Comedy Central’s The Daily Show host Trevor Noah used his nightly platform Wednesday to trash U.S. law enforcement, smearing American police officers as fruit from a “rotten tree.” Now, one of Noah’s old stand-up comedy acts has resurfaced in which he defends the use of deadly police force in the Marikana Massacre in South Africa.
In the undated video, Trevor Noah addresses the 2012 massacre of 34 striking miners by South African police. He rationalizes the use of police force, joking that rubber bullets and tear gas “don’t work anymore,” and downplays the lack of police warning before the massacre.
“When someone has a gun pointed at you like this, is that not a warning anymore?” Noah says in the video.
Noah, who hails from South Africa, also defends police against criticism that they acted hastily. “Who is the super soldier that’s willing to keep his cool when a thousand men [are] marching toward him?” he asked. “Who’s the super soldier who’s keeping his cool in the situation?”
Trevor Noah speaking on the 2012 Marikana massacre — where South African police shot and killed 34 striking miners — is really quite something given the new persona about policing and crime he presents these days: https://t.co/wIDmjy4h9X
— Glenn Greenwald (@ggreenwald) April 15, 2021
The Marikana Massacre was a major flashpoint in South African politics, dividing the country and sparking widespread criticism of the police for the use of force against civilians.
Noah’s exculpatory attitude toward law enforcement in the old video stands in opposition to the views he expressed this week as host of Comedy Central’s The Daily Show, which is owned by ViacomCBS.
As Breitbart News reported, The Daily Show posted a video Wednesday in which Noah contends the police system in America is a “rotten tree” of oppression, which he says is what it was designed to be.
“The system in policing is doing exactly what it’s meant to do in America, and that is to keep poor people in their place. Who happens to be the most poor in America? Black people,” Noah argues.
“You monetize them, you imprison them, which monetizes them again — it’s a system. It’s not broken. It’s working the way it’s designed to work,” Noah continued. “And once you realize that, I feel like you get to a place where you go, ‘Oh, we’re not dealing with bad apples. We’re dealing with a rotten tree that happens to grow good apples.’”
“But for the most part,” Noah concludes, “the tree that was planted is bearing the fruits that it was intended to.”
“We’re not dealing with bad apples, we’re dealing with a rotten tree.”
Trevor addresses Daunte Wright, Caron Nazario, and the system that protects bad cops. pic.twitter.com/4nBk7QYWEg
— The Daily Show (@TheDailyShow) April 14, 2021