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Trevor Noah Paris attacks monologue on The Daily Show

‘What we should try to choose to do is not focus on the perpetrators’

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Comedy Central

In the wake of the terrorist attacks in Paris, Trevor Noah paid tribute to the humanity and compassion of the people of France in a sobering monologue on The Daily Show.

“Our lives are defined by moments: Dinner with family, taking a nice drive together, friends gathering at somebody’s house to watch Ronda get kicked in the neck,” said Noah in a moment of levity, continuing, “and I think the reason it’s so painful is because often, terrorism seeks to replace these moments with death and fear. We are all afraid. We replace that fear with anger a lot of the time.” 

Noah went on to praise the people of France for opening their doors with the hashtag “#PorteOuverte,” or “open door,” which homeowners used to offer a safe haven and a place to sleep for people stranded in the streets of Paris. “To the people of France, we commend you. … Our prayers will be with Paris, our prayers are with the people. But let’s not forget, before we fight, to love.”

See Noah’s full monologue excerpted here, and in the video below.

“Paris. The news came out on Friday. We weren’t on the air, obviously, but we still had to deal with it. I guess everyone had to deal with it. … It’s tough, because, you know, I think our lives are defined by moments: Dinner with family, taking a nice drive together, friends gathering at somebody’s house to watch Ronda get kicked in the neck. And I think the reason it’s painful is because, often, terrorism seeks to replace these moments with death and fear.

We are all afraid. We replace that fear with anger a lot of the time but I think what we should try to choose to do is not focus on the perpetrators, because every attack — whether it’s Paris, Beirut, or Kenya — seems less about a specific group of people and more about on humanity itself. One thing that made me smile was people of Paris showed us that the only way to overcome inhumanity is humanity. There are taxis that turned off their meters to get people home for free. Lines and lines of people waiting to donate blood. And the thing that sums it up the most for me was the spontaneous hashtag “#PorteOuverte,” which means “open the door,” and anyone who was stranded in the streets of Paris, anyone who needed a safe place to sleep, was welcomed into the homes. This is the most terrifying night of people’s lives and they’re opening their doors to random strangers to let them come in and be their refuge. 

It was amazing to see, and to the people of France, we commend you. I will say you are ruining our cultural stereotypes because the French are supposed to be cold and unwelcoming, and then you go and do these beautiful things and who do we make jokes about now? Finland? Because we will. We will make jokes about Finland if we have to. … Our prayers will be with Paris, our prayers are with the people. But let’s not forget, before we fight, to love.”