Jon Stewart: We're back. Welcome to The Daily Show. So nice to see you. My name is Jon Stewart. Oh. My guest tonight: David Rose, author of Enchanted Objects. Obviously though, the Emmy's, Colbert Report - congratulations to them. Always well-deserved. Once again, great job. But first, obviously the big news of the past few weeks: the town of Ferguson, Missouri, where the shooting by police of teenager Michael Brown has sparked a series of protests, which in turn sparked a, let's say, stern response by police, who appeared to be auditioning for Robocop. It's a story that has a lot of people outraged and upset.
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Male voice: I came back from vacation because I am furious.
Jon Stewart: Of course you are! An unarmed black teenager gunned down in the street by police under suspicious circumstances - who wouldn't cut their vacation short? To register their fury, you'd have to be a monster or, in my case, enjoying a particularly nice vacation. But good on you, Mr. O'Reilly, for coming back, unless of course you're furious about something else.
Male voice: Furious about how the shooting death of 18 year old Michael Brown is being reported and how various people are reacting to it.
Jon Stewart: Yes! That is the outrage. The shooting of Michael Brown and any lack of transparency from the police department responsible for said incident is outrageous in how it has been reported. I guess that's not the only reason to be angry.
Female voice: Is he going to get a fair shake, this officer?
Male voice: There has been a rush to judgment.
Female voice: [1:55] flies into Ferguson with his superhero cape.
Female voice: This mantra of the unarmed black teenager shot by a white cop - that description in and of itself actually colors the way in which we look at this story.
Jon Stewart: Yes! Describing the actual facts of the case really does color the way we look at it. "White cop shoots unarmed black teen" does sound terrible whereas, say, "Hero cop kills alien hunting humans for sport" would put a completely different spin on things, which though a very accurate description of the plot of Predator 2, is in this case not what happened. You know what? There's so many other stories out there.
Male voice: Why aren't we covering New York? Why aren't we covering black on black crime?
Jon Stewart: Yes! Why all the interest in holding police officers to a higher standard than gangs? They both flash colors. Yes, one of them has been sworn to protect and defend, but still.
Male voice: This weekend, 42 people were shot in Chicago. I don't see the protests. I don't see the anger.
Female voice: If I were African-American, I would be outraged that more journalists aren't covering what's happening in Chicago and more outraged that people like Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson don't head to those areas.
Jon Stewart: Yes! What could explain the lack of outrage about Al Sharpton and his not doing anything about black on black violence in Chicago?
Female voice: With Chicago's violence making national headlines, a group led by the Reverend Al Sharpton plans to convene an anti-violence summit of national civil rights leaders here.
Jon Stewart: Oh. That's right, because African-American leaders did hold the summit about that in November. They've met at least three times in the city just in the last 13 months, which is not to say it has been effective, but taking along with the president's my brother's keeper initiative which attempts to address this violence in the countless vigils and marches within these violence-torn communities means they are trying actually to do something. You being ignorant of those attempts doesn't mean the issue itself is being ignored in the same way that when it snows where you live doesn't mean the world isn't getting hotter.
You know what? There's something else bothering you, isn't there?
Male voice: When a cop pulls me over, I put my hands outside of the car. If I'm carrying a weapon which I'm licensed to carry in New York, the first thing I tell the police officer is "Officer, I want you to know I have a legal firearm in the car."
Jon Stewart: Then I brace myself for the Taser. We're not getting into the fact that you get pulled over so much by the cops that... Sometimes you're carrying a weapon. Sometimes you're not. I don't know. It just depends on how I'm feeling that day. But continue.
Male voice: I often would even step out of the car, lift my shirt up so he could see where the gun is.
Jon Stewart: You really do have no [bleeps] idea, do you? You really don't. Basically, you're saying if only Michael Brown, instead of holding his hands over his head, had reached down to his waist and lifted up his shirt to show the gun he did not actually have, this whole tragedy could have been avoided. Do you not understand that life in this country is inherently different for white people and black people?
Female voice: A lot of people are trying to make this about black and white and trying to make this about race.
Male voice: This is part of this effort to make it everything about race.
Male voice: Is this a story about race? Do we know that?
Female voice: I think it is playing the race card, and I think it's disgraceful.
Male voice: The only racial divide that is created here is being created by the race haters.
Male voice: You know who talks about race? Racists.
Jon Stewart: Did you just "He who smelt it dealt it" racism? All right. Forget that in Ferguson 94% of the police are white and 63% of the people are black. Forget that 92% of police searches and 86% of car stops are for black people. Forget that the white municipal government finances nearly a quarter of its annual budget to the fines and penalties disproportionally levelled against the black portion of the population. Forget that the history of this town includes this tasty nugget.
Male voice: A 52 year old man named Henry Davis said that four Ferguson police officers beat him then charged him with damaging government property because his blood had gotten on the officers' uniforms.
Jon Stewart: So let me get this straight. You guys got tanks but you can't keep a couple of Tide sticks around? Because here's the problem with everything that's going on in this conversation. This isn't all about just one man killed in one town. It's about how people of color, no matter their socioeconomic standing, face obstacles in this country with surprising grace. Look at how upset you all get about certain things.
Male voice: Tonight, Christmas under attack.
Male voice: Why are we allowing anti-Christmas madness?
Female voice: Why do I have to drive around with my kids to look for nativity scenes and be like "Oh yeah, kids. Look, there's Baby Jesus behind the Festivus Pole made out of beer cans." It's nuts.
Jon Stewart: Remember? You were furious that America's eleven month long celebration of Christmas wasn't enough. But now, if you can, just imagine that instead of having to suffer the indignity of a Festivus Pole blocking something you could have just set up in your own yard anyway, imagine that instead of that, on a pretty consistent basis, you can't get a [bleeps] cab even though you're a neurosurgeon because you're black. I guarantee you that every person of color in this country has faced an indignity, from the ridiculous to the grotesque to the sometimes fatal, at some point in their - I'm going to say - last couple of hours because of their skin color.
Quick story. So we live in New York City, a liberal bastion. Recently... Let me finish. Recently, we sent a correspondent and a producer to a building in this liberal bastion where we were going to tape an interview. The producer - white, dressed in what could only be described as homeless elf attire and a pretty strong 5:00 from the previous weak shadow - strode confidently into the building, preceding our humble correspondent - a gentleman of color, dressed resplendently in a tailored suit. Who do you think was stopped? Let me give you a hint: the black guy.
That [bleeps] happens all the time - all of it. Race is there, and it is a constant. You're tired of hearing about it? Imagine how [bleeps] exhausting it is living it. We'll be right back.