On Wednesday, the host of “The Daily Show” tackled the two cases of violence occurring this week in Kenosha, Wisconsin; one involving 29-year-old Blake, who is Black, the other the 17-year-old Rittenhouse, who is white.
A Kenosha police officer shot Blake seven times in the back on Sunday for unclear reasons, leaving him paralyzed. Rittenhouse has been charged with homicide after the shootings of three people, two of whom were killed, at an anti-racism protest Tuesday night in Kenosha sparked by Blake’s shooting. And although police at the scene of the crime appeared to see the rifle-toting Rittenhouse after the shootings at the protests, he wasn’t arrested until the next day. He was unharmed by police.
“Why is it that the police decide that some threats must be extinguished immediately, while other threats get the privilege of being defused?” Noah wondered on his show. “I’m asking these as questions, but I feel like we know the answer.”
“The answer is that the gun doesn’t matter as much as who is holding the gun. Because to some people, Black skin is the most threatening weapon of all.”
Hundreds of people gathered in Kenosha for anti-racism demonstrations after video was published online of the shooting of Blake as police investigated a domestic abuse report. Fires set during nighttime protests damaged or destroyed some businesses and other structures, including Kenosha’s Department of Corrections building.
On Tuesday, Rittenhouse left his hometown of Antioch, Illinois, and traveled about 20 miles to Kenosha with a semi-automatic rifle in tow.
The teen joined up with a group of vigilantes seeking to “protect” public property from protesters — including the three who were shot.
“No one drives into a city with guns because they ‘love’ someone else’s business that much,” Noah said on his show. “No one has ever thought, ‘Oh, it’s my solemn duty to pick up a rifle and protect that TJ Maxx.’ They do it because they’re hoping to shoot someone.”
Noah also said that though what happened in Kenosha was “tragic,” the two different scenarios were “illuminating.”
“Because … it really made me wonder why some people get shot seven times in the back while other people are treated like human beings and reasoned with and taken into custody with no bullets in their bodies.”
You can watch the full “The Daily Show” segment below: