Trevor Noah addressed the reparations for slavery debate when an audience member attending a taping of “The Daily Show” asked if white people who “have been disenfranchised recently” should also deserve compensation.
In a behind-the-scenes exchange released Thursday, Noah told the unidentified man it was important “to understand what the word ‘reparations’ means first.”
It’s about “repairing something that you have broken, you are paying for something that you are supposed to pay for,” said Noah, who is South African.
“I’m not saying that there aren’t people living in America today who are suffering and who are going through pain and strife because of what’s happening when it comes to, you know, machines taking jobs, factories becoming industrialized, etcetera,” he added. “But reparations is a specific conversation about a specific time in America, and that is black people were slaves, you know what I mean?”
Noah warned against combining “everybody’s suffering into the same bowl” to “make it seem like all injustices have the same weighting and they don’t.”
I think it’s safe to say that black Americans have a conversation that they need to be having with the United States. It doesn’t involve me, it doesn’t involve white people. It’s like, ‘Yo, American government, meet the black people.’ That’s it. Have that conversation.
Check out the clip here: