Brow Beat

Trevor Noah’s Message on Police Shootings: “You Can Be Pro-Cop and Pro-Black”

Just a day after addressing the shooting of Alton Sterling, Trevor Noah followed up with a another statement about police violence in light of Philandro Castile’s death. He began on a grim note: “Did you guys see that shooting that happened two days ago? Because don’t worry if you missed it—there was another one yesterday.” The Daily Show host emphasized the false dichotomy that these tragedies often create—including the interpretation that protestors against wrongful police shootings must also be anti-police as a whole.

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. When in reality, you can be pro-cop and pro-black, which is what we should all be. That is what we should be aiming for.

Noah’s message is even more resonant when you consider that it was taped before the shooting in Dallas last night that killed five police officers and injured others, a shooting that took place at a protest related to Sterling and Castile’s deaths.

Noah went on to compare white ignorance about the magnitude of police discrimination to his own previous lack of awareness about how often women have to deal with catcalling: “I didn’t know because I’m a man. I did not see that in my world.” Seeing is believing, says Noah—except that even when there’s video evidence of wrongdoing, as there was for the deaths of Tamir Rice, Eric Garner, and others, critics will bend over backwards to create justifications for their deaths.

“You can’t fix something unless you admit that it’s broken,” said Noah. And until there is as much outrage over the murders of black Americans as the public expressed over Harambe, our system will stay broken.