On Thursday's The Daily Show, outgoing host Jon Stewart stepped outside the comforts of comedy to deliver an impassioned and decisively forthright monologue on the massacre at Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston, South Carolina. Dylann Storm Roof, the 21-year-old white male responsible for the deaths of nine including Rev. Clementa C. Pinckney, was arrested earlier on Thursday following a local tip. During his monologue, Stewart eschewed the usual tone of The Daily Show for something far more direct. "I didn’t do my job today,” he tells the audience. “I’ve got nothing for you in terms of jokes because of what happened in South Carolina.”
Calling the massacre a "terrorist attack," Stewart extended his sadness to include what he predicts as far as a social and political response. "Once again," says Stewart, "we have to peer into the abyss of the depraved violence that we do to each other and the nexus of a gaping racial wound that will not heal, yet we pretend doesn’t exist. I’m confident, though, that by acknowledging it — by staring into it — we still won’t do jack shit. That’s us. And that’s the part that blows my mind."
Stewart then addressed the disparity between America's insistence on "protecting Americans" from purportedly imminent terrorist attacks by virtually any means necessary, yet frequently blanketing racially charged acts of violence like the South Carolina massacre as simply — again and again — supposed one-off examples of the hollow, defeatist sentiment "crazy is as crazy does."
"The confederate flag flies over South Carolina," adds Stewart. "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 — [terrorists aren't] shit compared to the damage we can do to ourselves on a regular basis.”
Watch the full monologue above.