The Daily Show's Trevor Noah notes something important about the police shootings of black men

Trevor Noah tries to explain racism
(Image credit: The Daily Show)

On Thursday, prosecutors in Tulsa, Oklahoma, charged a white police officer, Betty Shelby, with felony manslaughter for the shooting death of a black man, Terence Crutcher, and the National Guard was in the streets of Charlotte amid a third night of protests over another police-involved fatal shooting this week. On Wednesday's Daily Show, Trevor Noah soberly tried to explain why black Americans are so angry, drawing on his outsider perspective as a South African. He focused on the Crutcher case, which "looks cut and dried to me," but connected it to the broader problem: "It seems extremely easy to get shot by police in America."

Noah said that he is "willing to accept" that Officer Shelby "is not a racist," but something about her lawyer's defense of her caught his attention. "In an American city, there's an all-black high school, and that's normal instead of weird — living in a society where racial divisions are so deeply baked into every part of society that we don't even notice it anymore?" he asked. "An all-black high school? That's a phrase, by the way, that is never followed by, 'Oh, you're talking about the one in the nice part of town?'"

"Racial divisions are so normalized in society that people possess a bias that they don't even realize they have," Noah said, and if you think that doesn't apply to you, he disagreed. He played footage from Tulsa police watching the Crutcher shooting from a helicopter; one of them said Crutcher looks like "a bad dude." "You can't tell anything about that man from up in a helicopter, except for one thing: He's black," Noah said. "And you cannot deny that we live in a world where people see a black man and they're more likely to think, 'Oh, I might get robbed.' That's what people think. It's implicit bias. Everyone has it. I'm even guilty of that."

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So for everyone who wonders why black people are so upset over the string of police shootings, Noah posed a question: "If the only time you encounter black people is when you're policing crime, then your only experience of black people is that they're criminals. That's your only experience of them. It's the same way that if the only time you see a Muslim man is when he's on the news for blowing something up, then in your head, all Muslims are terrorists." He wrapped up: "You can't fix racial bias overnight, you genuinely can't, all right? The one thing you can do is not think black people are crazy for feeling oppressed when every time they see a video of themselves being engaged by the police, it ends with them getting shot." Watch below. Peter Weber

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