyss of the depraved violence that we do to each other, and the nexus of a just gaping racial wound that will not heal but we pretend doesn’t exist.”
Stewart argues that, even if the culture if racist violence is looked at seriously, “we still won’t do jack***t. Yeah that’s us.” Stewart claims that there is a reluctance to label massacre’s like Charleston as terrorism because there is a need show clear water between the response to foreign and domestic terrorism.
Stewart points out that the U.S. has spent trillions of dollars and “thousands of American lives” in the “war on terror” but fails to tackle domestic extremism.
According to the Independent Stewart said “I don’t want to get into the political argument, but 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.”
According to the Washington Post, Jon Stewart claims that Americans find it more convenient to pretend they don’t understand the issues that racism and gun culture create. We prefer to say, “I don’t get it. What happened? This one guy lost his mind.”
“[N]ine people were shot in a black church by a white guy who hated them, who wanted to start some kind 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 is being taken away from him.”
Stewart concluded his monologue by claiming that the damage caused to Americans by Al Qaeda and ISIS is nothing compared to the damage Americans do to themselves.
Is Jon Stewart right to claim that America is ignoring the real issues behind the Charleston massacre?
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