Jon Stewart’s monologue tonight was an impassioned, frustrated meditation on the Charleston shooting and other recent tragedies. “I didn’t do my job today,” he said. “I’ve got nothing for you in terms of jokes and sounds, because of what happened in South Carolina.”
Stewart went on to decry the frequency of this type of tragedy, observing exasperatedly that they always ends with the same result: nothing.
“I honestly have nothing other than sadness that once again we have to peer into the abyss of the depraved violence that we do to each other and the nexus of a just gaping racial wound that will not heal yet we pretend doesn’t exist. I’m confident though that by acknowledging it—by staring into it—we still won’t do jack shit. That’s us. And that’s the part that blows my mind…What blows my mind is the disparity of response. When we think people that are foreign are going to kill us and us killing ourselves…We invade two countries and spent trillions of dollars and lost thousands of American lives and now fly unmanned death machines over like five or six different counties, all to keep Americans safe. We’ve got to do whatever we can—we’ll torture people. We’ve got to do whatever we can to keep Americans safe. But nine people shot in a church— ‘Hey, what are you going go to do? Crazy is as crazy is, right?’ That’s the part that, for the life of me, I can’t wrap my head around. And you know it’s going to go down the same path.”
Later, Stewart addressed the hypocrisy of South Carolina’s reverence for its Confederate and deeply racist past. “Nine people were shot in a black church by a white guy who hated them who wanted to start some sort of civil war,” he said. “The confederate flag flies over South Carolina. And the roads are named for confederate generals. And the white guy is the one who feels like his country is being taken away from him. We’re bringing it on ourselves. And that’s the thing—al Qaeda, ISIS, they’re not shit compared to the damage we can do to ourselves on a regular basis.”