Welcome to a new feature on SeniorPlanet! Every week, we’ll name a person who has rocked our online world during the past seven days.
Our Person of the Week might be a senior – and might not. Either way, this person has said or done something that’s relevant to you, whatever your age.
We’d love to get your nominations for next week. Just add their name and why they should be Senior Planet’s Person of the Week in the comments section below or email us at email@example.com. Our nominations deadline is noon on Fridays.
Our first person of the week:
Jon Stewart hosts The Daily Show on Comedy Central, where he satirizes the day’s news – but he had no jokes on Thursday’s show. In the wake of the Charleston, South Carolina church shootings, Stewart was deadly serious. He spoke from the heart and he cut straight to the heart. Here’s what he had to say:
“I have one job, and it’s a pretty simple job. I come in, in the morning, and we look at the news, and I write jokes about it… But I didn’t do my job today, so I apologize. I got nothing for you, in terms of jokes and sounds, because of what happened in South Carolina.
“And maybe if I wasn’t nearing the end of the run [Stewart will retire as Daily Show host in August], or this wasn’t such a common occurrence, maybe I could have pulled out of the spiral. But I didn’t.
“I honestly have nothing other than just sadness once again that we have to peer into the abyss of the depraved violence that we do to each other and the nexus of a just gaping racial wound that will not heal, yet we pretend doesn’t exist. And I’m confident, though, that by acknowledging it, by staring into that and seeing it for what it is, we still won’t do jack shit. Yeah. That’s us.
“And that’s the part that blows my mind. I don’t want to get into the political argument of the guns and things. But what blows my mind is the disparity of response between when we think people that are foreign are going to kill us, and us killing ourselves.
“If this had been what we thought was Islamic terrorism, it would fit into our – we invaded two countries and spent trillions of dollars and thousands of American lives and now fly unmanned death machines over five or six different countries, all to keep Americans safe. We got to do whatever we can. We’ll torture people. We gotta do whatever we can to keep Americans safe.
“Nine people shot in a church. What about that? ‘Hey, what are you gonna do? Crazy is as crazy is, right?’ That’s the part that I cannot, for the life of me, wrap my head around, and you know it. You know that it’s going to go down the same path. ‘This is a terrible tragedy.’ They’re already using the nuanced language of lack of effort for this. This is a terrorist attack. This is a violent attack on the Emanuel Church in South Carolina, which is a symbol for the black community. It has stood in that part of Charleston for 100 and some years and has been attacked viciously many times, as many black churches have.
“I heard someone on the news say, ‘Tragedy has visited this church.’ This wasn’t a tornado. This was a racist. This was a guy with a Rhodesia badge on his sweater. You know, so the idea that – you know, I hate to even use this pun, but this one is black and white. There’s no nuance here.
“And we’re going to keep pretending like, ‘I don’t get it. What happened? This one guy lost his mind.’ But we are steeped in that culture in this country and we refuse to recognize it, and I cannot believe how hard people are working to discount it. In South Carolina, the roads that black people drive on are named for Confederate generals who fought to keep black people from being able to drive freely on that road. That’s insanity. That’s racial wallpaper. That’s — that’s — you can’t allow that, you know.
“Nine people were shot in a black church by a white guy who hated them, who wanted to start some kind of civil war. The Confederate flag flies over South Carolina, and the roads are named for Confederate generals, and the white guy’s the one who feels like his country is being taken away from him. We’re bringing it on ourselves. And that’s the thing. Al Qaeda, all those guys, ISIS, they’re not shit compared to the damage that we can apparently do to ourselves on a regular basis.
Thoughts? Please share in the comments section below.