Trevor Noah kept the jokes to a minimum when he addressed the verdict in the Philando Castile case on The Daily Show Tuesday night. He took the time instead to point the finger at an organization he expected would be losing its “goddamn minds about this” but has remained silent: the NRA.
“This story is interesting because there’s something different and that is Philando Castile wasn’t just a man shot at a traffic stop. He was a legal gun owner whose family was in the car and who had committed no crime at all,” Noah said. “In a story about a man being shot because he was lawfully armed, you would think that one group, one powerful group in America would say something about it. This is a group you’d expect to be losing their goddamn minds about this: the NRA. But for some strange reason, on this particular case, they’ve been completely silent…and yet, according to their rhetoric, this is everything that they stand against.”
The host played footage of NRA CEO Wayne LaPierre’s speech at 2014’s CPAC, where he said there’s “no greater freedom” than defending oneself with “all the rifles, shotguns, and handguns we want.”
Noah added, “‘Unless you’re black,’ is what it should have said. It’s interesting how the people who define themselves by one fundamental American right, the right to bear arms, show that once race is involved, the only right that they believe in is their right to remain silent.”
On Friday, Jeronimo Yanez, the officer who fatally shot Castile in his car, was acquitted of all charges. Castile’s girlfriend, Diamond Reynolds, captured footage of and broadcast the shooting, sending shockwaves throughout the country.
Noah got even more personal on the subject during a “between the scenes” clip. “I’ve only lived in the United States six years on and off. I lived on the West Coast two-and-a-half years, I’ve lived on the East Coast now for two-and-a-half years,” he prefaced. “In that time, I sh– you not, I have been stopped by police maybe, I would say going on at least eight-to-10 times I’ve been stopped by the police, which always blows peoples’ minds, which I didn’t know was a thing.”
“I’ve been stopped in a Tesla. Like, a Tesla, people,” he added. “I don’t know what silent crime you think I’m on my way to commit.”
Noah believes “the conversation gets caught up in racism as it pertains to black and white,” but “it’s not the conversation” we should be having. “I believe that the police force as a whole is trained in such a way that it creates state racism,” he said. “That is different.”
Watch more of Noah’s response in the clips above.