Jon Stewart Charleston Square
Jon Stewart Charleston Square

Jon Stewart Offers A Deeply Moving Message On Charleston: "I Honestly Have Nothing Other Than Just Sadness"

Jon Stewart The Daily Show Charleston

In the wake of such atrocious violence as we witnessed in Charleston, South Carolina Wednesday night, when a solitary gunman opened fire in a long-established black church, brutally murdering people--in the wake of such a such inhumanity, words seem inadequate and comedy feels just, well, wrong. Jon Stewart knew this Thursday when he took to his desk on Comedy Central's The Daily Show.

To put it plainly: there were no jokes. Stewart opened his program with a deeply moving segment addressing his own baffled despair at the realization that so many more lives had been lost to a racially-charged gun crime. In his own words:

I have one job and it's a pretty simple job. I come in in the morning and we look at the news and we write jokes about it...But I didn't do my job today, so I apologize. I've got nothing for you in terms of jokes and sounds...I honestly have nothing other than just sadness, once again, that we have to peer into the abyss of the depraved violence that we do to each other and the nexus of a just gaping racial wound that will not heal, yet we pretend doesn't exist.

Stewart rightly noted that even as Americans collectively acknowledge these atrocities, and stare into them for what they are, we still do nothing to ensure they do not happen again. The Daily Show host continued:

This is a terrorist attack. This is a violent attack on the Emanuel Church in South Carolina, which is a symbol for the black community. It has stood, in that part of Charleston, for a hundred and some years and has been attacked viciously many times, as many black churches have. And to pretend that--I heard someone on the news say "Tragedy has visited this church"--this wasn't a tornado. This was a racist.

Last night, for Stewart, there were no jokes. And for us, there can barely even be words. Watch The Daily Show host's powerful segment below and go to to learn more about the lives lost in this maelstrom of hate. Our thoughts are with every family member, friend and churchgoer.