There are no jokes, just Jon doing what he does like no one else in the midst of a tragedy.
“I didn’t do my job today. I apologize,” Stewart said, after explaining how his primary daily duty is to mock the daily news. “I’ve got nothing for you in terms of jokes and sounds, because of what happened in South Carolina. Maybe if I wasn’t nearing the end of the run or 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 we do to each other and the nexus of a gaping racial wound that will not heal but we pretend doesn’t exist.
“I’m confident though that by acknowledging it – by staring into that and seeing it for what it is – we still won’t do jacksh-t,” Stewart continued. “Yeah. That’s us. That’s the part that blows my mind. I don’t want to get into the political argument […] 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.” […]
“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 gotta do whatever we can – we’ll torture people. We gotta do whatever we can to keep Americans safe,'” Stewart said. “Nine people. Shot in a church. What are you going to do about that? ‘Hey, what are you going to do. Crazy is crazy is, right?’ That’s the part I cannot for the life of me wrap my head around. And you know it. You know it’s going to go down the same path.”
Stewart pointed out how the media has already shied away from calling the murders a “terrorist attack.”
“I heard someone on the news say, ‘Tragedy has visited the church.’ This wasn’t a tornado. This was racist,” Stewart said. “I hate to use the pun, but this one was black and white. There’s no nuance here. But we’re going to keep pretending. We are steeped in that culture in this country and we refuse to recognize it.” […]
“Nine people were shot in a black church by a white guy who hated them who wanted to start some kind of civil war,” Stewart said, before laying into South Carolina for still having the Confederate flag flying over its state capitol.
“The Confederate flag flies over South Carolina. And the roads are named for Confederate generals. And the white guy is the one who feels like his country is being taken away from him. We’re bringing it on ourselves,” Stewart said. “Al Qaeda, all those guys – ISIS. They’re not sh-t compared to the damage that we can apparently do to ourselves on a regular basis.”
“Terrorism is act of violence done or threatens to in order to try to influence a public body or citizenry, so it’s more of a political act and again based on what I know so more I don’t see it as a political act,” Comey said at a press conference Friday in Baltimore.
Authorities arrested Dylann Roof, 21, earlier this week in connection with the killing of nine members of Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church.
Some have called the incident an act of terror. The FBI’s official definition of terrorism is: “The unlawful use of force or violence against persons or property to intimidate or coerce a government, the civilian population, or any segment thereof in furtherance of political or social objectives.
Federal officials are investigating the shooting at a historic black church in South Carolina as a potential “act of domestic terrorism” as well as a hate crime.
“The department’s investigation of the shooting incident in Charleston, South Carolina, is ongoing,” Justice Department spokeswoman Emily Pierce said in a statement Friday.
“This heartbreaking episode was undoubtedly designed to strike fear and terror into this community, and the department is looking at this crime from all angles, including as a hate crime and as an act of domestic terrorism,” she added.
Someone needs to tell the Director to rad the law. Here is the legal definition of “domestic terrorism” from 18 U.S. Code § 2331:
(5) the term “domestic terrorism” means activities that –
(A) involve acts dangerous to human life that are a violation of the criminal laws of the United States or of any State;
(B) appear to be intended –
(i) to intimidate or coerce a civilian population;
(ii) to influence the policy of a government by intimidation or coercion ; or
(iii) to influence the policy of a government by mass destruction, assassination, or kidnapping; and
(C) occur primarily within the territorial jurisdiction of the United States.
What part of that law did Comey miss? The assassin, Dylann Roof made it abundant;y clear in his manifesto what his intentions were. On, wait, it’s a white guy that’s not a Muslim.
If racism, as many right wingers are claiming, is a mental illness, there a lot of mentally ill people in the world and too many of them are given access to guns. But the Republicans who can’t seen to admit that the murder of nine black women and men in a church in Charleston, South Carolina by a 21 year old male, white supremacist is an act of racial terrorism of the black community, not mental illness. Racism is taught. You have to be taught to hate and fear, you have to be carefully taught. The United States has a problem racism that a good many prominent whites are refusing to admit.
