Trevor Noah Breaks Down Why It’s Possible to Be Pro-Cop and Pro-Black (Video)
On Thursday night’s episode of “The Daily Show,” host Trevor Noah dove into the complicated politics of police brutality and the American criminal justice system. He began the segment by briefly explaining the tragic deaths of Alton Sterling and Philando Castile. However, the comedian then began to break down the hypocrisy perpetuated by so many Americans during these tragic times.
“The hardest part of having a conversation surrounding police shootings in America: It always feels like in America, if you take a stand for something, you automatically are against something else,” Noah said. He went on:
With police shootings, it shouldn’t have to work that way. For instance, if you’re pro-Black Lives Matter, you’re assumed to be anti-police. And if you’re pro-police, then you surely hate black people. It seems that it’s either pro-cop and anti-black, or pro-black and anti-cop. When in reality, you can be pro-cop and pro-black … you shouldn’t have to choose between the police and the citizens they are sworn to protect.
Noah’s segment is a logical discussion in a time when people on both sides of the argument are becoming increasingly heated. For instance, former Illinois Rep. Joe Walsh tweeted an anti-black, pro-cop rant shortly after the news of the Dallas shootings (Noah’s segment was filmed prior to the incident). This tweet, although later deleted, is a perfect reflection of his anger:
(via The Slot)
At the same time, there were reports of anti-cop sentiments surfacing on Twitter as a reaction to the recent deaths of African-Americans at the hands of police.
A common misconception of the Black Lives Matter movement is that it hates police officers. As the official BLM website states:
Police officers are people. Their lives have inherent value. This movement is not an anti-people movement; therefore it is not an anti-police-officer movement. …
This does not mean, however, that police are not implicated in a system that criminalizes black people, that demands that they view black people as unsafe and dangerous, that trains them to be more aggressive and less accommodating with black citizens, and that does not stress that we are taxpayers who deserve to be protected and served just like everyone else. Thus the Black Lives Matter movement is not trying to make the world more unsafe for police officers; it hopes to make police officers less of a threat to communities of color.
The Black Lives Matter movement was also quick to condemn the violence in Dallas:
#BlackLivesMatter advocates dignity, justice and freedom. Not murder.
— Black Lives Matter (@Blklivesmatter) July 8, 2016
Lilly Workneh, Black Voices senior editor at The Huffington Post, explains how claims that the BLM movement is to blame for the deaths of the Dallas police officers is “not only dangerously misguided but also entirely untrue.”
[R]acist America will insist that the horrid actions of one shooter is reflective of an entire race, or in this case, a movement that aims to protect an entire race. But the only thing that this tragedy proves, once again, is that one angry person with easy access to guns can incite horror. Mass shootings in this country are overwhelmingly committed by white men, and yet, have you ever heard someone blame the entire white race for one white person’s crimes?
Trevor Noah spends the end of the segment explaining that the American criminal justice system is racist. “You can’t deny the racism” shown in the videos of the Sterling and Castile shootings, he said, before concluding: “America has a problem with its police force. And although the problem disproportionately affects black people, it’s not just a black problem. It’s an American problem.”
You can watch the full segment below:
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