'This is an American problem,' the host says. 'Everyone is involved'

By Breanne L. Heldman
July 08, 2016 at 12:56 PM EDT
Comedy Central
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Trevor Noah addressed the police shooting deaths of Alton Sterling and Philando Castile on Thursday night’s episode of The Daily Show, railing against the notion that the discussion around their deaths needs to be so divided.

“The hardest part of having a conversation surrounding police shootings in America: It always feels like, in America, it’s like if you take a stand for something, you automatically are against something else,” he began. “But with police shootings, it shouldn’t have to work that way. For instance, if you’re pro-Black Lives Matter, you’re assumed to be anti-police, and if you’re pro-police, then you surely hate black people. It seems that it’s either pro-cop and anti-black or pro-black and anti-cop, when, in reality, you can be pro-cop and pro-black, which is what we all should be. That is what we should be aiming for.”

To lighten his tone briefly, he added, “I guess technically that means you could also be anti-cop and anti-black, which, I don’t know, would make you Mel Gibson.”

Later, he noted people’s hesitance to recognize the issue among the police in America. “Why is the video never enough?” he asked before listing off the names of some of the deaths at the hands of the authorities caught on camera recently. “And yet still, skepticism. And it’s only about this. When it comes to Bigfoot, people see one blurry video and people dedicate their lives to finding him.”

“I shouldn’t be afraid to say it: America has a problem within its police force,” he concluded. “And although it’s a problem that disproportionately affects black people, it’s not just a black problem. This is an American problem. Because just today, there was a third video, this time of a white kid getting shot by police while he was lying down on the ground. This is an American problem. Everyone is involved… You can’t fix something until you admit that it’s broken.”

Noah’s comments were taped before five police officers were killed by snipers in Dallas during a peaceful protest against police brutality. “One step forward, ten steps back,” Noah wrote on Twitter following news of the attack. “The point is to save lives not trade places.”

Watch video from his Daily Show segment below.

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