Comedy Central’s Trevor Noah: The System of Policing in America Designed to Keep Poor and Black People in Their Place

JOHANNESBURG, SOUTH AFRICA - DECEMBER 02: Trevor Noah attends the Global Citizen Festival: Mandela 100 at FNB Stadium on December 2, 2018 in Johannesburg, South Africa. (Photo by Noam Galai/Getty Images for Global Citizen Festival: Mandela 100)
Noam Galai/Getty Images for Global Citizen Festival: Mandela 100

While a series of polls taken since last summer show that black Americans don’t want police departments defunded, and in some cases, want a larger police presence in their neighborhoods, Comedy Central’s The Daily Show host Trevor Noah, who was born and raised in Johannesburg, South Africa, said “the system in policing is doing exactly what it’s meant to do in America and that is keeping poor people in their place.”

Trevor Noah, whose net worth is estimated at $100 million, posted a four-minute video on Wednesday, in the wake of several recent events where police officers confronted a black people. He asked where the “good apple” police officers are? Where are videos of cops stopping “bad apple” officers from violating a black person’s civil rights, Noah asked.

The crux of his video occurs during the last minute, where he says the police system in America is a “rotten tree” oppression, which he says is what it was designed to be.

“The system in policing is doing exactly what it’s meant to do in America, and that is to keep poor people in their place. Who happens to be the most poor in America? Black people,” Noah said.

“You monetize them, you imprison them, which monetizes them again — it’s a system. It’s not broken. It’s working the way it’s designed to work,” Noah continued. “And once you realize that, I feel like you get to a place where you go, ‘Oh, we’re not dealing with bad apples. We’re dealing with a rotten tree that happens to grow good apples.'”

“But for the most part,” Noah concludes, “the tree that was planted is bearing the fruits that it was intended to.”

In New York City, where Trevor Noah bought a $10 million, 3,600 square foot penthouse, shootings and other violent crimes skyrocketed in 2020. Some 97 percent of the shooting victims in June were minorities. New York is still struggling to get a grip on its spiking crime wave.

While Trevor Noah’s contention is that America’s policy forces are intentionally oppressing minorities and the poor, one poll after another show that minorities, particularly black people who live in high crime areas, don’t want police to retreat or be forced from their communities. In many cases, they want more police in their neighborhoods.

A Gallup poll from last year found that 81 percent of black Americans want the same level or an increased number of police patrols in their neighborhoods. This poll was also taken in June of last year, during the height of that year’s destructive Black Lives Matter riots.

Other polls show similar sentiments. A USA Today poll from last month found that fewer than one in five American’s support the defund the police movement. Indeed, the March poll found that support for the defund the police movement has fallen even in the face of these police-involved incidents.

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