There are times to be funny, and there are times to be stone-cold serious. During Thursday's
Daily Show episode, an emotional Jon Stewart condemned the Charleston shooting, unleashing a monster monologue on race and the violence ravaging our country. Declaring no jokes would be said, Stewart fiddled with his pen as he called upon America to wake up about the racial issues tearing itself apart from within.
This isn't the first time Stewart has passed on humor on his show, but you could see how hard the attack on Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church particularly hit the late-night host. Stewart's thoughts on Charleston are so spot-on, we decided to keep his monologue in full, though edited for clarity. Emphasis is by Bustle.
I have one job, and it's a pretty simple job. I come in the morning, and we look at the news, and I write jokes about it. And then I make a couple faces, like a noise, like "mrrah," and then it's just cha-ching, and I'm out the door. But I didn't do my job today, so I apologize. I've got nothing for you in terms of jokes or sounds because of what happened in South Carolina. And maybe if I wasn't nearing the end of the run or if this wasn't such a common occurrence, maybe I could have pulled out of the spiral. But I didn't, and so I honestly have nothing other than just sadness. Once again, that we have to peer into the abyss of the depraved violence that we do to each other in the nexus of a just gaping racial wound that will not heal, yet we pretend doesn't exist. And I'm confident, though, that by acknowledging it, that by staring into that and seeing it for what it is, Yeah. That's us. And that's the part that blows my mind. I don't want to get into the political argument of the guns and things. we still won't do jackshit. If this had been what we thought is Islamic terrorism, it would fit into our — we invaded two countries and spent trillions of dollars and thousands of American lives, and now fly unmanned death machines over five or six different countries, 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." What blows my mind is the disparity of response between when we think people that are foreign are going to kill us and us killing ourselves. Nine people, shot in a church. What about that? "Hey, what are you going to do. Crazy is as crazy is, right?" That's the part that I cannot for the life of me wrap my head around, and you know it. You know that it's going to go down the same path. This is a terrible tragedy. They're already using the nuanced language of lack of effort for this. This is a violent attack on the Emanuel Church in South Carolina, which is a symbol for the black community. It has stood in that part of Charleston for 100 and some years and has been attacked viciously many times as many black churches have. I heard someone on the news say, "Well, tragedy has visited this church." This is a terrorist attack. This was a guy with a Rhodesia badge on his sweater. I hate to even use this pun: This wasn't a tornado. This was racist. There is no nuance here. Are we going to keep pretending like, I don't get it. What happened? This one guy lost his mind. But we're steeped in that culture in this country, and we refuse to recognize this, and I cannot believe how hard people are working to discount it. This one is black and white. In South Carolina, the roads that black people drive on are named for Confederate generals who fought to keep black people from being able to drive freely on that road. That's insanity. You can't allow that. Nine people were shot in a black church by a white guy who hated them, who wanted to start some kind of civil war. That's racial wallpaper. We're bringing it on ourselves, and that's the thing. Al Qaeda, all those guys, ISIS. The Confederate flag flies over South Carolina, and the roads are named for Confederate generals. And the white guy's the one who feels like his country's being taken away from him. They're not shit compared to the damage that we can apparently do to ourselves on a regular basis. Our guest tonight is an incredible person who suffered unspeakable violence by extremists and her perseverance and determination through that to continue on is an incredible inspiration and to be quite honest with you, I don't think there's anyone else in the world I'd rather talk to tonight than Malala, so that's what we're going to do. And sorry about no jokes. Images: The Daily Show/Comedy Central