Charlotte is rioting and Tulsa is weeping after the latest shooting deaths of black men at the hands of police officers. “How do you laugh when the news is sad?” Trevor Noah tried to answer on Wednesday’s Daily Show. The best he could come up with was that laughter was a coping mechanism, but he turned off the laughs for a few minutes to respond to the death of Terence Crutcher.
An officer shot Crutcher, a father of four, in Tulsa when police responded to calls that his SUV was stranded in the middle of the street. Video shows Crutcher with his hands up walking back toward his SUV before he is shot. Although Trevor admitted he didn’t have all the information about what happened in that moment, he said, “What we do know is this: It seems extremely easy to get shot by police in America, which is not right.”
Noah then suggested that cops “possess a bias they don’t even know they have.” The audio from the helicopter video shows the pilot saying, “That looks like a bad dude,” just before Crutcher was shot.
“What exactly about that man looks bad to you from all the way up there in your helicopter?” Noah asked. “He’s not holding a weapon, his hands are up. He doesn’t even have a hoodie on, I mean, isn’t that the universal symbol for ‘bad dude’? You can’t tell anything about this man from up in the helicopter except for one thing: He’s black.”
Noah was quick to admit that he sometimes has an “implicit bias” against other black men when walking down the street, but he said that bias is amplified for those who are never around African Americans.
“If the only time you encounter black people is when you’re policing crime, then your only experience of black people is that they’re criminals,” he said.
“One thing you can do is not think black people are crazy for feeling oppressed, because every time they see a video of themselves being engaged by police, it ends with them getting shot.”
Watch the video for more.