In a video posted to Twitter on Wednesday, “The Daily Show” host Noah described America’s policing as a “rotten tree,” dismissing the idea that videos of cops killing black people represent just some bad apples.
Throughout his monologue, Noah acknowledged that there are good police officers in America, but seemed troubled by the notion that good police officers seem absent in alleged instances of police brutality.
“So my question is: where are the good apples?” he asked. “And honestly, I believe, we don’t see them not because there are no good people on the police force, I think there are many people who are good on the police force. That’s why they join. Because they want to do good. But I think it’s because they themselves know that if they do something, they’re going against the system. The system is more powerful than any individual.”
“The system in policing is doing exactly what it’s meant to do in America, and that is to keep poor people in their place. Who happens to be the most poor in America? Black people,” Noah said. “You monetize them, you imprison them, which monetizes them again — it’s a system. It’s not broken. It’s working the way it’s designed to work. And once you realize that, I feel like you get to a place where you go, ‘Oh, we’re not dealing with bad apples. We’re dealing with a rotten tree that happens to grow good apples.’ But for the most part, the tree that was planted is bearing the fruits that it was intended to.”
“We’re not dealing with bad apples, we’re dealing with a rotten tree.”
Trevor addresses Daunte Wright, Caron Nazario, and the system that protects bad cops. pic.twitter.com/4nBk7QYWEg
— The Daily Show (@TheDailyShow) April 14, 2021
Last year, following the death of George Floyd and the riots that ensued, Trevor Noah condemned the police collectively as a force that has been looting black bodies.
“The video of George Floyd comes out. I don’t know what made that video more painful for people to watch: the fact that that man was having his life taken in front of our eyes? The fact that we’re watching someone being murdered by someone whose job is to protect and serve? Or the fact that he seemed so calm doing it, you know?” Noah said. “Oftentimes, we’re always told that police feared for their life. It was like a threat. You always feel like an a**hole when you’re like, you didn’t fear for your life. Why did you fear for your life? How did you [fear for your life?] But now, more and more, we’re starting to see that it doesn’t seem like there’s a fear — it just seems like you can do it, so you did it. There was a black man on the ground in handcuffs, and you could take his life, so you did, almost knowing that there would be no ramifications.”
“I saw so many people online saying, ‘These riots are disgusting. This is not how a society should be run. You do not loot and you do not burn. This is not how our society is built,’” Noah continued. “That actually triggered something in me where I was like, man, okay — but what is society? Fundamentally, when you boil it down, society is a contract. It’s a contract that we sign as human beings amongst each other. We sign a contract with each other as people, whether it’s spoken or unspoken, and we say, amongst this group of us, we agree in common rules, common ideals, and common practices that are going to define us as a group.”