No sooner do we retire The Daily Show‘s brilliant piece on America’s frightening epidemic of racist police brutality from two weeks ago, then we find ourselves with a lamentable occasion for dusting it off and watching it again.
On July 28, Jon Stewart brought in writer, actor, producer, and future successor to The Colbert Report‘s time slot, Larry Wilmore in to talk about NYPD’s chokehold murder of 43-year-old Eric Garner. On July 17, The Daily News caught police on video choking the Staten Island resident, “gentle giant,” black man, and father of six — and smashing his head into the ground — for the heinous alleged crime of selling tax-free cigarettes.
Yet, the following segment applies equally to the execution of Michael Brown by police in Ferguson, Mo. Police shot the teenage boy 10 times, even though they knew he was unarmed.
Wilmore’s first thought?
“That sh*t has gotta stop already.”
So, you think police brutality isn’t racist?
Taking on the role of Devil’s advocate, Stewart pointed out:
“Black people aren’t the only ones who sometimes get mistreated by the police.
Stewart then showed footage of U.C. Davis students getting pepper-sprayed by that forever meme-able campus cop during an Occupy demonstration.
Wilmore snapped back that pepper spray doesn’t count as brutality, and hippie kids don’t count as white people:
“Whoa, please, Jon, c’mon, that’s pepper spray. they’re just getting seasoned. I mean, besides, I don’t even count them as white people. They’re hippies. It’s not the same.”
He then reminded us us that Eric Garner wasn’t resisting, had his arms up, and was “politely asking the cops to leave him alone.”
Wilmore then cues a May 2014 news report from M!Live with an aging, white, ammosexual gun nut out on some street in Michigan with a rifle, and making lewd, defiant gestures at police with his … um … much smaller rifle.
To Wilmore’s astonishment, the officer just ambles up and chats with the guy.
“What? You gotta be f*cking KIDDING me! […] He was asking for a chokehold, and they didn’t give it to him. He could’ve shot his way out of Fallujah.
Then, he disgustedly spits,
“The only thing Eric Garner was brandishing was his black.”
Stewart murmurs something about the streets being dangerous for cops. That very day in Greenwich Village, two U.S. marshals and one police officer got shot by a creepy pedophile on the lam. Oh, and NYPD’s gotten more diverse and hired more black cops.
To which Whitmore flatly responded, “Black cops can beat up black people too.”
Watch The Daily Show nail police brutality in just three minutes.