'America stopped and smelled the racism': Jon Stewart gets serious about Black Lives Matter
Stephen Colbert and Jon Stewart (YouTube)

Stephen Colbert welcomed his friend Jon Stewart on "A Late Show" Wednesday to promote his upcoming film, "Irresistible," but the two ended up having a deep conversation about conservatives' opposition to basic hygiene and the recent revelations by Americans that racism still exists.


Stewart said that he remembered when he was still doing "The Daily Show," and Michael Brown was killed in Ferguson, Missouri, and the white supremacist shot up the Black church in Charleston.

"I remember those moments being so chilling and feeling like such a wake-up call," Stewart said. "But also feeling hopeless that we continue to stare at the sort of this abyss of a gaping racial wound that we never seem to do anything about. And so, in this moment, I don't know if it was-- I think Will Smith said it's not that racism is worse it's being filmed. But the others were on camera as well. In some respects, I wonder if the pandemic, because we all went into kind of a stasis, and so much of our -- the distractions of your daily life were removed, that it allowed the country a moment of clarity because so much of the noise -- it's almost like in this moment of more quiet reflection, America suddenly stopped and smelled the racism. Do you know what I mean?"

"There was that feeling that we were in a moment's pause, and in that -- in that one breath, maybe it suddenly became clear to us. Because, look, the biggest obstacle to change has always been our inability to understand that it's not just about ending segregation. It's about dismantling the barriers."

He referenced an interview he did that morning with Charlemagne here they discussed that Black Americans have had to fight for equality for so long while others were able to work on building their wealth.

"It feels like Black people have had to fight so hard for equality for so long, and the exhaustion of that, and the despair of that, the anguish of that. While they were fighting for equality, white people were building equity," Stewart explained. "And the disparity then -- between a lack of equality and a rising of equity just exacerbated it. So they're always negotiating from this subservient position what should not be a negotiation. They had to, from the get-go, ask for human hood. Ask for those things that in our Declaration of Independence, say, very clearly, 'Are your inalienable rights from your creator.' They're not, you know -- if God creates us all equal, the American government somehow got to be the bouncer of that creed, and you had to ask and beg and plead and fight and take to the streets to gain equality. But while that was going on, we still have legal boundaries to keep them from gaining equity. And I think equality will only come once the community can gain the equity that's been taken from them."

See the interview below:

Part 1:

Part 2: