The Daily Show's Jon Stewart couldn't find any jokes to make after the mass shooting of a historic black church in Charleston, South Carolina. His passionate monologue about how the shooting is yet another reminder of the abhorrent levels of gun violence in the US — and America's inability and unwillingness to do anything to stop that violence — was simply sorrowful, exhausted, and true.
"I honestly have nothing other than just sadness, once again, that we have to peer into the abyss of the depraved violence that we do to each other in the nexus of a gaping racial wound that will not heal yet we pretend doesn't exist," Stewart said. "I'm confident, though, that by acknowledging it — by staring into that — and seeing it for what it is, we still won't do jack shit.
"Yeah. That's us. And that's the part that blows my mind."
"What blows my mind is the disparity of response between when we think people that are foreign are going to kill us and us killing ourselves."
"We invade two countries and spent trillions of dollars and thousands of American lives and now fly unmanned death machines over, like, five or six different counties — all to keep Americans safe," Stewart said. We've got to do whatever we can — we'll torture people. We've got to do whatever we can to keep Americans safe."
He added, "Nine people shot in a church, what about that? 'Hey, what are you going go to do? Crazy is as crazy is, right?' That's the part that I cannot, for the life of me, wrap my head around. And you know it's going to go down the same path."
"This one is black and white. There's no nuance here."
"I heard someone in the news say, 'Tragedy has visited this church.' This wasn't a tornado. This was a racist. This is a guy with a Rhodesia badge on his sweater," Stewart said. "I hate to even use this pun, but this one is black and white. There's no nuance here.
"Nine people were shot in a black church by a white guy who hated them who wanted to start some kind of civil war," Stewart added. "The Confederate flag flies over South Carolina. And the roads are named for Confederate generals. And the white guy is the one who feels like his country is being taken away from him. We're bringing it on ourselves. And that's the thing: al-Qaeda, all those guys, ISIS, they're not shit compared to the damage that we can apparently do to ourselves on a regular basis."