Daily Show host Jon Stewart hammered Fox News on Tuesday for their various attempts to discuss the fatal shooting of 18-year-old Michael Brown — like Sean Hannity telling his radio show audience that he puts police officers at ease during traffic stops by showing them his gun.
“You really do have no f*cking idea, do you?” Stewart asked. “Basically, you’re saying, if only Michael Brown, instead of holding his hands over his head, had reached down to his waist and lifted up his shirt to show the gun he did not actually have, this whole tragedy could have been avoided. Do you not understand that life in this country is inherently different for white people and black people?”
Stewart argued that mentioning race in the context of the shooting of Brown by Officer Darren Wilson earlier this month in Ferguson, Missouri was not about an isolated incident, but part of a larger discussion about how communities of color face obstacles on a day-to-day basis in the U.S.
“I guarantee you that every person of color in this country has faced an indignity — from the ridiculous to the grotesque to the sometimes fatal — at some point in their … I’m going to say last couple of hours because of their skin color,” he said.
Even in the “liberal bastion” of New York City, Stewart said, his Daily Show staff had to contend with racial profiling. He said that recently, one of the show’s black correspondents, who was wearing a suit, was stopped by an officer while on assignment while the unkempt white producer working with him was not bothered at all.
“Race is there, and it is a constant,” Stewart said. “You’re tired of hearing about it? Imagine how fucking exhausting it is living it.”
Stewart also debunked Fox’s argument that the black community and media at large are ignoring black-on-black violence in cities like Chicago by showing footage of MSNBC host Al Sharpton at a community event there this past July. Besides that, Stewart said, African-American leaders met in Chicago this past November, one of three discussions about the violence there in the past 13 months.
“You see, you being ignorant of those attempts doesn’t mean the issue itself is being ignored,” Stewart said scoldingly. “In the same way that when it snows where you live doesn’t mean the world isn’t getting hotter.”
Watch Stewart’s commentary, as posted online, below.