OK, we're really getting down to the wire here, so we need to talk about whether we're ready to forgive forgive Trevor Noah for those awful tweets he posted way back when. After all, Jon Stewart's last day on The Daily Show is Aug. 6, and Noah is taking over The Daily Show on Sep. 28, so we have just over a month and a half to figure out if we're down with this. Oh and, P.S., it doesn't really matter at all, because it's happening either way, so this is just about getting your head right and coming into Noah's tenure with the right mindset. Because here's what I think: I think we forgive Trevor Noah for the dumb, anti-Semitic, misogynistic crap he posted to Twitter in 2009.
That doesn't mean I think what he said was OK, or funny, or that I was particularly swayed by his apology or Jon Stewart and Comedy Central's defense of him, because nothing I've heard so far has completely convinced me that he's remorseful rather than just annoyed that he's being held responsible for things he said six years ago. All it means is that I can sympathize — and actually even empathize — with his situation. Currently, Noah is 31 years old and a public personality, two factors that mean he's old enough and wise enough to know better than to post dumb stuff on the Internet. (Supposedly.) But, six years ago, he was 25 and relatively unknown, two factors that not only make him more likely to post dumb stuff on the Internet, but make it extremely unlikely that anyone would notice or care.
Until, that is, he was announced as the next host of The Daily Show, and everyone went combing through, investigating anything and everything he'd ever written. So with that in mind, let's all just take a moment to think about the ridiculous, unnecessary things we've all said, thought, or written down during our time on this planet. Isn't it nice that we (presumably) aren't famous enough for anyone to call us out on those things in a meaningful way? Even reading things I wrote a year ago gives me a full-body case of the cringes; I can't even think about the diary I kept as a teenager without facepalming, and, any time Timehop shows me stuff from just a few years ago, I'm shocked by how much dumb stuff I shared on social media and how embarrassingly sure I was that everyone cared.
With the benefit of age and hindsight, I now know that no one really cared whether or not I got called in for my brunch shift at the restaurant where I worked, but, at the time, I was convinced that was critical information to share. So yeah, I get it. And while I'm saying we forgive Trevor Noah and his inappropriate, tone deaf, ignorant tweets, I'm not saying we forget about them. Let's try to go forward with optimism, but hold this information at the back of our brain. Then, if we see him leaning toward this type of behavior again, we know that it isn't a first strike — it's a second one. We don't have enough information to know what kind of person Noah is, but until he gives us proof that it's a pattern, then we can write his horrific tweet off as a youthful mistake. For right now, he has an entire future at The Daily Show to show us the kind of man that he has grown into, and the kind of man that he wants to be. For right now, maybe we should give him the chance to prove that the past is actually in the past.