Trevor Noah ripped apart the fallacious argument that Democrats are actually a racist political party.
The “Daily Show” host showed video of Donald Trump supporter Jeffrey Lord attempting to argue with Democratic strategist Van Jones on CNN that the Ku Klux Klan conducted its decade-long campaign of racist terrorism to “further the progressive agenda.”
“What the f*ck?” Noah said. “I’ve seen this argument on Facebook — in fact, I’ve seen it everywhere online. ‘Did you know that Democrats are the real racist party? And did you know the Republican Party freed the slaves?”
“Bullshit,” Noah said. “A lot of people like to skip over the fact that, when it comes to race relations, historically, Republicans and Democrats switched positions. Yeah. Republicans were basically Democrats, and Democrats were basically Republicans.”
The first Republican president, Abraham Lincoln, did free the slaves through the Emancipation Proclamation, and Democrats spent the next 80 years instituting segregation and other racist laws.
“What helmet-head said about the KKK being a Democratic group, that was true in, like, 1910,” Noah said.
But Democratic presidents Harry S Truman and Lyndon Johnson supported laws that extended civil rights to black Americans — spurring a “mass exodus of racists from the Democratic Party,” Noah said.
“To racists, racial equality was like someone farting in an elevator,” Noah said. “And they were like, ‘You know what? I’ll take the stairs. It’s only 80 floors.'”
Democrats of the time knew they’d lose their racist supporters, Noah said. Johnson famously declared in 1965, when he signed the Civil Rights Act, that the Democratic Party had “lost the South for a generation.”
“He was half-right,” Noah said, “because, in fact, the Democrats lost the South for more than a generation.”
The best example of the historic shift, Noah said, is longtime Sen. Strom Thurmond — who started his legislative career in the 1930s as a Democrat.
“He was a huge racist,” Noah said, showing a film clip of Thurmond declaring in 1948 that there weren’t enough troops in the Army to enforce the integration of the “n****r race.”
“Strom Thurmond was among the most racist politicians of his generation, and in the ’60s, he switched to being a Republican because he felt more welcome,” Noah said.
That’s why arguments linking the KKKK to modern-day Democrats are “nonsense,” Noah said.
“Everything has changed since then,” Noah said. “I think that’s why Van Jones and so many other people are pissed off by this argument that the Klan is aligned with the Democrats. Just because something used to be something, doesn’t mean it still is. What matters more is what it is now. Like a butterfly used to be a caterpillar — you don’t call it a flying caterpillar.”
“My shit used to be pizza,” he continued. “If I came to you today and said, ‘Hey, do you want some pizza?’ You’d be, like, ‘No, that’s shit.’ I’d be, like, ‘If you knew your history, you’d know that this is a pepperoni slice.'”
“Hey helmet-head, Van Jones might have been a gentleman, so I’m going to say it for him: Don’t feed me shit and call it pizza,” Noah said.
Watch the entire segment posted online by Comedy Central: