Noah responds to people who might distractingly ask why Blake didn’t follow the police’s orders by explaining that it doesn’t matter. Maybe he had outstanding warrants, maybe he saw what happened to George Floyd who followed the police’s orders, maybe “he just wanted to get his sunglasses.” But forget all of that, Noah says. The police say they were stopping Blake from reaching his car. Shooting someone in the back is a terrible way to stop someone from getting into their car. But Blake wasn’t shot just once in the back from point-blank range. “What purpose do bullets two, three, four, five, six and seven serve?”
Noah reminds the audience that one thing is very clear: The Kenosha police didn’t simply see Blake as a “threat”—they very specifically didn’t recognize him as a human being. The Daily Show then played a clip of Blake’s sister, Letetra Widman:
LETETRA WIDMAN: And when you say the name “Jacob Blake,” make sure you say "father," make sure you say "cousin," make sure you say "son," make sure you say "uncle." But most importantly, make sure you say "human." Human life. Let it marinate in your mouth, in your minds. A human life.
So many people have reached out to me, telling me they're sorry that this happened to my family. Well, don't be sorry, because this has been happening to my family for a long time. Longer than I can account for. It happened to Emmett Till. Emmett Till is my family. Philando, Mike Brown, Sandra.
This has been happening to my family, and I've shed tears for every single one of these people that it's happened to. This is nothing new. I'm not sad. I'm not sorry. I'm angry. And I'm tired. I haven't cried one time. I stopped crying years ago. I am numb. I have been watching police murder people that look like me for years. I'm not sad. I don't want your pity. I want change.
Noah then explains that the anger Black people have is based on not only the violence perpetrated on Black bodies but the continuing lack of accountability for the (predominantly white) people murdering and maiming Black people. “And it's because of that frustration and anger and pain that once again, people took to the streets to express their rage.”
Then the show played clips of news outlets reporting on the civil unrest, fires, and clashes with police that took place after the day’s peaceful protests continued into the night. Of course, we’ve seen who tends to be the real aggressor at these protests, but as Noah explains, this cycle has become so predictable he could record five of them “and go on vacation and you’d probably never know.”
But this time things have gotten even worse as 17-year-old domestic terrorist Rittenhouse decided to come in from Antioch to … protect private property? Instead, he shot and killed two people: 26-year-old Anthony Huber, and a 36-year-old Kenosha man who has yet to be identified.
Noah comes back on screen to give two minutes of uninterrupted truth:
TREVOR NOAH: Some guy decided to drive to Kenosha with his militia buddies to "protect a business," and apparently ended up shooting three people and killing two. But don't worry—the business is okay. And let me tell you something: No one drives into a city with guns because they love someone else's business that much. That's some bullshit. No one has ever thought, "Oh, it's my solemn duty to pick up a rifle and protect that T.J.Maxx." They do it because they're hoping to shoot someone.
That's the only reason people like him join these gangs in the first place. And yes, I said it: a gang. Enough with this "militia" bullshit. This isn't the Battle of Yorktown. It's a bunch of dudes threatening people with guns. And while what happened with those shootings last night is tragic, what happened afterwards is illuminating. Because it made me wonder, it really made me wonder why some people get shot seven times in the back while other people are treated like human beings and reasoned with and taken into custody with no bullets in their bodies.
How come Jacob Blake was seen as a deadly threat for a theoretical gun that he might have and might try to commit a crime with, but this gunman who was armed and had already shot people, who had shown that he is a threat, was arrested the next day, given full due process of the law, and generally treated like a human being whose life matters?
How did Dylann Roof shoot up a church, James Holmes shoot up a movie theater and both live to tell about it? Why is it that the police decide that some threats must be extinguished immediately while other threats get the privilege of being defused?
I'm asking these as questions, but I feel like we know the answer. The answer is that the gun doesn't matter as much as who is holding the gun. Because for some people, Black skin is the most threatening weapon of all.
WARNING: The opening 1:02 of the below clip includes video of the Blake incident with Kenosha police.