“Let’s talk about slavery,” Trevor Noah said Thursday when he opened his monologue on “The Daily Show.”
Then he quickly added, “No, white people, come baaaack!”
“Even today,” he said, “the topic of slavery still brings up so many hot-button issues – racism, Confederate statues and, lately, reparations.”
Noah, whose book Born a Crime tells his story of growing up as a mixed-race child in apartheid South Africa, said that reparations for slavery, once considered a radical idea, has become more mainstream. Presidential candidates, including Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), Sen. Kamala Harris (D-Calif.), Sen. Cory Booker (D-N.J.), Julián Castro and South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg, are saying it needs to be considered.
Noah welcomes the discussion, with one caveat. “I have my eye on you, Elizabeth Warren,” he joked. “I feel like as soon as reparations have passed, she’ll be like, ‘There’s something I didn’t tell you about my ancestry results. I’m also one-twentieth black.’”
Warren has been mired in controversy for years over claims that she was part Native American. She apologized in February 2019.
On a more serious note, Noah said that matters related to slavery are polarizing, with many conservatives arguing that reparations are not feasible or that too much time has passed.
“To be fair,” he said, “there are some people on the right who are willing to consider reparations. But unfortunately, what they’re saying is that that slave ship has sailed.”
Noah added: “You know, it’s funny how with slavery, these people are like: ‘Get over it. That’s history.’ But if you try and take down a Confederate statue, it’s like: ‘How dare you! That’s history.’”
Check out the video above.