Jon Stewart Says Not All Trump Supporters Are 'Racist'
Jon Stewart has a very important and powerful message for liberals: It's hypocritical for you to call all Trump supporters racist.
Before you object, hear him out because he makes a lot of sense and offers a vital perspective at a time when the US is deeply divided.
Stewart has never made it a secret he absolutely despises Donald Trump. But that doesn't mean he won't call out liberals when they're wrong.
The former host of "The Daily Show" once warned us "bullshit is everywhere" and we need to stay vigilant.
Sometimes, this process includes recognizing when we're in the wrong (recognizing our own bullshit).
None of us are right all the time.
Stewart criticized liberals for turning Trump supporters into a "monolith."
On Thursday, Stewart continued his crusade against bullshit and gave Charlie Rose his post-election analysis on "CBS This Morning."
In the liberal community, you hate this idea of creating people as a monolith.
Stewart began by stating he doesn't think America is really all that different than it was before the election:
The same country with all its grace, and flaws, and volatility, and insecurity, and strength, and resilience exists today as existed two weeks ago. The same country that elected Donald Trump elected Barack Obama. I feel badly for the people for whom this election will mean more uncertainty and insecurity. But I also feel like this fight has never been easy.
Stewart understands that many people feel disillusioned about America right now, but he challenged them to remember how difficult it is to establish a truly "multicultural democracy."
The United States is a beautiful idea, but living up to our fundamental ideals — that all people "are created equal" and should be treated as such — was never going to be simple.
Stewart definitely offered some valuable insights on where America is right now and what this election means for the country.
But his most important point arguably had to do with how many (but not all) liberals are reacting to Trump supporters,
There is now this idea that anyone who voted for [Trump] has to be defined by the worst of his rhetoric. There are guys in my neighborhood that I love, that I respect, that I think have incredible qualities who are not afraid of Mexicans, and not afraid of Muslims, and not afraid of blacks. They're afraid of their insurance premiums. In the liberal community, you hate this idea of creating people as a monolith. Don't look at Muslims as a monolith. They are the individuals and it would be ignorance. But everybody who voted for Trump is a monolith, is a racist. That hypocrisy is also real in our country. And so this is the fight that we wage against ourselves and each other.
This is an extremely valid point.
In the fight against ignorance and intolerance, it can be tempting to completely write people off.
But, in the process, we risk becoming no different from the people we condemn.
Prejudice occurs in many forms.
Calling someone racist will not make them listen to you about racism.
You can certainly take issue with people voting for a man like that.
Since Election Day, many have argued that not all Trump supporters are racist, but they somehow decided that Trump's racism wasn't a deal-breaker.
There's definitely a great deal of truth behind this perspective.
People should also take a stand against hatred and oppression wherever they see it, especially since we've seen a disturbing rise in hate crimes since the election.
But Stewart was absolutely right when he said it's hypocritical to criticize Trump for painting undocumented immigrants as criminals or Muslims as terrorists and then turn around and call all of his supporters racists.
In other words, it's bullshit to criticize someone for stereotyping an entire group of people and then go off and make a sweeping generalization about an entire group of people.
Research also shows that calling someone racist — even if they are — is not an effective way to combat racial bias.
It's time for us to have the hard conversations.
None of us can afford to be quitters right now.
It's definitely a lot easier for white males like me to say this, given we're literally the only group not specifically targeted by Trump's rhetoric and policy proposals.
But everyone, regardless of gender, religion, sexual orientation or ethnicity, can play a role in the growth and development of this country.
This is not the end of America. Everyone calm down.
Progress does not come easily.
America has learned this many times in the past.
This fight has never been easy.
But, if you look back on US history, we've overcome our biggest obstacles by choosing to take the high road.
Our greatest heroes subjected themselves to a great deal of hardship in order for future generations to enjoy greater freedoms.
It's our turn to step up to the plate.
We can either accept the challenges that lay before us or fall into despair and division.
This country isn't dead. This is not the apocalypse.
We will get through this, but only if we recognize that it's going to be a very difficult process.