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Jon Stewart: 'America has always prioritized white comfort over black survival'

"And any real attempt to repair a ton of that damage, reparation sets off white people's 'they're coming for our sh*t' alarm which we would know ourselves had we actually been listening," said Stewart.

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Hannah Nightingale Washington DC
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In a recent segment of "The Problem with Jon Stewart," the show’s namesake slammed white people for taking issue with reparations for black and minority people, saying that the country has always prioritized "white comfort over black survival."

"For however sincerely we want to reckon and listen, the truth is America has always prioritized white comfort over black survival. Black people have had to fight so hard for equality that they've been irreparably set back in the pursuit of equity," said Stewart, after posing with a backdrop that changed from the show’s name, to "The Problem with White People," and asking people watching to get their "click baits."

"And any real attempt to repair a ton of that damage, reparation sets off white people's 'they're coming for our sh*t' alarm which we would know ourselves had we actually been listening," said Stewart.

Leading up to the comments, Stewart started by saying that America "has had some issues with race."

"We’ve had some issues with race. There was that incident in 1619, and then — had a few hiccups since then, but mostly it’s been fine," said Stewart, referring to the 1619 Project, a project undertaken by Nikole Hannah-Jones that "aims to reframe the country's history by placing the consequences of slavery and the contributions of Black Americans at the very center of the United States' national narrative."

"It’s been chill, until a couple of years ago another rare, bad thing happened to black people in the summer of 2020," Stewart continued, speaking in reference to the death of George Floyd, and the widespread riots that broke out across the country over that summer.

Stewart then joked about newscasts from that summer, where anchors repeatedly used the phrase "racial reckoning."

"We don’t want to right the wrongs, we just reckon we’re gonna think about it for a bit," said Stewart.

"See, white people are pretending that this problem is new, and we’re just hearing about it now, because we love to discover stuff that already existed. It’s kind of our thing," said Stewart following a number of clips in which black Americans describe the issues they face, going back decades.

"We have been told over, and over, and over again by black people that this country never resolved the original sins of slavery and segregation," said Stewart.

"It doesn’t seem to matter what black people tell us or how many times they say it. It lands on deaf ears.  Because a large swath of white Americans believes that black Americans are solely responsible for their community’s struggles. And the bias is so perversive, that we don’t even notice it," he said.

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