Article from The Volta Times by Menes Tau
We are made aware that the South African comedian Trevor Noah is to replace Jon Stewart on the Daily Show, the New York Times reports.
What does this mean for discussions about race relations in the USA and South Africa?
The 31-year-old made his debut as a contributor to the nightly satirical show last December.
There is no doubt that Trevor Noah is a formidable talent – he is genius really, in bringing fresh air and fresh perspectives to racial politics both in the US and in South Africa.
But are his talents not better served, centrally, for his huge African audience? Why America? Why the Daily Show?
What business does Comedy Central, a US conglomerate, have in coaxing an African Comedian? Is this part of the hubris of international understanding and pushing for a common market across the Atlantic – a path, we are aware, that only benefits capitalists in the US?
Or, is the Daily Show really implying that there are no equally electric African American comedians in the US to host a TV show?
You want to metamorphose white American society to make it more humane? How about giving them a Daily dose of Chris Rock?
Or, is this just for the money that the growing middle class in Africa can pour into the hands of American news and television oligarchs?
What strategy is this?
Trevor Noah’s first appearance may have taken aim at racial tensions in the US, saying: “I never thought I’d be more afraid of police in America than in South Africa.”
But the truth is direr. Many Africans have no idea how African Americans are maltreated on a Daily basis through draconian policing and a racially brutal judicial system in the US – perpetrated by white Americans.
A baffling comfort here lies in the appointment itself of Trevor Noah from South Africa – a country that was equally plagued, though not to the same extent, by white terrorism. Perhaps the Daily Show intends to change white American mentality about race?
Ok, but then to continue the much needed discussion around white American terrorism of Black America, it is somewhat stupefying that an African comedian, from South Africa, still yet with a different set of experiences – such as newly becoming aware of police brutality on African American youth only last December – should become an iconic piece to the discussion on teaching the skills of humanity through comedy to white America.
Trevor Noah is adroit as a comedian. Yes we know that. Africans are talented. And we don’t quite need the Daily Show and Comedy Central in America to tell us just that. We don’t quite need the example of an African comedian, at that, ‘climbing’ the ladder to a US Network to enforce our self-esteem.
Upward mobility? No!
There is no configurable ladder in the US for hard work and/or talent and the stratagem in posing as a welcoming nation to bustling diversity and democracy has since the brutal war on drugs/Blacks, fooled no one. Both are rigged, except in sports where an iota of a level playing field still remains.
Even so, all teams without exception in the US, the NFL and the NBA are all owned by whites. And they are not leagues really – that term is misleading. They are franchises with guaranteed billions of dollars at the end of every single season for their owners and majority white handlers, though African Americans make up the significant majority of the players.
Is it fair or is it slavery by another complexion?
Hence this move by the Daily Show in the US can only be construed as a ploy in its most hideous machination. What example is the Daily Show beginning to set here? What message are they sending to African comedians and African American comedians and the American society at large?
Diversity? I think not.
Stewart announced he would be stepping down in January. He has hosted the comedy show for 16 years. He has yet to set a timetable for his departure, but the selection of Trevor Noah as the new host should make that task easier now.
Producers at the Daily Show should give Noah time to settle into this new role before next year’s US Presidential election. That is an advice.
What does Noah himself think of this new distant station in his life?
Speaking to the New York Times from Dubai, where he is on tour, the comedian expressed disbelief at his appointment.
“You don’t believe it for the first few hours,” he said. “You need a stiff drink, and then unfortunately you’re in a place where you can’t really get alcohol.”
Of course! All African Americans need a stiff drink every time they hear something uplifting from America. Chris Rock and a whole host of Black comedians in America need a drink.
But in a world so driven by the capitalism of materialism as the defining ideals of building society and the material expansion of wealth and influence into every corner of the globe, can Trevor Noah’s appointment be left alone and understood in its most uncanny terms – diversity?
“I’m thrilled for the show and for Trevor,” said Stewart in a statement. “He’s a tremendous comic and talent that we’ve loved working with.”
Would Noah’s appointment serve dual interests – American television expansion into Africa while dawning a cloak of diversity as a US ideal?
Why not? Noah is relatively unknown in the States.
The fact that he has an avid following on Twitter, where his two million diverse followers will be aware of his ability to satirize the news without disengaging from the issues, will be thrilled with caution, and the Daily Show will rake in money as it tries its new expansionist policies on African viewership.
One white American confused at the announcement of Trevor Noah exploded:
After only 3 appearances they choose this dude from South Africa to replace Jon Stewart??? SERIOUSLY Comedy Central? Have you lost your mind? Samantha Bee or one of the other female correspondents would have been an amazing choice and since we are about to see a female Presidential candidate for the first time in our history wouldn’t that have also been the logical choice? I don’t get why American corporate media overlords are so terrified of a woman hosting anything past 10pm.
Samantha Bee is a Canadian comedian best known as a cast member on the Daily Show with Jon Stewart. In 2012, Bee surpassed Stephen Colbert as the Daily Show’s longest-serving regular correspondent of all-time.
Americans may not necessarily be privy to the imaginations of their overlords. They can be reassured. The American corporate overlords are not terrified of white women at all. In fact they want the best for them.
But it dictates if this capitalism game – to put food on a female like Samantha Bee’s table without her lifting so much as a finger; to put gas in her 9 mpg truck, without her so much looking into the eye of another woman in Africa who wants the same for herself and her children – is simply why some of these games are being needlessly played this way.
The US corporate overlords love America alright, they love their women – white women – and they wish the best for them.
Only Trevor Noah might yet be the frontier in this fight to gain access to more African resources to furnish their women with all the Louis Vuittons and Hermes the world must be forced to give up, without so much as lifting a finger.
If that is the game the American public, like this concerned commenter, wishes to discontinue, then we in Africa are equally in sync. Let’s end it. Let us, on either side of the Atlantic Ocean take some personal responsibility for our place on earth.
Let us grow our own food, wear our own diamonds, smelt our own gold, drink our own coffee, munch our own chocolate, clothe our own children, cook our own meals, breastfeed our own children, and drive our own cars.
Let us stop forcing others, through the barrel of the gun, or through the threat of nuclear weapons, to do what God gave us life to do for ourselves. Let’s all take some personal responsibility.
But I digress.
Next time the Daily Show considers employing another African comedian, instead of Samantha Bee, or more fitting, Chris Rock and the like, let us take some time to seriously ponder the intentions and the appetite for empire and its expansion into Africa. Let us ponder imperialism and the history of American and European oppression in the name of the mis-biology of the survival of the fittest.
The last time we checked, Africans aren’t fighting any battles, we aren’t plotting to dominate the world. For, we already did, way before you even thought it. Your appearance in just another color in Europe proves your self-admonishing complexes lost already.
But I digress.
So, next time the Daily Show considers employing another African, we have to stop and reflect upon the agenda, because we are not the ones excogitating a plan to take other people’s lands and gold. We are not thinking about wiping whole races of people off the map – holding other human beings in thrall of our inferior complexes.
Let us all take some personal responsibility. Our African ancestors gave us that much. Let’s be responsible, alas, for a change.
Again, I digress.
But for the sake of feeding his family, good luck to Trevor Noah, but it stops there. No way that that Daily Show comes to Africa.
Or, am I mistaken?
Is this the most conscious attempt to attenuate the potency of Trevor Noah’s message? Is Noah changing the world so fast with a flood of his own that knows no boundaries?
With a message like this? “I’ll miss the Olympics. It’s the one time, when a group of Black people can run, with no suspicion.”
It says more about them than about us.