Trevor Noah did not hold back while sharing his thoughts on the devastating Atlanta shootings that left eight people, including six Asian women, dead on March 16. During a Daily Show monologue that aired one day after the violent attacks, the late-night host dissected why racism was undeniably a driving force in suspect Robert Aaron Long's killing spree, despite his attempts to blame an alleged sex addiction as the motive. For Noah, the massacre, though horrifying, was not entirely out of left field.
"In a way, what makes it even more painful is that we saw it coming," he said. "We see these things happening. People have been warning. People in the Asian community have been tweeting, they've been saying, 'Please help us. We're getting punched in the streets. We're getting slurs written on our doors. We're getting people coming up to us saying, 'Thanks for COVID. Thanks for spoiling the documented.'" Some of these hate incidents have been tracked by a coalition called Stop AAPI Hate, which just released harrowing statistics about the rise of anti-Asian discrimination, harassment, and assaults since the start of the pandemic. According to data released on the same day as the Atlanta shootings, women were victims of most of the 3,795 incidents reported.
After referencing the insensitive rhetoric some people, including our former president, have repeated falsely blaming Asian folks for the spread of COVID-19, Noah expressed his frustrations over similar hate crimes targeting marginalized communities going unchecked despite their frequency. "America sees things coming, it knows something is gonna happen, but it does nothing to stop it," he said, then posing a powerful question: "Why are people so invested in solving the symptoms instead of the cause?"
"If that's not racism, then the word has no meaning."
Noah went on to drive home his point about racism's role in the shooter's actions, should any viewers somehow still not believe anti-Asian hatred was at play. "Don't tell me that this thing had nothing to do with race," he said. "You can't disconnect this violence with the racial stereotypes that people attach to Asian women. This guy blamed a specific race of people for his problems, and then murdered them because of it. If that's not racism, then the word has no meaning."
Noah continued his segment by touching on the police's efforts to humanize the shooter by claiming he simply had a "bad day." "No, yesterday was a bad day for all the people who lost their lives," he asserted. Watch the rest of the video above to hear Noah share helpful action items we can each implement in our everyday lives to support the AAPI community.