Trevor Noah likens cellphone cameras to SA's TRC in candid interview about systemic racism in US

Trevor Noah likens cellphone cameras to SA's TRC, says the truth comes out via them.
Trevor Noah likens cellphone cameras to SA's TRC, says the truth comes out via them.
Image: Instagram/ Trevor Noah

Comedian Trevor Noah has weighed in on the ongoing Black Live Matter protests in the US and around the world, linking the outrage to that of SA during apartheid.

The protests were sparked by the death of George Floyd, who died on May 25 after being physically restrained by a white police officer who knelt on his neck for 8 minutes and 46 seconds.

Chiming in on the matter on CNN, the SA-born talk show host said fixing the problem was the first step to reconciliation.

“Fixing the problem is the first step, then you have to deal with the effects that the problem has created,” said Trevor.

“I come from a country where black people were given the freedom that they deserved, but they very quickly realised that freedom was the beginning and it’s where the work begins. You now have to undo all those decades of systemic racism.”

Trevor said the protests of solidarity around the world gave him hope that the racial system could still change.

“I don’t think there is any perfect system when you try to fix the legacy of racism,” he said.

“What I do know as a South African, and I can only speak for myself and my family and the people I experienced this with, the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) gave us something that is so badly needed in the wake of a system that has oppressed people. That is closure.

“The catharsis of the acknowledgment of what happened to you, by people that did it to you and, what I’ve noticed in America is there is a certain reticence around accepting America’s history. People feel that if they acknowledged today what happened 400 years ago, they have to somehow pay a price now when, in fact, that is not the truth.”

The award-winning The Daily Show host also likened cellphone cameras to SA's TRC, saying the truth was coming out via them.

“Right now, there hasn't been reconciliation, but the truth is coming out because for many years Black Americans have said, 'Hey, I'm living in a world where I might be walking, driving or I'm just being black and the police are treating me in an inferior way to my fellow White countryman.'

"[Through cellphones] the country is becoming a world where people are forced to see the truth of the America that they live in.”

Commenting on the viral video of Amy Cooper, a white woman who called police to report on a Black man, Christian Cooper (no relation) in Central Park, Trevor said she knew what she was doing.

“That was one of the most powerful moments we saw on camera. In that moment she showed that ‘I know how the structures of power work in this world. I understand systemic racism and how it works. And I’m going to use it against you.’”

Watch the full interview below

The interview got a thumbs up from One South Africa Movement Leader, Mmusi Maimane, who said Trevor “has really made us all proud. From Daywalker to this day. Keep shining.”