On Monday night, Trevor Noah raced through the day’s deluge in a recurring Daily Show segment called “Ain’t Nobody Got Time for That.” But notably, the comedian did take time to offer some extended commentary on one subject: the verdict handed down about Philando Castile’s fatal shooting at the hands of police. As Noah observed, Castile committed no crime and was carrying a legal firearm at the time he was fatally shot in front of his girlfriend and his four-year-old daughter. If anyone should be angry, Noah said, it’s the N.R.A.—but for some reason, the notoriously vocal gun lobby has stayed completely silent.
“Every time I watch that video, the question I ask myself is, ‘How?’“ Noah said on The Daily Show. “How does a black person not get shot in America? Because if you think about it, the bar is always moving. The goal posts are always shifting. There’s always a different thing that explains why a person got shot. . . In a story of a man being shot because he was lawfully armed, you would think that one group—one powerful group in America—would say something about [it]. This is one group that you would expect to be losing their goddamn minds about this: the N.R.A. But for some strange reason, on this particular case, they’ve been completely silent. And yet, according to their rhetoric, this is everything that they stand against, right? An officer of the state depriving a citizen of his life because he was legally carrying a firearm?”
As Noah observed, the group and its vocal executive vice president, Wayne LaPierre, certainly seem to have plenty say, even with regard to far less egregious incidents. And yet,when it comes to Castile, the group has said nothing. Noah, who has pointed out race-based hypocrisies before on The Daily Show, is pretty sure he knows why:
“It’s interesting how the people who define themselves by one fundamental American right—the right to bear arms—show that once race is involved, the only right that they believe in is their right to remain silent.”