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Jon Stewart Speaks on American Policing: “They’re Enforcing Segregation”

Jon Stewart Speaks on American Policing: “They’re Enforcing Segregation”

The former Daily Show host recently spoke with the New York Times.

In advance of the debut of his political satire film Irresistible, Jon Stewart recently spoke with the New York Times. The 57-year-old former Daily Show host discussed the 24/7 media cycle, the COVID-19 pandemic, and more.

Right off the bat, Stewart is asked about ongoing protests in the aftermath of George Floyd‘s killing by Minneapolis police. Stewart empathized with protesters, and took it a step further regarding American policing.

“The issue is that we’re addressing the wrong problem,” he began. “We make this about the police–the how of it. How can they police? Is it about sensitivity and de-escalation training and community policing? But the how isn’t as important as the why, which we never address.”

The issue, in Stewart’s eyes, is simple.

“The police are a reflection of a society,” he continued. “They’re enforcing segregation. Segregation is legally over, but it never ended. The police are, in some respects, a border patrol, and they patrol the border between the two Americas. We have that so that the rest of us don’t have to deal with it.”

Jon Stewart has mostly left the public eye after leaving the show in 2015. This Q&A reveals his reflections on the world since leaving the show.

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“Police brutality is an organic offshoot of the dehumanization of those power structures,” he concludes. “There are always going to be consequences of authority. When you give someone a badge and a gun, that’s going to create its own issues…but I still believe that the root of this problem is the society that we’ve created. We don’t deal with it, because we’ve outsourced our accountability to the police.”

Jon Stewart’s Irresistible will be released on demand on June 26.

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