Of all the Late Night voices, when it comes to the BLM movement, we’ve tried to pay special attention to people like Amber Ruffin and Trevor Noah. It’s great to have allies like Seth Meyers and Stephen Colbert tackling the subject, but they don’t know what it feels like – and as much as so many of us don’t know what it feels like either – it’s important to listen to the people in the community, much more than the well-meaning allies.
Which is why Trevor Noah’s monologue from yesterday, as he tries to make sense of the recent death of Rayshard Brooks, a 27-year-old Black man who was killed in Atlanta by a police officer, hits especially hard.
Because this isn’t academic. This isn’t an explanation. This is Trevor trying to grapple with reality – a reality he has to live with – and coming up short.
At one point, he focuses on the public discourse that always pops up in moments like this, saying: “people always say the same thing: ‘If you didn’t do that, you would still be alive.’”
“But the truth is, the ‘if’s keep on changing, If you didn’t resist arrest, you would still be alive. If you didn’t run away from the cops, you would still be alive… Well, if you weren’t wearing a hoodie, you would still be alive. If you didn’t talk back to the cops, you would still be alive. If you weren’t sleeping in your bed as a Black woman, you would still be alive. There’s one common thread beyond all the ‘if’s: If you weren’t Black, maybe you’d still be alive.”
Heartbreaking, but real – and necessary listen.