In the 24 hours after the massacre inside Charleston’s Emanuel AME Church, GOP politicians and members of the conservative commentariat have tried to explain Dylann Storm Roof‘s motivations on a spectrum that runs from merely murky to the explicitly anti-religious.
They have taken pains to avoid the abundant evidence that Roof was a sadly familiar figure: a young man motivated by racism to violence.
Louisiana Governor and passive presidential aspirant Bobby Jindal inserted the shruggie icon into the debate, averring that we should defer to the expertise of police detectives in sussing out the connection between Roof’s documented history of racist sympathies and his perhaps coincidental murdering of black people: “Law enforcement will figure out what his so-called motivations were.”
South Carolina Senator and presidential candidate Lindsey Graham pointed out that it’s Christians who are the serial killer flavor of the month: “It’s 2015, there are people out there looking for Christians to kill them.” His fellow campaign traveler Rick Santorum opined that the slaughter was part of a larger “assault on religious liberty.” And Rand Paul blamed the massacre on “people not understanding where salvation comes from.”
Fox & Friends couldn’t help dumbing down the debate by framing it simply as an “Attack on Faith,” while anchor Steve Doocy wondered aloud how people could “unbelievably” “call it a hate crime.”
Police are investigating the shooting of nine African Americans at Emanuel AME Church in Charleston as a hate crime committed by a white man. Unfortunately, it’s not a unique event in American history. Black churches have long been a target of white supremacists who burned and bombed them in an effort to terrorize the black communities that those churches anchored. One of the most egregious terrorist acts in U.S. history was committed against a black church in Birmingham, Ala., in 1963. Four girls were killed when members of the KKK bombed the 16th Street Baptist Church, a tragedy that ignited the Civil Rights Movement.
But listen to major media outlets and you won’t hear the word “terrorism” used in coverage of Tuesday’s shooting. You won’t hear the white male shooter, identified as 21-year-old Dylann Roof, described as “a possible terrorist.” And if coverage of recent shootings by white suspects is any indication, he never will be. Instead, the go-to explanation for his actions will be mental illness. He will be humanized and called sick, a victim of mistreatment or inadequate mental health resources. Activist Deray McKesson noted this morning that, while discussing Roof’s motivations, an MSNBC anchor said “we don’t know his mental condition.” That is the power of whiteness in America.
U.S. media practice a different policy when covering crimes involving African Americans and Muslims. As suspects, they are quickly characterized as terrorists and thugs, motivated by evil intent instead of external injustices. While white suspects are lone wolfs – Mayor Joseph Riley of Charleston already emphasized this shooting was an act of just “one hateful person” – violence by black and Muslim people is systemic, demanding response and action from all who share their race or religion. Even black victims are vilified. Their lives are combed for any infraction or hint of justification for the murders or attacks that befall them: Trayvon Martin was wearing a hoodie. Michael Brown stole cigars. Eric Garner sold loosie cigarettes. When a black teenager who committed no crime was tackled and held down by a police officer at a pool party in McKinney, Tex., Fox News host Megyn Kelly described her as “No saint either.”
Racism is not a mental illness. Unlike actual mental illnesses, it is taught and instilled. Mental illness was not the state policy of South Carolina, or any state for that matter, for hundreds of years — racism was. Assuming actions grounded in racial biases are irrational not only neutralizes their impact, it also paints the perpetrator as a victim.
Black people, on the other hand, do suffer actual mental health issues due to racism. Here are a few things to keep in mind as the media digs into Roof:
Black people are often expected to “shift” away from our cultural identities, which can heighten our vulnerability to depression and other psychological issues, as well as cause us to internalize negative stereotypes.
Racial discrimination, according to The Atlantic, increases the risk of stress, depression, the common cold, cardiovascular disease, breast cancer, hypertension and mortality — all of which exist at high rates in my community.
Racism isn’t a mental illness, but the psychological, emotional and physical effects on those who experience it are very real. And I’m exhausted.
It is long past time that American and the news media stopped skating around the issue that racism has gotten worse in this country. Racial hatred needs to be confronted not buried under the guise of mental illness.