Late Night Got Somber on Wednesday

Hosts speak about the Georgia shootings, racism
By Arden Dier,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 18, 2021 8:01 AM CDT

There wasn’t much to laugh about Wednesday as late night hosts took on the Atlanta-area shootings that left eight people dead, including six Asian women. The Daily Show's Trevor Noah noted his frustration at the shooter's claim that he wasn't motivated by racism. "Your murders speak louder than your words," he said. "This guy blamed a specific race of people for his problems, then murdered them because of this. If that’s not racism, then the word has no meaning." More:

  • "What makes it even more painful is that we saw it coming," Noah said, per the Washington Post. "People in the Asian community have been tweeting, saying: 'Please, help us. We're getting punched in the street. We're getting slurs written on our doors. We're getting people coming up to us to say, Thanks for Covid.'" And "we've seen this happening."
  • Noah added "America is a rich tapestry of mass-shooting motivations" but only "wants to fight the symptoms and not the underlying conditions that cause those symptoms to take effect—racism, misogyny, gun violence, mental illness," per the New York Times.
  • Noah also noted police would never say a Black suspect had "a really bad day" and was "at the end of his rope," as Cherokee County Sheriff's Office Capt. Jay Baker said of the white suspect. The spokesman was later found to have promoted shirts claiming the coronavirus was an "IMPORTED VIRUS FROM CHY-NA," per the Post.

  • "Police are reporting the guy who admits he did it says it had nothing to do with race. But why should we believe him? He's the murderer," said Late Show host Stephen Colbert. "The fact is six Asian women are dead at a time when that community is already living under a cloud of fear," he added, calling on people "to recognize our common humanity."
  • James Corden described a crisis and called on "all of us to address the hate." "When you think about the casual racism that’s been pervasive over the past 12 months, then we can start to see the link between language and action," added the Late Late Show host. "There are real consequences to repeatedly hearing hateful speech. People get hurt and people die."
  • Full Frontal's Samantha Bee said it was "a terrifying reminder of the dangers women, and especially women of color, face just for living their lives." She dedicated a portion of her show to the murder of Sarah Everard in the UK. "By shutting down peaceful vigils and instructing women to stay in their homes, the Metropolitan Police appear more interested in restricting women's freedom than in stopping men's violence," she said.
  • The hosts did manage to draw a few laughs on St. Patrick's Day. "It is the day Irish people say, 'Kiss me, I'm Irish,' and people say, 'No, you're not, Governor Cuomo, stop that,'" quipped Noah. Tonight Show host Jimmy Fallon asked "are we really celebrating when I can't see a subway grate blow a kilt over a man's head?" He added "instead of Pfizer and Moderna, people just stayed home and did shots of Jameson."
(More Atlanta stories.)

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