Trevor Noah’s rant over the Philando Castile verdict goes way over the line.
Reporters fawn over late night hosts like Jim Jefferies, Samantha Bee and Trevor Noah.
They contend the comics can skewer the American political scene better because they weren’t born and raised in this country. That allows them to observe our system in a fresh way untainted by any nationalistic pride.
Only what comics like Jefferies, Bee and Noah “observe” is precisely the same as U.S.-based comics like Stephen Colbert and Seth Meyers.
That’s their choice. Let’s not pretend it’s anything fresh or novel, though.
Yet what Noah did this week on “The Daily Show” veered away from boilerplate liberalism. It delivered raw racial demagoguery.
The subject: the jury not convicting the police officer who shot and killed Philando Castile. The case drew national headlines, and outrage. The latter, in part, because the Minnesota man’s girlfriend streamed his final moments in a heartbreaking video.
The acquittal united segments of the left and right in outrage. Was justice served? That made Noah’s comments on the matter both appropriate and warranted. It’s hard to watch that video, review the findings made public and determine the officer did nothing wrong.
Noah didn’t stop there, though.
“How does a black person not get shot in America?” Noah asked, starting the conversation in the most inflammatory way possible.
It’s almost as if we’re seeing officers gun down black people on a daily basis without cause. Noah’s line is even more divisive when you remember how many cops have been shot, and killed, in recent months. Some of the cases sounded like pure assassination plots.
He wasn’t done.
“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. Oh, no, the person was going toward the police. Oh, no, the person was running around at night.”
Noah is likely referencing the “hoodie” worn by Trayvon Martin when he was killed by a Hispanic man during a struggle in Florida five years ago. George Zimmerman, the man who shot Martin, wasn’t a police officer. Nor was Martin killed for his choice of outerwear.
Next, let’s examine “the person was going toward the police,” likely a reference to the Michael Brown case. The Obama administration’s Justice Department cleared Darren Wilson, the white officer in that situation from any wrongdoing in the Missouri man’s death.
Yet the town of Ferguson, Miss. raged with violence and protests that cost local citizens dearly weeks of misinformation spread by the press.
Remember the oft-repeated lie, “hands up, don’t shoot?”
So why would Noah bring that case up without the critical context? Without it, you’re stirring up emotions in an irresponsible fashion.
Heather Mac Donald’s book, “The War on Cops: How the New Attack on Law and Order Makes Everyone Less Safe,” shatters the media-driven narrative about cops shooting black Americans with sober statistics.
That narrative persists all the same. Meanwhile, the police presence in some neighborhoods is shrinking following anti-police brutality protests. The result? More innocents are suffering, and dying.
It’s the Ferguson Effect.
Racism still exists in America. A small percentage of cops clearly treat black Americans differently. This should be discussed and addressed in the most mature way possible.
That’s not what Noah did.
He employed racial demagoguery using the same tactics he uses to attack the Right and defend the Left. He cherry picked facts to buttress his agenda.
The consequences could be far greater than a poll number tweak, though.