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The Daily Show Takes a Somber Moment to Make a Point About Philando Castile

Sometimes comedy needs to take a seat when there's so much injustice

Trevor Noah has always been great at telling the news from his perspective, especially as the only black host on late-night TV. So, when the Philando Castile shooting came to a close and another police officer was found not guilty of manslaughter, the Daily Show host had a lot to say.

More: Cop Doesn't Know Why He Shot This Unarmed Black Man

During the show, Noah went deep into the outcome of this shooting and past shootings, talking about what the problem with this country could really be. “Every time I watch that video,” Noah says about the shooting of Castile, “the question I ask myself is, ‘How? Just... how?’ How does a black person not get shot in America? Because if you think about it, the bar is always moving. The goalposts are always shifting. There’s always a different thing that explains why a person got shot... At some point, you realize there’s no real answer.”

It’s heavy for a comedy show, but these days, the news just isn’t funny. When events this serious take a spot in history over justice or fairness, there isn’t much to say except the truth. The truth of all this is that jobs like Noah’s, where he has to make jokes about the most difficult news to stomach week after week, are now platforms for that missing justice.

More: #BlackLivesMatter Cofounders on Why the Movement Is More Vital Now Than Ever

“The jury had to make a decision,” Noah continued, “and that decision is, ‘Do you think this policeman was justified in thinking that his life was in danger?’ And their opinion [was], ‘Yes, yes, I can see why that cop was afraid.’” 

Noah’s next line of thinking makes the whole show that platform for justice where there is none. He says what everyone needs to hear, and the truth about the black experience in the United States: “But why [was the cop afraid]? Was it because Philando Castile was being polite? Was it because he was following the officer’s instructions? Was it because he was in the car with his family? Or was it because Philando Castile was black?”

More: Bring On the Comedy Specials

The show went straight to commercial after that, with no giggle or laugh or applause from the audience. Just a somber moment for people at home to truly understand how important the truth really is.

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