The Daily Show host Trevor Noah used the recent Philando Castile verdict as an opportunity to open up about his own experiences with police officers in the U.S during a behind-the-scenes clip from the show.
The comedian, who was born in South Africa, revealed that in the six years he has lived in the U.S., the police have stopped him “8 to 10 times.”
“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.”he says.
His rant came after Jeronimo Yanez, the police man who fatally shot Philando Castile was acquitted of all charges.
Castile, someone who Noah calls “a model citizen” had been pulled over 49 times by the police before being shot dead on July 6 2016. 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.
“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 said he personally has been stopped in a number of places, including but likely not limited to: his own car; rental cars; a car with tinted windows; a car with rims; a car with no rims; and one place he found most surprising — a Tesla.
“I don’t know what silent crime I’m on my way to commit, but I’ve been stopped in a Tesla,” he said.
And while the locations have varied, his reaction stays the same, which is to throw his arms out the window.
“It look so stupid when you see me,” he said. “I would rather have the cops go, ‘You are weird.’ Every cop that comes to my window like, ‘What the hell are you doing?’ And then we go from there, then I’m like, ‘Alright, cool, but you saw where my hands are.’”
Such incidents, as Noah put it, are “just part of a black person’s life in America.”
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The problem is not rooted in the conversation of black-and-white racism, Noah said, but rather in the police force as a whole.
“It’s not racism like n—,” he said. “It’s a very different thing.”
He summed up his feelings with a South African phrase he said translates to being fed up with what’s happening but not letting it break or define him as a person.
While his mom used it in reference to him “being a s—head in the house and the apartheid government,” he concluded, “that’s the feeling I have now.”