“The Daily Show” is usually about the jokes, but in a behind-the-scenes clip, host Trevor Noah got serious to talk about his experiences as a black man living in the U.S.
“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 explained. “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.”
His rant was in response to the death of Philando Castile, who was fatally shot by police officer Jeronimo Yanez in July 2016 at a stop. He was in the car with his girlfriend, who streamed the aftermath of the shooting on Facebook.
Yanez claimed that he thought Castile, who was a legal gun owner and had a gun in his glove compartment, was reaching for it, although Castile’s girlfriend disputes this. Yanez was recently acquitted on all charges.
Noah talked about Castile on his show, but took a moment in between segments to address the audience about his thoughts both on the case and as a black man.
“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.”
Noah has been open about the racism he’s experienced both on the show and in his stand-up act. While he grew up in South Africa under Apartheid — a different kind of experience to most black people in America — his time in the States has given him some more perspective.
He added that he 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 the full clip above.