George Floyd protests: Trevor Noah says ‘police in America are looting Black bodies’ as patrol cars burn
In the wake of the death of George Floyd, an African-American man whose death was captured on camera, struggling to breathe as the now-arrested former policeman held him with a knee to his neck, violence has broken out in cities across the U.S. Rioting, arson, and vandalism has been going on in cities like Atlanta, Philadelphia, and Minneapolis where the incident took place.
On Saturday, May 30, in Philadelphia, the area surrounding City Hall was covered in smoke as police cars burned. Mayor Jim Kenney asked demonstrators to go home, saying that “the anger being displayed now cannot continue.” He said, “Please have respect and dignity for each other and return home."
In Atlanta, protesters broke storefront windows, torched cars and vandalized CNN headquarters.
Earlier on Saturday, President Donald Trump warned Black Lives Matter protesters across the country that they will face "the most vicious dogs" and "the most ominous guns" if they attempt to breach the White House.
Trump made the statement hours after protests and clashes broke out outside the White House on the night of Friday, May 29. "Great job last night at the White House by the U.S. @SecretService," Trump tweeted. "They were not only totally professional but very cool. I was inside, watched every move, and couldn’t have felt more safe. They let the 'protesters' scream and rant as much as they wanted, but whenever someone got too frisky or out of line, they would quickly come down on them, hard – didn’t know what hit them."
In the wake of all of this, some powerful voices have emerged, who have tried to make sense of the rapidly escalating situation. Trevor Noah, in a video, made an impassioned statement. “You do not loot and you do not burn. This is not how our society is built,” Noah said. He noted that if “society is a contract” then that contract is “only as strong as the people who are abiding by it.”
“What good does it do?” Noah asked. “The only reason you didn’t loot Target before is because you were upholding society’s contract. There is no contract if law and people in power don’t uphold their end of it,” he said referring to the Target that was vandalized and looted in Minneapolis.
“There is no right way to protest because that’s what protest is,” Noah said. “What a lot of people don’t realize is the same way that you might have experienced more anger and more visceral disdain watching those people loot that Target -- think about that unease you felt watching that Target being looted. Try to imagine how it must feel for Black Americans when they watch themselves being looted every single day.”
“Because that’s fundamentally what’s happening in America,” he continued. “Police in America are looting Black bodies.”
On Saturday, actor Kevin Hart also expressed extreme distress. He said. “As a father, I’m worried about the future of our next generation of Black men and the generations after that and the ones after that. If we do not do our job right now and do what we can to have a law put in place to help us feel protected in these streets then this type of crime will continue to happen without a worry in the world.”
Run The Jewels rapper Killer Mike also expressed his sentiments regarding the violence. He said, “I watched a white police officer assassinate a Black man. And I know that tore your heart out. I am duty-bound to be here to simply say that it is your duty not to burn your own house down for anger with an enemy. It is your duty to fortify your own house so that you may be a house of refuge in times of organization.”
"It is time to beat up prosecutors you don't like at the voting booth," he said. "It is time to hold mayoral offices accountable, chiefs, and deputy chiefs. I'm mad as hell. I woke up wanting to see the world burn down yesterday because I am tired of seeing Black men die. We want to see the system that sets up for systemic racism burned to the ground."