Following his much-discussed interview with someone who once compared Black Lives Matter activists to the Ku Klux Klan, Trevor Noah has penned an essay on the importance of post-election unity. The Daily Show host, writing for the New York Times, says that simply "screaming at each other" is exactly the response the president-elect wants to elicit.
"The past year has been so polarizing and noxious that even I find myself getting caught up in the extreme grandstanding and vitriol," Noah writes. "But with extremes come deadlock and the death of progress. Instead of speaking in measured tones about what unites us, we are screaming at each other about what divides us—which is exactly what authoritarian figures like Mr. Trump want: Divided people are easier to rule. That was, after all, the whole point of apartheid."
The president-elect's victory, Noah explains, has only "amplified" extremist voices at a time when we should be moving toward arguments that are more subtle and complex, not simplistic and emotional. "We should give no quarter to intolerance and injustice in this world, but we can be steadfast on the subject of Mr. Trump's unfitness for office while still reaching out to reason with his supporters," Noah writes of the President-elect's "flagrant misogyny" and "racist appeals" to fear. "We can be unwavering in our commitment to racial equality while still breaking bread with the same racist people who've oppressed us."
Noah also addresses critics' pressure for him to maintain the so-called "daily evisceration" vibes of Jon Stewart's Daily Show, an assessment both comedians have rejected. Classic Daily Show segments that were simplified for clickbait headlines inadvertently blew their worth "way out of proportion," Noah says, often resulting in the exact opposite of what the show intends. "In South Africa, comedy brings us together," Noah writes. "In America, it pulls us apart." Read Noah's full New York Times essay here.