In this powerful clip, the Daily Show‘s Hasan Minhaj tears into a crowd of Congresspeople and journalists at the Radio and Television Correspondents Dinner for their complicity in entrenching the status quo in American society as atrocity after hate crime screams out for some kind of systematic change, a concentrated effort to counteract the negative energies and sentiments, the hate, the frustration, the grief and desperation that are roiling through the hearts and minds of American people.
“What we say in Orlando was one of the ugliest cocktails of problems that we still see here in America, a cocktail of homophobia, xenophobia, lack of access to mental healthcare and sheer lack of political will. Everyday in our workplaces, our homes and our religious institutions there is cover or overt discrimination or phobia towards people of different religious, racial or sexual walks of life. And we just sit there and we let it happen, because it doesn’t affect our bottom line.”
The sad reality is that stuff like this is going to continue to happen unless we realize that civil liberties are an all or nothing game… So whether you like it or not we all have to step up and fight for each other, otherwise the whole thing is a sham. My brothers and sisters in the African American community, their spines are going to continue to get shattered in the backs of paddy wagons until we stand up and say something.”
“You get paid almost $200,000 a year to write rules, to make our society better. Not tweet, not tell us about your thoughts and prayers. To write rules to make our society better. Right now, since 1998, the NRA has given $3.7 million to Congress… So I don’t know if this is like a Kickstarter thing, but if $3.7 million can buy political influence to take lives, if we raise $4 million would you guys take that to save lives?”
“You make almost two hundred thousand dollars a year to write rules, to make our society better. Not tweet, not tell us about your thoughts and prayers. To write rules to make our society better. If we raise four million dollars, would you guys take that to save lives? Is this what you want your legacy to be? … That you were complicit in the deaths of thousands of Americans?”
He’s absolutely right. The media and our political establishment have freely exploited the countless massacres and daily tragedies for ratings and political capital – but no change ever gets done. They have failed our nation and the citizens they represent, and they must be held accountable for that failure.
Watch it here:
Opinion columnist and former editor-in-chief of Occupy Democrats. He graduated from Bennington College with a Bachelor's degree in history and political science. He now focuses on advancing the cause of social justice and equality in America.