A week already marked by violence and death took another turn last night, as a demonstration in Dallas against the killings of Alton Sterling in Baton Rouge, Louisiana and Philando Castile in Falcon Heights, Minnesota was marred as at least one sniper opened fire, killing five police officers and wounding seven more. That was after Thursday’s late-night programs had taped for the day, and so political satire shows like The Daily Show and The Nightly Show will likely have more to say next week. But both shows took time to address the week’s earlier shootings last night:
The Daily Show host Trevor Noah’s segment on the shootings focused on the “us vs. them” nature of the debate surrounding police brutality. “In reality, you can be pro-cop and pro-black,” Noah says, “or I suppose technically you could be anti-cop and anti-black, which makes you Mel Gibson.” Urging police departments around the country to admit they have a problem with violence, Noah asks why videos of police shootings aren’t considered proof of misconduct, and jokes that if the shooting of a gorilla was enough to inspire systemic change at the Cincinnati Zoo, then the shootings of American citizens should inspire change as well.
Following up on his impassioned monologue from the night before—in which he said “the punishment for being a black man shouldn’t be death”—Larry Wilmore hosted a more serious panel discussion focused on reactions to the shootings with Nightly Show contributors Jordan Carlos and Franchesca Ramsey and 16-year-old activist Xiuhtezcatl Martinez. Touching on social media, intersectional politics, “tragedy porn,” and the empathy gap between black and white Americans.