Jon Stewart Says The Police ‘Patrol The Border Between The Two Americas’

Jon Stewart is back.

The former host of “The Daily Show” sat down for an interview with The New York Times to talk about his new film “Irresistible”, the problem of police brutality and Donald Trump.

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Talking about coming back into the public eye in 2020, Stewart likens the feeling to “showing up to a plane crash with a chocolate bar.”

He explained, “There’s tragedy everywhere, and you’re like, ‘Uh, does anybody want chocolate?’ It feels ridiculous. But what doesn’t feel ridiculous is to continue to fight for nuance and precision and solutions.”

On the death of George Floyd, Stewart offered his perspective of what is wrong with policing in America.

“I’d like to say I’m surprised by what happened to him, but I’m not,” he said. “This is a cycle, and I feel that in some ways, the issue is that we’re addressing the wrong problem. We continue to make this about the police — the how of it. How can they police? Is it about sensitivity and de-escalation training and community policing? All that can make for a less-egregious relationship between the police and people of colour.”

He continued, “But the how isn’t as important as the why, which we never address. The police are a reflection of a society. They’re not a rogue alien organization that came down to torment the black community. They’re enforcing segregation. Segregation is legally over, but it never ended. The police are, in some respects, a border patrol, and they patrol the border between the two Americas. We have that so that the rest of us don’t have to deal with it. Then that situation erupts, and we express our shock and indignation. But if we don’t address the anguish of a people, the pain of being a people who built this country through forced labor — people say, ‘I’m tired of everything being about race.’ Well, imagine how [expletive] exhausting it is to live that.”

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Stewart also touched on the coronavirus pandemic and Trump’s handling of the crisis, as well as the media’s poor response.

“That’s the question the media asks,” he said. “What they should be focused on is, here’s what happens when you hollow out the pandemic-response team. You have to go after the case of competence and anti-corruption. The media wants to prosecute the case of offensiveness. That doesn’t matter.”

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