Trevor Noah: 'Wow! Racists Back Then Were So Eloquent'

“The Daily Show” host takes on the civility argument.

Trevor Noah of “The Daily Show” took on the civility argument on Tuesday night.

“You know what gets me? You know what really gets me? It’s in this whole argument when people say: ‘But Trevor, why can’t we be polite? Why not fight hate with love, just like Gandhi and Nelson Mandela?’”

Noah pointed out that Gandhi and Mandela had plenty of detractors.

“Don’t ever forget, in their time people were not exactly happy with how they protested,” he said. “The British called Gandhi an agitator. Governments around the world called Nelson Mandela a terrorist.”

He added: “And every day we see people on the news and social media saying, ‘Why can’t these protesters be more like Martin Luther King. He was civil. That’s why he named it the civil rights.’

“But what you forget is back when Martin was marching people were complaining about him the same way these people are complaining about protesters right now.”

He showed three clips from the civil rights era:

  • Gov. Ernest Vandiver of Georgia: “People of Georgia are sick and tired of Martin Luther King. Wherever he’s been he’s attempted to stir up strife or disorder and violence.”
  • Gov. John Patterson of Alabama: “The best thing for King to do is get out of Alabama as quickly as he can because he’s a menace to the peace of this city.”
  • Mayor Asa Kelley of Albany, Georgia: “Martin Luther King and his coterie of troublemakers who jump about the South like so many fleas on a hot griddle and cause racial rashes where none have heretofore existed.”

“Wow! Racists back then were so eloquent,” Noah said.

Check out the video above to see what Noah says about the rights of government officials.

Iconic Civil Rights Moments