Comedy Central host Trevor Noah is defending the looting taking place in Minneapolis and other cities across America in reaction to the death of George Floyd, saying that black people are simply reacting to how they’ve been treated by society at large.
The Daily Show comedian also blamed the police for the large scale rioting and looting. “Police are looting black bodies,” he said.
The comedian argued that this week’s riots really began with Amy Cooper, the Central Park dog walker who was caught on camera threatening to call the police on a black man. The video went viral and caused Cooper, who is white, to lose her executive job at the financial services company Franklin Templeton.
“Amy Cooper was for many people, I think, the catalyst,” said Noah, in a nearly 20-minute YouTube monologue posted Friday in which he rambled at length about social contracts, the coronavirus, race relations, and failures of law enforcement. “I think Amy Cooper was one of the first dominoes that we saw get knocked down post-coronavirus.”
He said black Americans have disproportionately suffered during the past few months: “While everyone is facing the battle against coronavirus, black people in America are still facing the battle against racism… and coronavirus.”
Noah said that the looting taking place following George Floyd’s death is the result of the “social contract” that America has broken with the black community.
Black people “watch time and time again how the contract they have signed with society is not being honored by the country that has forced them to sign it with them,” he said.
Noah also blamed law enforcement for the widespread violence: “If the example the law enforcement is setting is that they do not adhere to the laws, they why should the citizens of that society adhere to the laws when the law enforcers themselves don’t?”
The comedian concluded by launching a defense of people who have looted stores, government buildings, and small businesses in the past two days.
“Try to imagine how it must feel for black Americans when they watch themselves being looted every single day,” he said. “Because that’s fundamentally what’s happening in America. Police in America are looting black bodies.”
Noah, who hails from South Africa, said black lives are valued less than white lives in America.
“If you kill a white person especially in America, there’s a whole lot more justice that is coming your way than if you killed some black body in a black neighborhood somewhere.”