Personally, I blame Jon Stewart. The former host of Comedy Central’s “The Daily Show” was quick, clever and smug enough to convince a lot of younger, lazy Americans that they could become civically literate by watching a comedy show, thus being entertained while learning about current events and how to have the “right’ opinions about them. Jon Stewart, Stephen Colbert, Samantha Bee, Noah, Jimmy Kimmel (yecchh), Bill Maher (gag) and all of the other left-leaning clowns and jokers have a right to their opinions and to spout them at will, but nobody should think that any of them possess such remarkable insight that they should be influential opinion-makers. Indeed, their opinions are approximately as authoritative as a gas station attendant or the average taxi driver.
Throughout American history, there have been the occasional wise wags whose satirical takes on current events prompted thought as well as mirth—Mark Twain, Will Rogers, Mort Sahl, and a few others. Never before, however, have there been so many pretenders to that class who not only are taken seriously by the young, but who also take themselves seriously, far more seriously than their intellects, training and experience justifies. During the Trump administration, this trend became actively destructive, but many crtics even expressed concern during Stewart’s reign, as surveys showed that a frightening number of people used “The Daily Show” as their primary news source. This makes approximately as much sense as using SNL’s “Weekend Update” for that purpose.
Trevor Noah, Stewart’s cuter but equally smug successor on Comedy Central, provided us with a neon-bright example of how damaging these fake authorities can be. The topic was the mass killings at two Atlanta-area massage parlors that left eight people dead earlier this week. Six of the eight women were Asian-Americans, but the motive behind the shootings is murky. Police arrested a suspect, 21-year-old Robert Aaron Long yesterday. Long reportedly told investigators that he had a sexual addiction and saw the businesses as a temptation he needed to eliminate. (This makes slightly more sense than “Son of Sam” saying he was instructed by a dog, but you know: mass murderers.) Never mind what he says, the race-baiters that make up much of the Democratic Party decided that this was another opportunity that couldn’t be missed.
Rep. Ayanna Pressley (D-Mass.), a member of “The Squad,” tweeted yesterday,
“8 lives were violently stolen. We stand in solidarity & deep compassion w/ our AAPI [Asian American and Pacific Islander] family in Georgia & across the country. Racism, misogyny, & white supremacy are a threat to all of our communities, and we must call out the targeted, violent attacks on our AAPI neighbors.”
Other “of color” elected Democrats followed the script. Showing that, so far at least, there are some depths to which they will not stoop, both Speaker Pelosi and President Biden declined to call the attacks a “hate crime,” saying that the motive is unclear. It is, but the fact that the killer himself says he was trying to kill sex workers creates the rebuttable presumption that race was not motive.
Trevor Noah, however, launched a hilarious riff on the tragedy. I jest: there was nothing funny about it, but who is better qualified to analyze the social roots of a U.S. incident than a South African high school grad who has engaged in nothing except comedy since he was 18 and who has shown no interest in becoming an American citizen?
Here is Noah’s rant:
“What’s been sad about the story is not just the loss of life but all the auxiliary things that have been happening around the story. Like, one of the first things that’s been the most frustrating for me is seeing the shooter say, ‘Oh, it wasn’t racism, it was sex addiction.’ First of all, fuck you, man. You killed six Asian people. Specifically. You went there. If there’s anyone who’s racist, it’s a motherfucker who kills six Asian women. Your murders speak louder than your words. Six Asian women were killed! And you know, in a way, what makes it even more painful is that we saw it coming. We see these things happening. People have been warning. People in the Asian community have been tweeting, saying, ‘Please, help us. We’re getting punched in the streets, we’re getting slurs written on our doors, we’re getting people coming up to us saying thanks for COVID, thanks for spoiling the world.’ We’ve seen this happening. And while we’re fighting for it, there are many people who have been like, ‘Oh, stop being so woke and so dramatic. Kung flu, hahaha. It’s just a joke.’ Yeah, it’s a joke that has come at one of the most tense times in human history. You knew that something like this could happen.This guy didn’t go and kill these women by mistake. He knew what he was doing. And it’s so frustrating to see this keep happening in America over and over again. America sees things coming, it knows something is gonna happen, but it does nothing to stop it. But then it’s all-in on saying, ‘Oh, it’s so tragic, who could have predicted this tragedy?’ Anyone who was looking at it could. Why are people so invested in solving the symptoms instead of the cause? America does this time and time again — a country that wants to fight the symptoms and not the underlying conditions that cause those symptoms to take effect. Racism, misogyny, gun violence, and mental illness — and honestly, this incident might have been all of those things combined. Whatever you do, please, don’t tell me that this thing had nothing to do with race. Even if the shooter says that — he thinks it has to do with his sex addiction — you can’t disconnect his violence from the racial stereotypes that people attach to Asian women. This guy blamed a specific race of people for his problems and then murdered them because of it. If that’s not racism then the word has no meaning.”
I’m tempted to just stop with that. Noah’s logic is infantile; the message is foolish, and the entire speech is hypocritical. Noah wants to blame a factual assignment of accountability for the pandemic to the nation that inflicted it on the world for a mass shooting, but he’s eager to publicly tar white Americans as presumed deadly racists in the process. Will Noah be responsible if some wackos kill white citizens after hearing his rant? Of course not.
This is presumed racism emerging out of knee-jerk anti-white bigotry (I wonder…why would a mixed race comic who grew up in South Africa be suspicious of whites?), just as the George Floyd narrative is. Noah conveniently ignores the fact that Long killed two non-Asian workers too, which supports the killer’s explanation of his motives. What would Noah have said if, say, Long had killed four Asian-Americans and four whites? If Long were black, and all of the victims were Asian, would that still have constituted white supremacy?
Nobody who identifies the origin of the pandemic virus is responsible or culpable for how bigots and fools react to that information. Noah’s unstated solution, how he thinks racism can be “stopped,” is censorship. declaring certain facts or opinions unspeakable. Well, he grew up in a repressive regime; no wonder he thinks that way. As the Left becomes less and less American, people like Noah will begin to make more and more sense, as he makes his giggling audience increasingly incompetent.