Last night, as thousands protested in New York, Jon Stewart opened the Daily Show with a mostly serious monologue about the decision not to indict the police officer who killed Eric Garner. "I don't know," Stewart said at one point. "I honestly don't know what to say."
"If comedy is tragedy plus time, then I need more fucking time," he said. "But I would really settle for less tragedy, to be honest with you. I think what is so utterly depressing is that none of the ambiguities that exist in the Ferguson case exist in the Staten Island case. And yet the outcome is exactly the same: no crime, no trial, all harm, no foul...The coroner called it a homicide, the guy isn't acting threatening, and we know that not through witness testimony from unreliable bystanders but because we are fucking watching it. Someone taped it."
Before cutting to a clip of cats massaging each other, Stewart offered a final sobering observation.
"We are definitely not living in a post-racial society," he said. "And I can imagine there are a lot of people wondering how much of a society we're living in at all."